I thought that it would be good to discuss why Tweens at Broadway Shows are a good thing. I’m one of those parents who was raised a little differently than most of the people in my age group.
My parents were firm believers that we should be able to go as a family to any place. That meant that we went to dive restaurants just as frequently as high class 4 star restaurants. We also went to plays and museums just as often as we went camping and boating. The thing is my parents always raised us to be kids that could adapt to our surroundings and behave appropriately. I can remember going to several dinner plays at Toby’s Dinner Theater. My favorite memory of a play was going to a Broadway play at Ford’s Theater. I mean we sat in the same theater that so much history was created in.
Working the last few months with National Theater in DC has been one of my favorite companies. It has meant seeing some great shows including Waitress. But I was over the moon excited to hear that they were going to be offering Beautiful The Carole King Musical.
This was the music of my youth and quite honestly I still listen to it on a regular basis. I listen to it so much that Rachael knows most of the words to the Tapestry album. What I didn’t know was the history behind the album. I was given two tickets to Beautiful The Carole King Musical at National Theater in order to review the play. All opinions are my own. The play is suggested for ages 10+ and they are very honest in saying that younger children may not be interested unless they know the musical era of the 60s and 70s. Rachael is 10. She’s a music lover and a drama lover. She was in the school play last year and can’t wait to audition for this year’s play. The drama bug has even bit Charlie and he is working backstage on his school’s play.
Good Aspects of Tweens at Broadway Shows
- The biggest thing is time together. I picked Rachael up at school at dismissal time, we grabbed her favorite dinner and headed into town. We chose to go on the metro because it was easy to get to the National Theater with stops just a few blocks away. We held hands as we crossed streets, grabbed a quick cup of cocoa to warm our hands and walked through the Christmas Market on our way to the theater. These are memories that will last us forever. We will be able to go back and think about that time we walked all over DC in our best clothes.
- Proper behavior. I think its important for kids to learn from an early age what is proper and improper behavior. I’m not saying kids shouldn’t have times to just be kids and let loose but they do know when it its appropriate. Rachael sat through the entire play and behaved the entire time. She had one moment where she started singing with the play but hey so was I!
- Learning about cultures. Especially with plays like Beautiful The Carole King Musical, kids are able to go to a different time and place and learn what it was like. A play puts in you in the action. This was exactly what happened last night. As the story goes on we see Carole King going from a 16 year old with dreams to a mother and songstress in 1971. Beautiful The Carole King Musical also gives you a look into life as a song writer/composer/singer. It gave Rachael a different perspective on how difficult it is to have a job in show business and how you have to work really hard to be successful.
Not So Good Aspects of Tweens at Broadway Shows
- Content. Honestly the only negative I can see is content that may be questionable for a tween. There is one scene in Beautiful The Carole King Musical that was borderline for Rachael. It was over just as fast as it started which was great and it didn’t really lead to any questions. When I saw Waitress, I had originally asked about taking Rachael with me and was told that it would not be age appropriate and it wasn’t. So before you chose a play to take your tween to, look into the content and make sure you are comfortable with it for your child. Stomp is coming to National Theater in a few months and that would be great for Tweens.
Beautiful The Carole King Musical Review
So you may ask what we thought of the play itself? Well I loved it. It gave me knowledge that I didn’t know. Like I said, I grew up listening to Carole King music so it was a surprise to me to learn how many songs that were composed or written by her that others had sung. I, of course, knew that she was a prolific songstress but I didn’t know the hits that she was a part of or the singers/groups that used so many of her songs. This is a true telling of Carole King’s life from 16 to approximately 29.
I love that it showed how much of a real woman Ms. King is and also how strong she was. As for the acting, I felt it was superb. Sarah Bockel plays Carole King and she really makes you feel as though you were hearing directly from Ms. King. She seemed to enjoy every single second of her singing. While by the end of the play you almost want to hate Dylan S. Wallach, you know that is a good script that has been played well by a great actor. Mr. Wallach plays Gerry Goffin and does it well. When he comes out towards the end of the play, Rachael got kinda mad and was glaring.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical plays at National Theater from now until December 30th. Tickets range from $54 to $199. Plus this is a perfect play to introduce your kids to theater and why Tweens at Broadway Plays is a great culture experience.