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Indianapolis chef seeks to support family shamed for bringing baby to ballet

Indianapolis chef seeks family shamed for baby at ballet

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A well-known Indianapolis chef needs your help to cook up a new experience for a family he said was shamed for bringing their baby to the ballet.

Neal Brown is owner and chef at Japanese restaurant Ukiyo and said he witnessed a woman who was shamed into leaving a performance by the Indianapolis Ballet because she brought her baby. News 8 tracked down the woman as of February 18. Noelle Alexandria said her baby’s name is Lauryn and were accompanied by their 16-year-old cousin.

Brown said it happened Sunday afternoon inside the Toby Theater at Newfields.

The chef said the theater was packed during the matinee show at 3 p.m. He said two African American women were sitting two aisles behind him with their baby.

“The baby was very behaved, as behaved as you can absolutely expect a baby to be. Cooing and being sweet was the extent of being able to hear it,” said Brown.

Then there was a verbal outburst between performances — but not from the child.

“A man stood up loud enough to overcome all of the just background chatter that happens once the curtain goes down,” said witness Rachael Heger. “Everybody heard him. I can’t imagine. This poor family must’ve been absolutely mortified.”

Another witness said the family left the theater very upset. The angry patron left as well. Now Brown said he wants to make it right.

“I’m hoping to find them and just buy them dinner and buy them tickets to the ballet so they can enjoy a day with their child,” Brown said.

The Indianapolis Ballet issued a statement below:

“We are deeply disheartened to learn that a family experienced any feelings of unwelcome due to an inappropriate outburst of a patron at our Sunday matinee performance of Love is in the Air.Indianapolis Ballet believes that the arts are for everyone. It is part of our mission to provide dynamic performances to the widest possible audiences, especially children.Founding Artistic Director Victoria Lyras prides herself on programming performances that are truly family-friendly.We embrace this family and encourage them to reach out to us so that we can provide another opportunity to show them that the ballet is a safe, welcome place for all.”

Indianapolis Ballet