Crack Up

Savage philistine that Buzz is, we've never quite understood the appeal of ballet. Yeah, yeah--grace, beauty, all that--we know. But there's just not enough gunplay or nudity to make an entertaining night out for Buzz. We need some action, some drama.

Maybe we need to head out to see Ballet Arlington's performance of The Nutcracker--deemed The Nutcracker of choice by a Dallas Observer theater critic. (Odd, we thought that was Laura Miller. Or maybe Sharon Boyd.)

In any event, while various urchins from Ballet Arlington's school were lined up onstage as the "party girls" and "party boys" in Herr Stahlbaum's house for the Saturday matinee, a loud thunk came from the orchestra pit, followed by the clatter of music stands and other paraphernalia skittering across the floor. The music abruptly stopped, and the back door to the orchestra pit swung open. The dancers, who didn't know what was going on, stopped.

James Rives-Jones, conductor of the Texas Chamber Orchestra, had keeled over, and in a line Buzz thought was only used in Warner Bros. cartoons, someone called out, "Is there a doctor in the house?"

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Maybe Rives-Jones was bored. We would have been. Of course, we also probably would have yelled out, "Ehh, what's up, doc?" to the woman who went hustling to the orchestra pit to help, which is one of about 1,000 reasons why Buzz should never be permitted near anything resembling high culture--not that anyone is inviting us.

Our boss, who apparently is a much classier person than one might assume if you judged her only by the company she keeps at work, was there, and says Rives-Jones, who was ill, not bored, eventually came to and was ushered out. The show continued 45 minutes later with a relief conductor, who was awarded the save.

Not really. He just got a big round of applause, though maybe the Rangers should check this guy out, since they haven't had much luck lately with actual baseball players in the bullpen.

We called Ballet Arlington to see if they could promise similar excitement at future performances, but oddly enough they didn't call back. Still, our boss' description is enough to make Buzz want to check out some dance ourselves. We're looking for something equally classy and entertaining...with a fire pole, perhaps.

You know, a real nutcracker.

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