Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – Stages Theatre Review – March 2014
You can’t help but root for this on-stage Alexander the moment he wakes up one morning with gum stuck in his hair. From a rocky start to the day to being taunted at school and finally an after-school trip to the dentist, this poor kid is possibly having the worst day of his life. But instead of taking on the rather glum tone I always thought the book character chose, this on-stage Alexander comes off as earnest, effervescent and eager to please until the end of his unlucky day.
The play closely hugs the popular children’s book with one notable exception. To supplement Alexander’s mishaps are several funny musical numbers sang by the talented young cast. My own 8-year-old son (my “play date” for the afternoon) especially snickered over the “If I Were in Charge of the World” tune about kids wiping out life’s “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days”. Speaking of talented, most of the actors played more than one role in the show. Alexander’s antagonistic brothers, for instance, also play his buddies at school. The youth moved seamlessly into their different roles, keeping a constant stream of chuckles coming from the crowd.
The quick, bright pace of the show coupled with the length (one hour) made it perfect for junior-sized attention spans. I attended with my 8-year-old, but my younger daughters (ages 6 &4) would have both enjoyed and had no trouble sitting through the show without squirming.
Alexander’s misfortunes are greatly entertaining. They might even have your own kids admitting that their own lives are pretty great in comparison.
- Closing Weekend of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day