Category - Stage

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Family Fun Idea: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!
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Family Fun Idea: Christmas Sing Along at Star of Wonder Concert
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Top Ten Twin Cities’ 2016 Christmas Experiences
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STOMP! at The Ordway
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FFTC Family Guide to MEA Weekend
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Children’s Literature on Stage: ‘Elephant and Piggie’s We’re In A Play’ at Children’s Theatre Company
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Family Fun Idea: ‘Paint Your Wagon’ at The Ordway
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Family Fun Idea — Flint Hills International Children’s Festival
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Zoo-Wee-Mama! The World Premiere of ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Musical’ is Sensational!
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Whimsical Worlds: Open Eye Figure Theatre and Steppingstone Theatre Invite You to Experience

Family Fun Idea: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at SteppingStone Theatre is one of those Christmas items that is on my checklist every year. Unfortunately, it tends to get pushed aside for other things because I know I can always catch it next year. Not this year!

Best Christmas pageant ever!

SteppingStone has announced that after this year, this beloved classic is getting sent to the vault. We don’t know when we’ll see it again. If, like me, it’s been on your checklist, this is the year to act. If you don’t know about, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, let me give you a quick history.

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Family Fun Idea: Christmas Sing Along at Star of Wonder Concert

Star of Wonder is a Christmas concert for the whole family. 45 minutes of delightful carols and dancing with the VocalEssence Choir.

No manners needed! Read More

Top Ten Twin Cities’ 2016 Christmas Experiences

ChristmastimeintheCities

We wanted to give you a heads up to some of the most exciting Christmas experiences happening this year.  We’ll soon have an all-encompassing list for your family, but here are our Top Ten that you won’t want to miss – get them on your calendar! Read More

STOMP! at The Ordway

My husband and I are having a date night on Tuesday, October 18 at the Ordway to see STOMP!  But it doesn’t need to be a Date Night.  This is definitely a show you can bring the WHOLE family!

Find out how to save 30% on tickets for your family    Read More

FFTC Family Guide to MEA Weekend

No School MEA Weekend

 

 

 

MEA Weekend isn’t that far away, so if you like to plan ahead Family Fun Twin Cities has compiled a list for you to use as a starting point for this fabulous, fall four-day weekend.  If you plan more spur of the moment like me, these options will be on our October Family Events & Activities Guide for quick access. Read More

Children’s Literature on Stage: ‘Elephant and Piggie’s We’re In A Play’ at Children’s Theatre Company

image courtesy Dan Norman

 

My most beloved children’s literature characters are on stage for the next month.

Elephant and Piggie.

Kennedy Center’s Theater for Young Audiences on Tour  has brought them here in a partnership with Children’s Theatre Company.

 Whether you have a kiddo who loves books or one who is a reluctant reader, you will want to check this theatrical experience out!

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Family Fun Idea: ‘Paint Your Wagon’ at The Ordway

Paint Your Wagon

photo by Rich Ryan

This past week, I had the privilege of chatting with our beloved local Ann Michels.  Not sure who I’m talking about?  That’s okay.  We are busy parents and are lucky to be able to watch a show without falling asleep halfway through it.

Ann Michels is a talented local actress who has performed in many different roles around the Twin Cities including The Guthrie Theatre, Children’s Theatre Company, Theater Latte Da and many others. Read More

Family Fun Idea — Flint Hills International Children’s Festival

children's festivalOne of my absolute favorite activities to do with my kids in June is the Flint Hills International Children’s Festival.  This year the city of St. Paul is hopping with kids and culture during the week of May 31 as they celebrate their 16th year!

During the week, school kids come to St. Paul to watch performances from around the world, appreciate in the Art Walk, and participate in global art workshops.

My favorite part of the International Children’s Festival is the free Family Weekend.  This year, mark your calendars for June 4-5, 2016.

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Zoo-Wee-Mama! The World Premiere of ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Musical’ is Sensational!

“Hold EVERYTHING! It is NOT a diary! I specifically told my mom not to get me a diary.

diary of a wimpy kid

 

 


DIary of a Wimpy Kid

photo credit Dan Norman

Diary of a Wimpy Kid the musical is the story of Greg Heffley and his buddy Rowley Jefferson as they navigate through middle school.  A middle school experience just like yours and mine.

Only instead of the gut-wrenching, emotional heartache of middle school, you experience gasping-for-breath belly laughs.

Greg is trying to navigate through the murky waters of school while being a middle child.  He has a brother in high school (Rodrick who incidentally has a band, Loded Diper) and a “baby” brother who has his own embarrassing nickname for Greg.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

photo credit Dan Norman

He learns pretty quickly that he wants to be a cool kid in school or at least rise in his ranking in the eyes of his peers.  So he sets out to make a name for himself.

Somehow.

And his faithful friend, Rowley, cheers him on all the way.  Because Rowley’s main objective?  To be Greg’s best friend.

Therein lies the rub.  “I know you will do the right thing,” Greg’s mom tells him.


What Makes Diary of a Wimpy Kid Amazing

Diary of a Wimpy Kid the musical is a STRONG theatrical experience.  (I’m not the only one who thinks so.  Check out Simplicity in the Suburbs author Samara’s Review here)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Children's Theatre Co

Photo credit Dan Norman

Rachel Rockwell, the director, casted the characters perfectly.  Here are my four favorite. (I would add Rodrick played by Brandon Brooks, but that somehow seems disloyal to Greg)

  • Greg, played by Ricky Falbo from Chicago, is the perfect straight man. His exagerrated emotional expressions, let alone his oratory, communicate the entire flavor of the show.  Throughout the whole show, the entire audience is cheering for him.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid

    photo credit Dan Norman

    Rowley, played by David Rosenthal, could not be a better funny man.  His supreme naivety and dorky innocence makes every mom want to sit down and  explain the world to him.  And the next moment you are laughing so hard at his dancing and singing, your face hurts.

  • Charig is played by Om Angarkar.  OH, MY WORD!  He is hysterical.  He had both my 3rd-grader and me rolling on the floor. Greg’s interactions with Charig and Charig’s reactions were so delightfully written, I felt I was back in middle school.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid

    Photo credit Dan Norman

    Fregley is played by Soren Thayne Miller and honestly I don’t know where they found this guy.  Fregley is the gross kid no one wants to sit by, walk past or even look at.  He adores Greg, and he let’s everyone know it.

Simplistic sets taken straight from the books focus your attention on the characters, and basic props punctuate the story.  I am sure the sets are not simple to manuever especially with 54 scene changes. From home to school to Rowley’s house to school to his own bedroom to the street to neighbors’ front doors to school, etc.  It takes perfect precision, timing, and organization to be able to keep the moving parts from distracting from the story.  So three cheers for the Run Crew backstage.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Chidlren's Theatre Co

Photo credit Dan Norman

Diary of a Wimpy Kid the musical would be nothing if not for strong writing and music.  Much of the story is in song peppered with narration by Greg and some dialogue throughout. Many genres (written by Alan Schmuckler and Michael Mahler) are represented including Rap, Pop, Heavy Metal, Gospel, and of course Broadway.  With songs like “Stuck in the Middle” and “I’ve Got an Animal Heart,” “Joshie Says” and many more, you will be humming all the way home.


Who Should See Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical

This show is perfect for kids of any age who love the book.  It’s also perfect for middle schoolers and high schoolers.  It’s fun for everyone.

diary of a wimpy kidI brought my 3rd grader who has read the books.  I even splurged and bought her a new one just because it seemed like the right thing to do.  

As she sat in the lobby reading her new book, an adorable young man (we soon learned he was a second grader) from New Jersey sat down next her and showed her his book asking who her favorite diary of a wimpy kidcharacter is.  They exchanged names and we learned that my daughter shares her name with his sister.  They were fast friends.  

After chatting with his dad about the theatre and Minneapolis, we were soon ready to find our seats. We were seated in the second row.  Dead center.

diary of a wimpy kid“Mom.  We couldn’t have done anything better.  It blew my mind.” She also stated that she hadn’t understood all the jokes, but it didn’t matter at all.

When I suggested that I should have brought her older sister, she shrieked, “NO!  I needed to come to this. I’m the one who read the books.”  

We walked to our car and smiled all the way home.



Free Tickets DisclosureDiary of a Wimpy KidFamily Fun Twin Cities received tickets to review the show, but all opinions are our own.

 

Whimsical Worlds: Open Eye Figure Theatre and Steppingstone Theatre Invite You to Experience

Whimsical Worlds is a new show.  No, it’s a new production.  That’s not right either.  It’s a new experience that you won’t want to miss. Open Eye Figure Theatre and Steppingstone Theatre have partnered together to bring you a completely enchanting encounter. 
Here is Michelle Pett,  the Interim Executive Director at SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development to tell us more about this unique event.

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