Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with Kids – What you Need to Know

I’ve wanted to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child since it opened in London. My brother-in-law and his family got lucky with their timing, not only having already planned a trip when it was opening, but getting a great lottery number. They came back with rave reviews (though wouldn’t tell us anything because… #keepthesecrets). While I was excited for the New York premiere, my family had no interest. Yes, we all read the books – the whole series. We saw a few of the movies. And I even read the Cursed Child play when it came out (I was high on the library list, though it was so long ago I forgot the plot details).

Continue reading “Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with Kids – What you Need to Know”

Ink Broadway Review: Is Ink Appropriate for Kids?

It seemed appropriate that when going into New York City for a journalism conference that the Broadway show my fellow journalists and I chose to see was Ink on Broadway. This show, brought over from London’s East End, tells the story of how Rupert Murdoch built the Sun from a failing paper, to a well-read staple. Is Ink appropriate for kids? I’ll fill you in later.

Continue reading “Ink Broadway Review: Is Ink Appropriate for Kids?”

Review: Paintball in New Jersey

This is Mark Kaplan, Debbie’s husband, guest blogger for this post. When Debbie daytripped to Philadelphia for a sorority reunion, it was left unsaid that there was no way the kids or I would be tagging along….for everyone’s sake. “So guys, what do you want to do this Saturday?” I inquired.

“Paintball!” said the boy.

Paintball: guys’ weekend. Copyright Daniel M. Hendricks, creative commons, Flickr.

It was one of those parenting moments – I’m sure you’ve had them too – when your child blows you away with a completely unexpected answer. Fortunately – unlike New Year’s Day 2015 when I was in California with the kids, Debbie was in Asia, I was hung over, and I asked the kids what they wanted for breakfast (bacon!) – this was a pleasant, unexpected answer. Yes, paintball! Why indeed not? None of us had ever done it before, and we were all interested in trying.

Continue reading “Review: Paintball in New Jersey”

Review: Is the Prom Appropriate for Kids?

It seems every weekend, more people I know are posting that they just went to The Prom. This fun musical has some moral messages to share, and it does so with pizzazz. Is the Prom appropriate for kids? Read on.

The plot

Four Broadway actors are getting a little stale and outdated, and decided they need a cause to put themselves back in the limelight. They choose as their cause celebre a prom in Indiana (hello Mike Pence!) that is cancelled instead of allowing a high school girl to bring her girlfriend. The Broadway actors drop everything and conveniently hop on a traveling Broadway show bus to that very town, to convince everyone there that they should have an inclusive prom. Hilarity ensues.

Continue reading “Review: Is the Prom Appropriate for Kids?”

Review: Is Beautiful on Broadway Appropriate for Kids?

My husband likens Beautiful on Broadway to School of Rock for adults. Beautiful is the Carole King story, if that story includes her having one husband and two kids, instead of four husbands and four kids. There’s not enough stage time to feature her 118 pop hits or take her story much beyond that first marriage and her time in New York (and a short stint in the Jersey burbs). But is Beautiful on Broadway appropriate for kids?

Continue reading “Review: Is Beautiful on Broadway Appropriate for Kids?”

Review Sojo Spa in Edgewater

I love Korean spas, and have visited and reviewed traditional Korean spas King Spa and Island Spa in Edison. A new upscale and less traditional Korean spa opened up last year, Sojo Spa in Edgewater. I brought a friend and our teen daughters. Given all the nakedness in the hot tub rooms/locker rooms in traditional Korean spas and for scrubs, we were a bit nervous – naked spa-ing with our kids was no one’s idea of fun. But that worry was for naught. Here’s our review Sojo Spa in Edgewater!

Sojo Spa in Edgewater. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Check-in Continue reading “Review Sojo Spa in Edgewater”

Review of Vitaly off Broadway – is it Vitaly Appropriate for Kids?

Last weekend my teen daughter and I went to do a review of Vitaly off Broadway. I hadn’t heard of the illusionist Vitaly Beckman before, and was intrigued seeing some videos online. He’s been lauded by Penn and Teller, who got their start in New York at the same theater as this show is playing.

Before the show: review of Vitaly off Broadway. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Vitaly is a Russian-born Israeli who now lives in Canada (easier immigration rules than the US, he told me after the show).

The Vitaly an Evening of Wonders show is interactive, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit in the first row to participate. He bounded up and down stairs during the show, going to the top aisles on both sides to get volunteers, in addition to using volunteers down lower. For the last illusion, which uses drivers’ licenses, everyone can pony up and yours might be chosen when he’s on stage. Continue reading “Review of Vitaly off Broadway – is it Vitaly Appropriate for Kids?”

Review: Grammy Museum Experience at the Prudential Center

How many of you are seeing Taylor Swift in concert? Based on the Facebook posts I’m seeing, that would be MANY of you! For Swifties fans, consider a trip to the Grammy Museum Experience at the Prudential Center, sadly not the same location as the concerts, or they’d be swamped before the show. They have a temporary Taylor Swift exhibit through the summer, though there’s more to see here than just Taylor. Here’s our review: Grammy Museum Experience at the Prudential Center.

The Grammy Museum Experience opened in Newark in October 2017. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Continue reading “Review: Grammy Museum Experience at the Prudential Center”

Review: Is Phantom of the Opera Appropriate for Kids?

is phantom of the opera appropriate for kids?

Is Phantom of the Opera appropriate for kids?

It’s a little crazy that this was the first time seeing Phantom of the Opera after living in New Jersey for nine years, and seeing multiple Broadway shows per year. I figured that since it has been on Broadway for 30 years, it would be here for a while longer (we’d get around to seeing it), and other shows are coming and going. Plus, after 30 years, wouldn’t it be dated? But my kids have been asking me to go for a few years, and the stars finally aligned between our schedule and ticket prices (thank you TDF membership).

is phantom of the opera appropriate for kids?
Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Continue reading “Review: Is Phantom of the Opera Appropriate for Kids?”