MY GIRLS HAD a marvelous time at the "Winter Fairy Tale," a kids' ballet put on by Bayer Ballet Academy last Sunday at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.
Stella, who is almost 6, gripped my arm and beamed when the Santa character showed up. Natalie, who just turned 4, sat transfixed the entire time, not moving a muscle.
The Winter Fairy Tale is a modern knockoff of the Nutcracker Suite, featuring bunnies, foxes, bats — all manner of woodland creatures — and narrated (via recording over the PA system) by a "wizard," actually a dancing teen boy in tuxedo and cape.
The dancers were very young — no one looked older than 15, and some looked almost as young as my girls — but they sure could dance, proving the mettle of Bayer as a real-deal ballet school.
The audience was younger still (resulting in lots of kicked seats and shouted questions, such as Is that a bunny mommy? which was very cute). And there were plenty of Russians in attendance.
That's fitting, as Bayer, located on El Camino Real opposite San Antonio Center, describes itself as a "school of Russian ballet." Founded in 2005 by Inna Bayer ("a seasoned professional ballet mistress"), Bayer Ballet is fast becoming a local institution.
If they put on this show again next year, watch for it, bring your kids, and find out how Santa and the wizard saved the kidnapped bunny from the Queen of Bats.
LESS KID-FRIENDLY was SantaCon, a goofy little event during which people bar-hop in Santa outfits.
As such, a couple dozen tipsy Santas rolled into downtown Mountain View last Saturday night around 10 o'clock, via train apparently, and chose, as their first stop, Mervyn's Lounge. Talk about Santa characters showing up.
My source tells me the people at Mervyn's, unused to such wackiness, were not overly pleased to see so many merry old elves invading their space. But the source, herself garbed in Santa attire, smoothed things over with some kind words and a bag of lemons. Good work, Santas' helper!
I'll BE GONE on vacation till Jan. 4, so until then, have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Kwazy Kwanzaa, a Super Solstice and an entirely wonderful New Year.