Awkward title but stay with me.. Why would you click on this? Just kidding, I wanted you too..
I will talk about fictional orphans though.
What the hell were we thinking taking my kids to see Oliver the musical?
- When my husband and I went on a trip to London, thanks to his dad’s credit card, we enjoyed a brilliant production of Oliver that was truly amazing and dynamic.
- Grandma got us free tickets to our local theater!
- Kids liked Annie, why wouldn’t they like Oliver? When we attended the middle school production of Annie, it appeared that they had a good time and the whole orphan theme works for them, let’s continue.
Clearly I totally forgot the whole premise of the movie, and that it wouldn’t work well for 3 kids 8 and under. From “common sense media” (a pretty good resource for seeing what is “age appropriate” with detailed descriptions so you the parent can decide if it makes sense for your kid to see the film.):
“It’s warm and memorable — and won six Oscars, including Best Picture — but some of the scenes depicting street urchins and the poor of London in the mid-1800s might be troublesome for some families. Some of the younger characters are shown smoking pipes, and their “employer,” the notorious Fagin, leader of their gang of pickpockets, has them drink gin. There are also scenes were poor people sing and carouse in a tavern. ”
Common sense media rated Oliver as age 8 for a good age, whereas Annie is age 6.
I also forgot how squirmy a 4yo girl would be, and even though they had booster seats for the chairs, she would take advantage of the slope at the end of the chair and keep sliding off her chair as if her seat was a tiny playground.
Then she was confused of the pretty curtain, and thinking that it wasn’t really a play but a movie.
Then came the whispered questions, which four-year-olds are amazing at coming up with many of them.
Why is there a curtain?
Where are the people?
Is this a movie too?
Is the scene outside?
I said you have to be quiet and save your questions for the end. Well it’s kind of outside, it seems like a courtyard, and I don’t know really.. hm… Be quiet ok? I’ll get you a lollipop later. No this isn’t real life, technically, they are actors, those kids really have parents, I think..
Then the squirming began. I had my daughter on my lap and had to crane my neck to half-enjoy the performance. She’s gotten longer so she couldn’t quite fit comfortably for a nap. I tried my best not to ruin the experience for our neighbors, the heavyset gentleman me earlier displaced from his seat. (Dude, the seat numbers are on the chairs) and the kind mom next to us was pretty understanding who had her daughter who was alot older than mine. She remembered when she took her daughter the first time and gave me that “I’ve been there” look.
I guess their lack of interest was good since they won’t be tempted to “pick a pocket or two” one of the catchy songs.. My daughter did like the food song. My husband with the 2 boys who sat in a different section did not have one positive thing to share with me of the boys enjoying it, as he made the rolling eyes sign to me at the end of the intermission, followed by the let’s get out of here now thumb signal. My 8yo looked like he just lost all his toys in a fire. So we left before it got worse, and someone may start sending us passive aggressive notes. Though I would’ve enjoyed a glass of wine. (a la @theyearofelan news story)
Oh well, the more you know… The boys advised me maybe next time they can see a trailer or something before we waste money on a ticket.
Maybe we should see something more Star Wars-esque next time. Or superheroes, those are really cool.
Until next time,
PS: Is there a play that your kids absolutely loved? Let us know in the comments!