Rock, paper, scissors, shoot! Rock, paper, scissors, shoot! The classic game that has solved many a childhood problem, and perhaps some adulthood ones too, has become a musical!
Our trip to the theater this weekend was extra fun because we brought along one of Nugget’s friends from Kindergarten. It was the second time this little had been to the theater (the first being a field trip earlier this school year), and it was fun to see the magic fresh through his eyes.
Both boys had been on a daily countdown for their theater date for a couple of weeks. At home, we read the book again to get ready. We ate dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets. We wondered how the battles would go. We were ready! So, it turns out, was our little friend. When his mom sent a picture that morning of our friend sitting on a chair staring out the window waiting for us to arrive, we kicked into high gear and got there early so we could all go for hot chocolate.
So into the car we all piled, with Chicken taking on the role of caregiver and theater expert for both boys. She explained to our friend how it all works, asked if he would like to participate in the pre-show activities, and wondered if he would like to get his program signed after the show. Chicken and Nugget were both thrilled when he said yes to all of the above.
Getting there so early meant we got a prime parking spot. Yay! We walked around the corner to the closest Starbucks and chit chatted as we enjoyed our drinks. Then we made sure not to step on any lines on our way back to the theater- wouldn’t want to get electrocuted so close to show time!
The preshow activity for this play was a coloring and writing activity. There were coloring sheets and fresh crayons (fresh crayons are a big deal in kid land) for each Rock, Paper, and Scissors. There was also writing prompt paper kids could use to create their own stories. All of the kiddos did a great job coloring and we smartly carried our papers into the theater with us. Once seated, they of course had play the Rock, Paper, Scissors game, complete with a referee for any questionable calls. When the lights went down, the kids were so ready!
The play has a set up reminiscent of a wrestling match. There is a narrator who introduces our heros- and frequently gets interrupted by Rock. The narrator provides us with background information and builds the excitement for the various battles in a way that reminded me of a circus ringleader- in a good way. The audience was encouraged to cheer for the characters and those in the front row got running high fives from some of the cast. The boys decided to wave their papers for their favorite characters, just like waving a fan sign at a sporting event. We were in the back row of the orchestra, so it was a great way for them to get engaged without blocking anyone else’s view.
Each main character has a battle or two with opponents from their realm, only to find themselves insufficiently challenged. At the end, they all battle each other and find they win some and lose some, and that is okay! It’s definitely a play with a good message.
The songs were long and a bit repetitive and the set was not at the same level of amazingness I have come to appreciate at Oregon Children’s Theater. But I did love the incorporation of a variety of styles of music. Each character had a style associated with them. Rock (guess who that was for), jazzy/bluesy music for Paper, and a bit of salsa flair for Scissors. The boys were bopping along to the rock and jazz, while Chicken was swaying in her seat to the salsa. Scissors also incorporated a bit of Spanish, and all of the kids I had with me speak Spanish to varying degrees. The actor playing the narrator was fun and fantastic. Although the peach was only on stage for a few minutes, he was hilarious and full of sass- definitely one of our favorite characters.
What it it: Kid friendly, funny, including of a variety of music, engaging of the audience, based on a fun children’s book and true to that story, nonviolent despite the concept of the battles
What it is not: the best set we’ve seen at this theater
Do we recommend it: Yes! Especially with hot chocolate and extra especially if your child is a fan of the book