When my five-year-old made it through A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Canyon Theatre last weekend I regretted promising her a new toy for good behavior. I also regretted that she willingly shook hands with the male players and hugged the females. I regretted that she got several cast members to pose for a photograph. I regretted the complements she received from older patrons for her behavior and understanding of Shakespeare. I regretted that the only word she couldn’t understand (after being prepped by watching the short HBO animated production and the 1999 feature film) was “woo”. Because I couldn’t woo her to pick her promised gift from the storefront selections on San Fernando Road.
The final act, while everyone listened to Robin Goodfellow (AKA “Puck”), suggest that the entire play may have just been a dream, I was transfixed by the glitter in his gelled hairdo. Would Sam be satisfied with glitter gel from the market? When the cast members came out and bowed I wondered if I could get a fairy costume at the Sav-On on Old Orchard and Lyons. Could I convince her that a little flan from El Trocadero was a dessert toy? While everyone was crowded into the lobby shaking hands and smiling, I was still worrying about how far I had to drive.
It almost ruined the play for me. I called Ed from the car. It was past four PM. Where could I go and get home in time for dinner? He had no suggestions either. We finally decided to pick him up, drive all the way to Zainy Brainy and save our marinated albacore for the next night. Getting to Toys R Us would have taken just as long and we would have still had to have dinner out. I had remembered to bring chewing gum to the theatre, dress her up in her holiday clothes and even brought a disposable camera. Would I have to bring a new toy in the car next time? (Because if the little chick can get through Shakespeare at five there’s no limit to what I’ll put her through next!)
They offered full-strength Newhall Roasted coffee in the lobby but I would have preferred to see some of the staff of our local Coffee Kiosk with a mobile unit out front cheerily taking orders for decaf. They don’t have a parking lot just yet and another member of the audience suggested that horse drawn carriages would be a nice touch. That way we could park somewhere else and arrive in style. Now I don’t think we are demanding quite of that service but maybe some of the Coffee Kiosk employees can “rickshaw” us back and forth to their drive though on Lyons.
I’d enjoy the bar at El Trocadero down the street when I come back to the Theatre with Ed on one of our rare “dates” without Sam. But I certainly wouldn’t mind a nice chocolatier to go along with it. We love the Way Station for breakfast but don’t think they would consider hanging around to make anything “foofie” for evening. Maybe just their famous hash browns in a paper cone with a plastic fork? Especially nice on a cold afternoon or evening! I normally love strolling the aisles of Newhall Hardware too but there wasn’t much between the theatre and the store that would capture a five-year-old’s interest.
I recently visited “Old Town Books” on Lyons and loved the selection. They’ve got used books from floor to ceiling, in boxes in the aisles and piled high on the front counter. Sam would have been perfectly primed to pick a few of her own. She had been in there with me just a few days before and walked away with about seven books for $2. But their not walking distance from the theatre either.
I like the new street lamps on Railroad Avenue, the new train station, thrift shops, antique stores, and heck, I don’t even mind the dentist’s office. But I want more! I want more Newhall-ites to go to the theatre and make their demands known! Build it and we will come. And then the demand will come.
Because if you don’t…we’ll come anyway. It’s such a cool deal. We’ll take what we can get and love it. Thanks Newhall for the theatre, the Mexican food, the potatoes in a cup, Newhall Roasted coffee and the photogenic fairy (Tim this is correct spelling of name:) Peaseblossom. My kid didn’t miss a thing because she knew mom would drive her anywhere for a toy as long as she was good for the fairies.
And mom hopes those fairies pass more of their dust over San Fernando Road. So that we will all come out more often to play.