Camps and Classes, Holiday, Theater

Mary Poppins at North West Children’s Theater

This weekend we had the pleasure of meeting some friends at Northwest Children’s Theater for their holiday show- Mary Poppins! The day was fantastic for many reasons.

Chicken participated in their Girl Scouts workshop before the show. It was such a fun experience for her! There were four teachers, some of whom she recognized from other shows we have gone to. I mean, she got to hang out with Donkey from Shrek the Musical! That alone made her day. They played acting games, saw backstage, and explored the costume area. They even learned one of the songs and a bit of the choreography. She had so many things to share with us when it was over.

While she did that, Nugget and I headed to Starbucks to meet some special people in our lives and play Uno. A win for all! Well, me. I crushed him. No mercy, mamas! Then it was time to wander back over to the theater.

The look on his face when he saw his little buddy and the hug they gave each other made my eyes fill with tears. They were so excited to see each other and to see the play!

The opening set was beautiful. Light was used to portray smoke rising from chimneys, which fascinated both boys. All of the sets were beautiful and changed frequently. The kid actors were adorable and Mary Poppins herself was spot on. All of classic songs are there, along with some not found in the movie. Mary Poppins did her flying with an umbrella thing, which was a huge highlight for all the kids. Choreography seemed like it was in slow motion, but the kids seemed to like it because it made it easier for them to mimic later. Actors frequently used the aisle, and Nugget did not ask even once if they were there to eat him.

As we left the show, our little 5-year-old buddy said “that was awesome!” as Nugget proudly sached down the aisle singing Let’s Go Fly a Kite. The girls were a little deeper in their thoughts and had lots of good things to say.

As always, the kids had fun getting their programs signed and their pictures taken. As usual, Nugget refused to go near any of the girls. He is so weird.

Once we got home, they played the soundtrack on our Alexa and Nugget even put on a penguin costume to act out the penguin scene from the movie (the song is in the play but is sadly penguin free).

So….

What it is: a fun family holiday show, full of music and beautiful sets, engaging, perfectly time for those dying to see the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns movie (me! me!), a great date afternoon for the family.

What it is not: Short! It ran about 3 hours with the intermission so may not be the best choice for very young children who aren’t used to theater

Would we recommend it? Yes! Completely! It is running through January 6th and tickets, or what is left of them, can be found here:

https://nwcts.org/

Theater

Ella Enchanted (Oregon Children’s Theater)

So this weekend was Ella Enchanted at OCT.  Nugget was in a cranky mood and said he in no way wanted to go watch a show about princesses.  I told him this was an un-princess story and to get his little tushy in the car (and be nice about it).  With a frown on his face, he got in the car and buckled up.  He even found a pair of headphones in the car and put them on so he wouldn’t have to be tortured with all the princessness.  I ignored him and acted as if everything was fine.  So it was one of those mornings.  Yay.

Ella Enchanted is the story of a princess who is given the gift/curse of obedience.  She has to do anything anyone tells her to, which has some obvious down sides.  Ella is a likeable young girl who strives to find her independence. She has a an endearing mother, a wicked step family, and a clueless step father who make her plight all the more difficult.  All the trappings of a classic fairy tale.

We got there and found our seats to be in the first balcony.  We had never had seats there before and they were pretty good!  Nugget kept on his cranky pants- and the headphones.  But he did subtly lift them up during the good parts and had a list of things he liked once the play was over.

Chicken did a lot of giggling and smiling.  The evil step sisters were a hit, and she loved the concept of the play.  She was able to draw parallels between Ella and other well known fairy tales.  She was even pleased to find the word “obey” on a vocabulary test at school a few days later!  Who says theater isn’t educational?

Overall, the talent was fantastic and the staging was beautiful.  There were a few parts that could have been cut out and I don’t think any of us would have missed them.  But even those parts were pleasant enough.

What it is: sweet, funny, with a positive female lead, and un-princess fairy tale, well produced,  and enjoyable.

What it is not: super fast paced, Nugget’s favorite

Would we recommend it:  Chicken and I would, Nugget not so much