Last Christmas, my parents gifted us four tickets to go see Peppa Pig Live at our local theater. This was our kids first time to a theater. As we drove downtown, each stop sign we hit reinforced the excitement of our kids as they asked “Is this the Peppa Pig show?”
I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. What I thought would happen is that the kids would go there, watch the show on stage for 14 minutes and then lose interest. I expected lots of really loud children being corralled by overwhelmed parents. I was even more afraid that the kids would take over and we’d end up like the scene of Natural Born Killers when the prisoners riot and put Tommy Lee Jones head on a spike, only with a giant Peppa Pig in the background.
I was delighted when I realized that the production company putting on the show clearly knows how to cater to young children.
When I was a teenager I used to travel around with a puppet troupe, telling stories to kids. There was a rhythm we had down. We would tell story. Then do a wiggle to get the kids moving. Then another story followed by a craft or something to get them moving again. This helped fend off boredom and because well…kids don’t know how to sit still for more then a limited time. Peppa Pig Live used a similar formula. They had a great instinct to get the kids involved and grab their interest immediately. They had the kids yelling in unison st the stage and jumping up and down together.
And then intermission came.
I get it. Kids have to go to the bathroom. Parents have to stretch their legs. The ones who arrive late want a chance to buy an overpriced souvenir. So, we do our bathroom thing where Jude needs to see what the “daddy Bathroom’ looks like and we get back to our seat.
When the show returns there’s a different tone. The stories set, the plot is thick. And out comes a giant talking Potato. Mr. Potato. You want to put a smile on my kids face? Have a giant potato with a cowboy hat walk out onto stage. No kidding. Both kids have ear to ear grins and are more excited than they were on Christmas day (a little admission, I was excited too.)
Cue the music.
Cue the dancing! We weren’t about to stop Jude from flailing wildly as he danced around the aisle. As long as he wasn’t in anyone’s way, we figured he’d be fine.
Now remember, we’re forty minutes into this production. When there’s not over excitable music to dance to, kids are starting to lose interest. Legs are starting to get restless. So what we observe happening is that groups of kids (friends?) have started congregating in the aisles. The production has to do something in order for them to pique their interests.
I hold my breath.
Kids are starting to get restless.
A group of them pulls out a pike-
A SINGING PINEAPPLE COMES OUT ON STAGE.
THE KIDS ARE DANCING LIKE CRAZY!
There is something going on on stage so crazy it seems like a drug fueled Oliver Stone movie. It doesn’t matter though. The kids are eating it up! They’re going crazy with that shit. They’re dancing and having a great time. I feel like whatever sorcery is happening on stage has my attention.
The as soon as it started. It ends.
We walk outside and the sun is just starting to go down. We walk to the car in a daze, unsure how much time had actually passed. Alaina and I didn’t need to wonder if the kids enjoyed it though. Their faces were plastered with smiles the entire time. It’s been almost two months since we left that theater and the kids still talk about it. They want to see more live shows. When they watch Peppa Pig on TV now they say “We saw her.”
What’s the first show (movie,play whatever) that you remember going to? Whats the first show you’ve brought your kids to? Comment below or find me on twitter and facebook.