Category Archives: Theater

Elf the Musical on Broadway

My family was delighted to be invited to see Elf the Musical on Broadway. We didn’t know what to expect but it didn’t take long for us to fall in love with the story that unfolded.

elf-the-musical-show-detail

Buddy is the clever story of a young man who, after growing up among the elves on the North Pole, realizes he has different heritage and sets out to find his true parents in New York City. He has many adventures locating his family and adapting to life in the big city, and he eventually helps usher in the Christmas spirit. Terrific costumes and really great music helped show off a truly fun holiday story that was brought to life by a vibrant cast. The casting was spot on and the musical numbers were fantastic. Buddy was perfect, he had us laughing out loud!

This was our four-year-old’s first evening show. He was enthralled from start to finish and now sleeps with a Buddy doll every night. The story’s themes also shined through with some cozy moments for the family to share. The snow fall at the end was magical (see picture below). This is a terrific night out for the family to enjoy this holiday season! Thanks to The Moms and Sierra Mist for an unforgettable night out with the family!

Dinosaur Zoo minutes from NYC!

Go 90 MILLION years back in time and experience the world when it was inhabited by DINOSAURS! I was so thrilled to be invited by MamaDrama to attend the new FIELD STATION: DINOSAURS. Now, our three year old boy is VERY into dinosaurs so we had a feeling he would enjoy it, but we had no idea how much fun this modern day Jurassic Park excursion would be for the whole family!

banner

We set off in our car for NJ on a hot Sunday afternoon. As we approached the field station we knew this was going to be a unique adventure. As our three year old, Caleb, would gladly tell you, how often do you get to romp around in a “dinosaur zoo” in the “wild” with “real live dinosaurs”?!? Even though he expressed to us many times that dinosaurs are “extinct”, he kept saying that these were “real live dinosaurs” and no wonder – these life size robotic reincarnations of dinosaurs are so lifelike – watch a video here. It is so fun walking around the park exploring each dinosaur and learning about who they were and how they lived. Our son loved being a “paleontologist” and not only enjoyed his time there but learned so much. We especially enjoyed the “T-Rex Feeding Frenzy” where you watch a dinosaur feeding (they eat lots of grass and lots of herbs) and a little show as well as the Fossil Excavation. It was VERY hot on the day that we went so I recommend bringing along plenty of sunscreen. Also, there is a lovely picnic area where you can rest in the shade and have some lunch. There are a few food options there but you can also bring your own! As you walk along the path visiting the dinosaurs there are several stations along the way where you can stop. There was a fun Lego station with individual logo tables which was a big hit for us.

Our nine month old son enjoyed it almost as much as the three year old! He was fascinated by the dinosaurs and especially loved to hear them roar. He also really loved the show. I would say the only tough part was getting through the gift shop on the way out. The boys wanted to take everything home!

FIELD STATION: DINOSAURS is a great half day adventure for the family as it can be covered in a couple of hours. It was a thrilling day out with the family and I highly recommend it (especially if you and/or your kids are dinosaur lovers)! Check out some pics from our day out!

A Godspell For The 21st Century

Welcome to 21st century Godspell, filled with audience participation, references to Charlie Sheen, Steve Jobs, Lindsay Lohan and Donald Trump, and wine served on stage during intermission. Set in the Circle in the Square Theatre, an intimate theatre in the round, this modern day production of Stephen Schwartz’s classic musical, veers from the original.

godspell2

While the story itself remains the same, many of the songs and much of the dialogue have been modernized. The actors take the stage with cell phones in hand, break into rap and beat box, pull audience members on stage to play charades and pictionary, refer to current events and pop culture, and even do the electric slide while singing “Day By Day”. At one point, a character says, “It’s your father. He wants you to add him on Facebook.”

There are no traditional sets. The story is told on a stage that is mostly bare, a trap door to a pool of water beneath, a ladder, and some other sparse props. Four guitarists are placed around the stage in the midst of the audience, a drum set is placed in the back row, and a piano is built into the stage. The focus here is on the energetic and talented cast. In addition to being strong singers, the nontraditional cast engages in some innovative maneuvers, at one point creating a person out of pieces of newspaper and at another ripping paper to simulate the sound of tap shoes. The direction by first time Broadway director Daniel Goldstein is sharp, witty, and youthful.

This is indeed a refreshing twist on the show we all know and love. Treat yourself to a fun night out. You know you deserve it.

Queen of the Mist – A tour de force… in a GYM…

The other night, I attended a show… IN A GYM. This was not one of my kids’ shows, but rather an exquisite bare bones production of a new Michael John LaChiusa musical that whisks you away to another world. Queen of the Mists is the true story of Anne Edson Taylor who, in 1901, attempts to jump down Niagra Falls in a barrel. Tony Award nominee, Mary Testa, literally leaves you speechless as Anne Edson Taylor. In her mind blowing tour de force, she is perfection in this role. As Anne says, “I am a phenomenon.” And she is. Mary Testa is supported by a larger than life cast and a brilliant vehicle of dense music, lyrics and direction.

The audience becomes completely invested in Queen of the Mist from two sets of bleachers opposite each other, just feet away from the action. There is a small orchestra down one end behind a screen, and the set consists of little more than an old piano on wheels, a bath tub, and pieces of wood on wheels (which they use to “row down the river”). The strong ensemble cast of Broadway vets each convincingly transform into multiple roles throughout the show. The brilliant music by Michael John LaChiusa, of The Wild Party Fame, is rich and sophisticated. A real treat after so many empty rock musicals of late. And the direction, by Jack Cummings III, ties it all together seamlessly.

Thank you MamaDrama for inviting me and thank you Transport Group for commissioning this brilliant piece. I might just have to see it again.

Treat yourself to date night in the gym. You will laugh and cry and are guaranteed to talk about something other than the kids the whole way home.