She loves watching live shows but this was the first time we went out on a Mummy-daughter date, all dressed up, for a night out at the theatre.
I've always loved going to the theatre. As a kid I loved pantomimes and the farces that the amateur dramatics group put on at the local Church.
I remember my first broadway show. My parents took us to see Les Miserables in Manchester. I really didn't want to go! I thought it would be boring classical music and remember making quite a fuss about going (sorry Mum and Dad!). Boy was I wrong! I loved it! It definitely started my love affair with musical theatre.
As a teenager, friends and I would pay £10 to stand at the back of the stalls to watch musicals like Phantom and Les Mis in the Manchester city centre theatres. And I still love them to this day. I've seen Phantom of the Opera in Manchester, London and New York. I've seen most of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals and my new favourite is Wicked!
I love the whole experience. From getting dressed up, to looking around the historic theatres with their grand staircases, breathtaking views from the opera circle and beautiful decor. Live music can move me to tears, I find it so powerful.
So I really wanted our kids to love it too. They are used to sitting still for long periods of time (thanks to 8 hour flights to the UK and back) so we've been able to take them to a few shows at our Church and at Disney. They are often on the edges of their seats, mesmerised by the performance in front of them.
When I heard that Beauty and the Beast was coming to Kalamazoo I decided it would be perfect for Charlotte and I. It didn't start until 7:30 so it was a bit late really, but she is a night owl like me so easily stayed awake until we left at 10:30!
The whole way there she kept saying "This is so exciting! I love you Mummy!". We arrived just in time to get our seats and discuss how the last time we were there was for her school production of 'A Christmas Carol'. That made the evening even more special!
She sat so still through the whole show, watching in awe as the characters sang and danced across the stage. The show had a couple of slightly inappropriate story lines and costumes but I think it went over her head! It was really quite funny in parts and quite the production with lights and streamers! 'Be our guest' was my favourite and Charlotte said hers was the lady sing with Besuty and the Beast.
She stood up at the end to applause each of the performers and the look of adoration on her face when Belle came on the stage was wonderful!
We had a lovely time together and I hope she remembers it for a long time to come. Hopefully she might even recall the night to her kids one day.