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Review: Finding Neverland – is Finding Neverland Appropriate for Kids?

I’ll be honest that Finding Neverland on Broadway was initially not a show I wanted to see. Why? It’s about JM Barrie’s journey in writing Peter Pan. And I’m not a fan of Peter Pan. But I wanted to see one of the boys who plays a Davies brother (Alex Dreier) as I’m friends with his parents from our college days. And I went to see Billy Elliot when Alex was cast in the show, but he wasn’t performing that night (the kid actors take turns and you’re never quite sure who will on stage that night). The other reason was that I was doing an annual theater night with my writer friends during a conference. We took a vote as to what show to see, and Finding Neverland was at the top of everyone’s list.

finding neverland log

I’m so glad I went. The 20 or so in our group walked away raving about it. And we were all shocked that Finding Neverland didn’t get a single Tony nomination, because it was fabulous. It did win several audience choice awards from, including favorite new musical, favorite leading actor, favorite onstage pair and favorite new song. Continue reading Review: Finding Neverland – is Finding Neverland Appropriate for Kids?

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Branch Brook Park Cherry Blossoms

We haven’t been to Branch Brook Park since 2011, to see the cherry blossoms. Each year we plan to go and then something gets in the way. We missed the festival (though to be fair, it’s super crowded) but went last weekend – a week after the festival – to catch the just-past peak trees. They were still gorgeous. This park has the largest collection of cherry trees in the country.


Continue reading Branch Brook Park Cherry Blossoms

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Review: Hand to God – is Hand to God Appropriate for Kids?

Hand to God was one f-ed up bizarre play. Yet it was hilarious. This is not a show for children (please, please don’t bring your kids, not even your teens). In fact, I’d say this is not a show for many adults. It’s truly disturbing, and I say that even though I enjoyed it.

In a nutshell, this is a show about mother and son grieving the loss of their husband and dad, trying to get through the process partly by working on a church hand puppet show (“Christketeers”). While doing so, the teen son’s puppet (or is it the teen?) becomes possessed by the devil (or not). And the mom isn’t doing so well either. And herein lies the tension…and the jokes.

hand to god

Jason and Tyrone in Hand to God


The cast of five includes Steven Boyer who plays the grieving teen Jason, and his puppet Tyrone. There were no puppeteering gigs listed in Boyer’s bio. You would never know he wasn’t born doing this. Not only do you forget at many points that there’s only one person playing both roles (even though his mouth moves when the puppet talks), that puppet moved/acted so well that when the puppet came off, I fully expected it to get up and start moving and talking some more. Continue reading Review: Hand to God – is Hand to God Appropriate for Kids?

Review: Something Rotten – appropriate for kids?

You don’t have to be a Broadway junkie or know Shakespeare’s plays by heart to enjoy Something Rotten, but you’ll get more out of it if you do.

Something Rotten on Broadway

Something Rotten on Broadway

Is Something Rotten appropriate for kids? More on that later. First, a little background. This musical comedy is based in the Renaissance, where one of Shakespeare’s playwriting contemporaries is trying to come up a show that will make him famous and well paid. With the help of a “friend” he creates the world’s first musical. Hilarity ensues.

Actually hilarity runs throughout the entire production. Continue reading Review: Something Rotten – appropriate for kids?

7 Things to do with Kids in the Hong Kong International Airport

I recently spent some time in Asia, including 4 hour layovers in the Hong Kong International Airport. While my kids weren’t with me, I looked around to figure out what I would do with my kids if they were. Fortunately, they would not have been bored! Here are my top 7 things to do with kids in the Hong Kong International Airport.

1. Kids Workshop – They had a cute area set up for art programs with the kids. These are limited to weekends (Saturdays/Sundays) and you have to sign up because as you can see, space is limited. The workshops are free. This was in the main concourse – I don’t know which gate.

Kids workshops at the Hong Kong International Airport

2. Kids’ play areas –  Continue reading 7 Things to do with Kids in the Hong Kong International Airport

Big Apple Circus Review – Metamorphosis

We went to the Big Apple Circus Legendarium show two years ago, and had a great time. When I thought about going back this year for Metamorphosis, I wasn’t sure how different it would be. Turns out it’s a completely new show, in the familiar small tent atmosphere. I brought along two teen girls, including a high school sophomore, and two tween boys.  We all loved it – and when I asked them about their favorite parts, each listed something different. I’ve been telling people to go to the show since I got home.

a contortionist

The contortionist got into this little box, and then her helper got in there too. Look for the band above the stage under the French looking Big Apple Circus sign.

What follows are pictures of some of my favorite acts, but there were many more I didn’t include here. And they’re not in order. The Big Apple Circus brings in different acts each year. This year’s show is Metamorphosis, which was not a theme that really carried over through the whole show (well, aside from the ringmaster’s coat). There were a few references, but basically it seemed to me to be just the title. Not an issue. Continue reading Big Apple Circus Review – Metamorphosis

Review: It’s Only a Play – Appropriate for Kids?

My daughter and I continued our Superbowl Sunday tradition – of going to a Broadway show. This year it was It’s Only a Play, and I fretted a little over whether it was going to be appropriate for my 13 year old. My Zumba, instructor who saw it the weekend before (but after I got tickets) shook her head no and said, “language!” Well if that was it, then I was hopefully okay. More on that later.

its only a play

The plot: A group involved with a Broadway play production gather at the producer’s house for an opening night party, awaiting reviews. The group includes the wealthy producer, the playwright, the playwright’s male best friend who turned down the lead role, the female lead, the director, a critic and the hired coat boy. The play is set in the producer’s upstairs bedroom, while the party goes on behind the scenes.

While you don’t have to be a frequent theater goer to enjoy the play, it really helps a lot if Continue reading Review: It’s Only a Play – Appropriate for Kids?

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Passports with Purpose Raised How Much?

Passports with Purpose

Thank you to all who contributed to the Passports with Purpose fundraiser. We raised $26,000, which will help five farming communities in Honduras to farm more sustainably for the next five years. The tools and education provided to them through Sustainable Harvest International will make a major and long-lasting impact on these communities. They’ll plant thousands of trees and help feed hundreds of people in each community through this work.

If you bid on prizes, you should be finding out if you won (you won’t be contacted unless you won) by December 22 at the latest.

Even though you can no longer bid on prizes, you can still donate to SHI through Passpsorts with Purpose. 100% of the donation goes to SHI, as Passports with Purpose is an all-volunteer group of bloggers organizing it.

A big thanks to all the sponsors of PWP, including TBEX and HomeAway, and our Frisco Kids and Jersey Kids prize sponsors, Schoola and Breathometer. A reminder that you can still use Schoola’s 25% off discount code TRYSCHOOLA at checkout, through December 30. And for last minute gifts, Breathometer makes two portable products that connect to your smart phone, for checking your blood alcohol level. It’s fun to use and helpful too.

Red Carpet Screening: All Hail King Julien

Last minute! I have two family packs of tickets to give away to the red carpet screKJN_HERO_KA_1s_w4.0ening of All Hail King Julien, Netflix’s newest original series. I need to pick two families tonight to give them to. If you’re interested, leave me a comment below with the number of people in your family, and let me know how to contact you. If you don’t want to leave your email address in the comment, you can email me at, but please do put the comment down first.

At the screening, you’ll see the first five episodes of All Hail King Julien. Madagascar’s King Julien scored his own series! King Julien will take on the jungle’s craziest adventures in the new comedy series, along with his loyal sidekicks Maurice and Mort plus a whole new cast of colorful animals.

Details about the screening (you need to be on the list to go, so don’t show up unless I tell you to!)

When: Friday, December 19 from 7-9 p.m.

Where: SVA Theater – 333 W. 23rd Street

Liberty Science Center’s New Infinity Climber, Rubik’s Cube and Guitar Exhibit

While I did a more comprehensive review of taking the kids to the Liberty Science Center for a previous post,  I was there recently and wanted to fill you in on some of the changes and new exhibits. The most exciting is the new Infinity Climber, which finished installation a few weeks ago. This “multi-story play space” is suspended 35 feet above the ground. It has 64 petal platforms (they look like lily pads), to climb on, taking you higher and lower. It’s surrounded by a net, which is stiff enough to keep you in, but not so stiff that it hurts.

a infinity climber

The Infinity Climber is the world’s first suspended climbing space of its kind, and can fit 50 adults and children in there at one time. You have to be 42 inches or higher to go in. It’s great for groups to go in together.  Continue reading Liberty Science Center’s New Infinity Climber, Rubik’s Cube and Guitar Exhibit