Sunday, September 23, 2012

Update: Kazoom Children's Theater

Check out this great post from our newest blogger-Laura!  She is giving us an update on one of our old favorites-Kazoom Children's Theater.

I want my daughter to grow up appreciating art, including live entertainment. But most theater shows, even the children's variety, are too scary, too long or just not interactive enough for toddlers. Kazoom Children's Theater, a puppet show with four performances a month near downtown Raleigh, breaks down all these barriers, creating a stage performance even the littlest kids can enjoy.

At $5 per person (including kids 1 and up), the price is right at Kazoom. The schedule - two performances a day, two days a week, two weeks a month - makes it a convenient option as well.  It's held in a comedy theater that would otherwise be idle during the day. Economically, it all works out: the theater stays busy, and families get a reasonably priced, accessible hour of entertainment.

So, what about the show? It's colorful, musical, and interactive - that is, tailor-made for tots. The stars, and the brains behind the entire Kazoom operation, are Ms. Poly and Ms. Ester. With their puppet sidekick, Bartlet, and an array of other furry and feathered puppet friends, they string together songs, jokes, stories and dance moves, keeping the kids' attention and getting smiles from parents as well.

As veteran children's entertainers, Ms. Poly and Ms. Ester know the kids are the real stars. Kazoom is a participatory experience, with kids tapped to "play" the parts from the fairy tale or other story at the heart of the show. The theme for September was teddy bears, including the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. (My daughter stepped in to play a "visiting cousin" bear, as there were no volunteers to play Papa.) Despite the array of huggable, distracting bears on stage, plus the generally wandering minds of the audience, Ms. Poly managed to herd the utterly untrained "actors" through the story like Mother Goose herself. The show ended with applause and my little one's version of a thumbs-up - the baby-sign-language gesture for "More!"

If you go in October, Ms. Poly and Ms. Ester encourage you to wear a Halloween costume (recycled from last year, if you don't have a new one ready yet) to join in the holiday-themed show. You can also bring letters and artwork to put in the mailbox for the puppets to read at the end of the show. Our audience was all newbies, so the mailbox was empty. Next time, we'll come prepared.

Schedule information and more:

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