Here's one view of how big a deal the opening of N.C. Dance Theatre's "Sleeping Beauty" was: A baby was so excited to be there that it squeaked and cooed the whole night.
Unfortunately, I'm not talking about the infant princess who's christened in the ballet's opening scene. This was a real one in the Knight Theater on Thursday. And it was no sleeping beauty.
Even in the last scenes of Tchaikovsky's ballet, when you'd think any child would've long since passed out, the baby's prattle broke in on pauses in the music. There may actually have been more of it as the evening went on. So much for dramatic silences.
The people behind me noticed it, too. But there was no one we could nudge or glare at in hopes of quieting the baby down. The racket was coming from another part of the theater. Noises like that travel farther than negligent moms and dads may realize -- especially when everyone else in a theater is quiet.
Exposing youngsters to the arts while they're curious and impressionable is all for the good, when it's cannily done. But let's be realistic. A child who's still at the babbling stage won't get anything from "Sleeping Beauty," will it? All it does is disturb people who are trying to enjoy the performance.
I guess I should've complained to an usher during intermission. Being an optimist, I thought surely that an adult in charge of the child would take it home. Silly me. But I can't help wondering: Why didn't the Knight Theater's ushers pick up on it and clear the baby out?