Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Cinderella Shows Up at the Ballet

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Cinderella Shows Up at the Ballet

Article excerpt

It was Light Up Night and bitterly cold -- a bad night to be wearing a sleeveless dress and ill-fitting high heels, even with a coat. My husband and I were standing outside the Benedum, pacing. I couldn't feel my feet, except as dull aches.

We were waiting for one of my husband's colleagues to arrive with free tickets to the ballet, but he was caught in traffic. In fact, traffic was hopelessly snarled. Who knew so many people came Downtown for Light Up Night?

We stayed outside till I couldn't stand it any more, then we plunged into the Benedum's warm lobby.

Where was the guy with the tickets? This was 2002, and we didn't have a cell phone. My husband thought he knew where a pay phone was. He set out into the cold to find it. Many minutes later, he returned, face red, eyes watering from the freezing wind. The guy with the tickets was on his way, but he couldn't get across the Liberty Bridge. Traffic had come to a standstill. Now it was snowing.

Glumly, we meandered around the Benedum lobby. I didn't want to go outside again. I was so cold, I wasn't sure I could get warm again.

I noticed my husband examining a poster on the wall. "Isn't that the ballet?" he said. I didn't know what he meant. All I knew was that the tickets weren't here.

Time passed.

I urged my husband to call his colleague again, so off into the snow he went. When he returned, the ushers were shooing everyone into the theater. "He's still stuck in traffic," my husband told me.

Anxiously, I explained our dilemma to an usher. She allowed us into the theater at the back with other patrons whose tickets didn't arrive on time.

As soon as we sat down, the lights dimmed. They came up to reveal an unusual stage set. Kind of cartoonish. Everything was brightly colored and seemed off balance. Then some people came onto the stage. They were not your typical ballet dancers. …

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