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.
Vitaly is a Russian-born Israeli who now lives in Canada (easier immigration rules than the US, he told me after the show).
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).
We posted about visiting Gulliver’s Gate with kids during previews, when the features weren’t fully functional. My teen son saw my photos and really really wanted to go himself, so we made a visit in early November. Gulliver’s Gate holiday figures were on display, though they were just wrapping up its Halloween theme, where they put more than 40 Halloween characters in the regular scenes.
The new Gulliver’s Gate opened in May, in Times Square. This permanent exhibit is a miniature world with more than 100,000 tiny people. It’s also interactive, with technology features that will make your jaw drop. I spent a good two hours in there and didn’t want to leave. Should you go to Gulliver’s Gate with kids? Here’s what you’ll see.
I viewed it during previews, a few days before the official opening. At that time, not all the technology features were fully functional, but most were and I was thoroughly impressed and want to return. My son saw the photos and is begging me to go. Continue reading “Review: Gulliver’s Gate With Kids”
Waitress the musical was not high on my list to see in terms of Broadway shows. But I went for my annual writer’s group show night during a conference, and that was the show selected. My goal was not only to hopefully enjoy the show but answer this question for the blog: is Waitress appropriate for kids? I did no reading about the show beforehand, though I knew Sara Bareilles was playing the lead and that she had written the lyrics. I knew it had something to do with pie. That’s it.
That pie smell wafted by the second we walked into the show. What a cute set-up. It smelled good, and we passed by a dessert stand. Inside the theater, the women selling snacks and drinks were wearing diner uniforms. The screen looked like a lattice cherry pie. It had the possibility of being too cutesy. But it wasn’t. Continue reading “Waitress Broadway Review: Is Waitress Appropriate for Kids?”
My daughter and I loved Pitch Perfect, so when I heard about In Transit, Broadway’s first a capella musical, I wanted to go. And naturally, I took her with me. The crew bringing you In Transit has some serious cred. The four writers in different combinations brought us Pitch Perfect and Frozen, and have a lot of a capella experience in other venues.
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly Broadway show, School of Rock should be on your list.
The plot: Failing rock guitar player and overall sloth needs money to pay the rent, so he poses as his teacher roommate when offered a substitute teaching job at an elite school. He can’t teach, of course, so he starts a class band to compete in the rock competition and hopefully win enough money so he can pay his rent. The kids get into it and chaos ensues.
The pros: The kids are adorable and talented. Lots of kids (I think 13), so this is a great show for kids! The kids play their own music and of course sing as well. The cast is diverse (different ethnicities, gay couple etc.). The show is lively and the music good. The set is great too.
The cons: You’re going to have to suspend your disbelief a lot in this show. First, the main character Dewey moves very quickly to start the rock band in the classroom. Probably the first day or two. Most of the characters are charicatures and stereotypes. Against all odds, the kids are able to sneak out of the classroom to get to the competition and even though they don’t win (spoiler alert!) the crowd goes so crazy the judges change their mind. Parents discover new things to love about their kids, everyone (except the losing rock band) is happy. Continue reading “Review: School of Rock on Broadway”
I wasn’t sure what to expect for Oh, Hello on Broadway, given that I didn’t know much about the show (we had relatives in town for Thanksgiving, and they chose it). And if you’re wondering, is Oh, Hello on Broadway appropriate for kids, my answer is below. My one-liner about the show: it was a hilarious (partly stand-up) routine with two comedians who seemed to be having a great time on stage, right along with us.
I’ve been to a lot of Broadway theaters, but the Gershwin Theater is really made for audiences. Some theaters don’t allow you in before the show, resulting in the long lines you see when walking down the streets around Times Square. Patrons stand out in line, resulting in a rush for the restrooms, rush to get in the door, and concerns about being late even though they are already holding their tickets. So I was thrilled that not only were we allowed in early, but that there was plenty of space and things to do and see before the show (and no line at Will Call 30 minutes before).
If you’re not familiar with the premise of An Act of God, the show is basically a monologue with God coming to you through the physical body of an actor (in this case Sean Hayes). God riffs on a whole lot of things, including misconceptions about God and the 10 Commandments. And then he introduces a new set of 10 Commandments because he’s pretty sick of the old ones and never intended those to be his greatest hits.