Musicals for kids

by Brie 

I am not a big concert goer. If you ask me if I want to see some live music, I will probably shrug. Whatever. However, if you ask me if I want to see a musical I will stop you in mid sentence and race you to the door. 

I like the spectacle of it all. The costumes. The songs tied into a story. The dancing. I think this is why I have been so interested in taking the girl to see kid friendly musicals when they come through town. 

The first one my now 4-year-old saw was a Dora show when she was 2. Friends had some extra tickets and after a serious discussion it was decided that the husband would go with her. I was okay with that. I’m not the biggest Dora fan. However the girl was thrilled and kept referring to the “Dora party” she was going to. 

The husband enjoyed the show just as much as the girl did. One highlight for him was the intense screaming that started as soon as Dora appeared, and then again for Boots. He said the production value was high and the  performers all did a great job. He was particularly impressed with Boots, speculating that the actor must have been a gymnast to be able to do all the  hunched up monkey swinging moves for minutes at a time.  The girl was was less impressed with the strange-looking orangutan, and freaked out every time it took the stage.   

When the girl was 3 we bought tickets for her to see the Backyardigans show coming through town. I claimed that show before the husband even had a chance to open his mouth. I have a deep love of the Backyardigans. In fact, I have had lengthy conversations with friends about how they could possibly not love the Backyardigans. They sing! They dance! Pablo wears a beanie! 

The girl got into the spirit of it all and dressed up for the show. I thought she looked quite fetching in her red patent shoes and fairy costume. The girl enjoyed the show, although she did sit on my lap when the scary crab (or was it an octopus?) appeared. Unfortunately, the show did not live up to my expectations. I was expecting better production values and costumes. I mean, Pablo even looked fake to me and I was all ready to believe! 

The latest spectacle we went to was Yo Gabba Gabba when it came through town recently. Or Gabba Go Gabba as the girl calls it. I wasn’t that familiar with the television show but I had won tickets on Twitter and thought it would be fun. We went to the show with Lara and her son and just the kids’ excitment and anticipation was worth it. 

Me, the girl who looks terrified but was really quite happy, Kiernan and Lara

It was also a good show. The songs and dancing and energy all kept the crowd happy. The girl even abandoned her seat to run up to the stage. We spent the last few minutes of the concert sitting at the foot of the stage watching the performers. All I could think as I sat there watching her was that in ten years she will probably be trying to mosh where we are now quietly sitting. 

There are a number of kid and family shows planned in Ottawa in the next few months, like the Wiggles, The Wind in the Willows, Trick or Treat to a Wicked Beat,  Toopy and Binoo – Live and the Nutcracker

Have you taken your kids to any musicals or spectacles?  And really, are they always better on ice? 

Brie is the mom of a 4-year-old daughter “the girl” and 2 old son “the boy”. You can read her blog at Capital Mom.



Filed under Events

7 responses to “Musicals for kids

  1. We have only see live and free shows of Treehouse programs at the mall – Toopy and Binoo (twice) and Barney – but we go to Kinderconcerts and the Family Adventures series at the NAC. We like live theatre and puppets, though, and will definitely be at the Rag and Bones series. I took Reid to the Nutcracker last year and she did well, though the second act did stretch her sitting still ability. Centrepointe Theatre often has good performance for kids, like the Nutcracker but a smaller troupe and less expensive. (I have to check that out, thanks for the reminder)

  2. Music and children. The two are synonymous to me.

    That said, the best piece of parenting advice I ever received was a warning not to allow my son to watch/listen to a video/song that I couldn’t listen to over and over and over again. So while I love a child’s response to music, I’m picky about what that music looks and sounds like.

    • Gil

      I look forward to being able to take my daughter to some of these types of shows when she gets a bit older. She’s only 13 months right now, and while some of the music DEFINITELY interests her, the shows and characters themselves do not. She’d rather be playing or doing something with me or Hubby instead of watching TV or videos. TV shows don’t hold any interest for her at all at the moment, so while Toupie et Binou (or Toopy and Binoo; we use both languages at home) are on in the background, she’ll only stop and listen when they’re singing a song! I expect that will change when she’s a bit older Probably by the time she’s 3 or 4, I can take her to a show.

  3. We’re heading to the Wiggles later this month — it will be the third time we’ve seen them, I think. I am really impressed with their shows — despite being in a huge arena, they are very dynamic and interactive. You really feel like you’re a part of things.

    The guys are really enthusiastic about their music and about kids — even after all these years! — and they have an amazing troup of dancers that put on a really impressive show, even for adults.

    My kids aren’t super huge fans of their music – we usually do a Wiggles blitz a few weeks before the show, but other than that, we don’t listen to them much. But their live shows are big fun and really good entertainment for not too much money. I highly recommend them!

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