A few nights ago my wife and I took our two grandsons to a live performance of “PJ Masks” at the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo. I’m still processing.
If you’re at an age where you no longer keep Fruit Loops in your cabinet, you might not know that PJ Masks is an animated television series wildly popular with the Lunchables crowd.
The show features three tykes who morph at night into the superheroes Gekko, Owlette, and Catboy. Together they fight Romeo, Night Ninja and Luna Girl – the pint-sized bad guys who I suspect might just need a nap.
In the live performance, the cast members are played by costumed adults who probably thought, back in college, that it would never come to this.
The script may have lacked nuance, but the performers gave it their best. Their broad, operatic gestures, frequent cartwheels and “boi-oi-oing!” reactions were clear and unambiguous, even from the cheap seats, which we appreciated. Sometimes it’s just good to know who’s good and who’s bad.
I missed a few plot turns. It was hard to keep up over the ceaseless chatter and gyrating of the 2,000 sugar-jacked children between us and the stage, but clearly the Masks had their hands full.
More than once the cackling villains blacked out the city’s power grid, but in the end the wily and relentlessly upbeat Masks saved the day through cunning, teamwork and choreographed singing. Lots of that.
For me, though, the real show was out in the lobby, where commerce was brisk.
Merchandisers for this economically vital demographic understand that parents and grandparents at such events are rendered powerless to say no to the little people clutching their hands and pointing with unbridled greed at everything from squirt-cheese nachos to $30 T-shirts and plush toys.
While my wife and our grandsons were watching the show, I stood, gray and stooped as a wizard, in the merch line. I paid a remarkable $20 each for a pair of battery-powered spinners with pulsing multi-colored lights and a street value of perhaps $2.50.
Still, I have no regrets. The spinners were a big hit, and the boys played with them throughout the show and then while we were having ice cream at Bop’s.
Afterwards, we came back to our house and turned off all the lights and the boys flashed their strobing $20 spinners on the ceiling and we played “Staying Alive” on the phone while they danced around like Max in “Where the Wild Things Are.”
For a brief moment, while the boys were dancing and the lights were strobing, the world seemed happy and at rest in the middle of the spinning.
The doctrine of the Trinity has been aptly described as a cosmic dance. Once in a while, when we are in a state of grace, we join the the dance, happy in the spinning. Of such moments is our hope woven.