Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Share the Love: Cinderella {The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences}

I married a Renaissance man.

Not only does my talented husband hunt all types of game, play tennis with gusto and fix our cars/house/computers, but he's also an inspired chef, talented babywearer, writer of poetry and thespian. As his wife, I very much enjoy his vast array of skills and talents.

So, naturally, I want to inspire the well-rounded growth of our little men for their good {and for the sake of our future daughters in law!}.

Enter an invitation to see Cinderella at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences.

As my boys, ages 3 and 5, light wielded their light sabers in the living room, I typed an emphatic acceptance email saying we'd very much like to attend the show; John and I have attended several performances for the adult crowd in the past, but Cinderella was to be our first experience with the young audiences theater and a theatrical production with the boys in general.

Overall, we enjoyed our morning watching the bright, beautiful production.

There's not a bad seat in the house at The Marriott Theatre, as the stage in planted in the center of all the seats. We easily navigated the theater; with the help of friendly ushers found our seats and got comfortable before the show began.

From the first moment the show began with cheery music bursting forth from the vibrantly costumed cast, my 3-year-old son, E, was mesmerized by the song and dance. I peeked over to catch a glimpse of my 5-year-old son's face, and he was also intently watching the production.

Aside from the talented cast, one of the first things I noticed was the carefully crafted props and scenery; everything looked very lovely and elegant -- perfect for the Cinderella fairy tale.

Consistent giggling erupted from the audience and my boys during a scene where the king, clad in long underwear and unable to button his pants, and queen were discussing the ball they were going host for their son, the Prince Christopher, to find true love.

Both boys really enjoyed the show the first half of the hour-long production.

My youngest became antsy when the story line turned from lively song and dance to a more romance-based, elegant storyline, detailing the prince and Cinderella's love affair; I had an inkling that the story line could go this way seeing as I knew full well that Cinderella is a fairy tale with a love story interwoven. But the love story element remained center stage for several scenes -- the bulk of the last part of the production and even my oldest who is a sucker for a good love story {Anniken and Padme Amidala in Star Wars, anyone?} found it drawn out.

I enjoy a good love story, too, but as a mother attending a young audience production with little people in tow, I would have preferred less romance-driven scenes as those parts seemed to actually slow the show's momentum.

That said, the adults very much enjoyed the other continuous theme of impossible dreams becoming possible if one believes in the dream.

We also were tickled by a small break in the show toward the end when one of the characters began asking audience members to try on Cinderella's glass slipper. The boys thought that was hysterical, and we loved the character's banter with audience members.

All in all, our first theater experience with the boys was enjoyable and easy and we're looking forward to the upcoming performances at The Marriott Theatre as we try to instill a love of the creative in our little guys.
Gifting Cinderella tickets for a holiday present and then seeing the show during school break would likely be a lovely and enjoyable way to spend a morning with your favorite small people, especially if those little ones are smitten with the story already.

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella runs through December 31, 2012. Tickets are available for purchase by calling the box office at (847) 634 - 0200.

I received four tickets to Cinderella so that I could review the production for my blog. As always, all opinions are my own. I was not compensated in any other way for this review.  Photos are courtesy of Brett Beiner and The Marriott Theatre

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