Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.
The weather certainly has been dreary these last few days. Last Sunday would qualify as a bad weather day. Not so bad as to wonder if there would be school in the morning, bad. But rather, too cold and rainy to venture outside, bad. Rose and I faced the dilemma head on and decided the best use of the day would be to make a fire, snuggle under a blanket and watch some of our favorite musicals. In my opinion, there’s nothing better than a bouncy song and dance number (that comes out of nowhere) to make you feel all warm and toasty. All in all, I’d say it was a very productive day. The tornado scene from The Wizard of Oz prompted “how’d they do that” questions, we sang with gusto to “The Trolley Song” from Meet Me In St. Louis, and determined the stage production of The Wiz was way better than screen version. The phenomenon of Diana Ross is difficult to explain to an 8-year-old.
And speaking of stage productions, we really are lucky to live in an area that has such great theater available to us. And by “us,” that includes children. No longer do parents have to sit through mind-numbing “kid shows” for the sake of their toddlers. There’s a whole range of theater out there for every age group that are fun for parents, too.
It looks like we’re in for another “indoor” weekend, so now’s the perfect opportunity to check out some theater with your tinies. If you’ve got a little one (meaning under 4), it’s always good to start small. Look for these three things when choosing a play: 1. Age appropriateness–your little guy might not think that witch is as funny as you do. 2. Length– no matter how great the play is, the sand runs out in the toddler hourglass at about 45 minutes, so look for plays that are under an hour. 3. This is very important– make sure the seating allows for an easy escape in the event Junior gets restless.
- Artisan Center Theater’s production of Doc, Doc, Goose meets all the criteria if you’re a theater newbie. The show is part of Artie’s Playhouse, a series of plays put on by kids, for kids. The actors are made up of children from ACT’s acting academy and each show is guided by Artie the Monkey. The play is only an hour but fast-paced and packed full of slapstick humor that the kids will love. Best of all, tickets are inexpensive–just $7 for an adult and $5 for a child.
- Studio B’s Cinderella is another good choice for young theater goers. This “Getting 2 Know You” show is also performed by young actors and is an abbreviated version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Cinderella currently playing on Broadway. All the catchy songs and characters are still there, but the play has been condensed down to better suit young attention spans. The venue is small with just 100 seats, but that means just about every seat is a good seat. Tickets are selling fast, so get yours today. Don’t be like Cinderella and let time get away from you. The show runs February 7-16.
- Kid performers also take to the stage in McKinney Youth Theatre’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This biblical saga is best known for its variety of musical styles. You’ll find everything from country to calypso in this family-friendly extravaganza. It’s probably better suited for older children, or at least those with a good attention span, because it’s a little longer at two hours. General seating is just $8 in advance and $10 at the door. You can snag front row tickets for a little extra if you’ve got a kid who likes to be right in the middle of the action. It’s currently playing at the Heard-Craig Center in McKinney weekends through Feb. 16.
- Treat the big kids to a night at the theater and see The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at the WaterTower Theatre in Addison. The show is getting rave reviews and is a great way to bring classic literature to life. You can catch Tom, Huck and Becky through Feb. 15
- Although it doesn’t technically qualify as “theater,” I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Trout Fishing in America Kid’s Show at Poor David’s Pub this weekend. You and the tinies can sing along to such ditties as “My Hair Had a Party Last Night“ and “When I Was a Dinosaur.“ Simply put, the musical duo puts on a terrific show for children that parents will love, too. You and the little kiddles can see the Lennon and McCartney of kid’s music at a special performance just for kids this Saturday at 3 p.m. If you like them, you can come back for the adult show at 8 p.m.
Hope you have fun and (aside from the play) your week is “drama” free!
Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 8-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your ideas for quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at [email protected].