March 31, 2014

Review: Leo Lionni’s Frederick At The Rose

Oh the joy in my kids' eyes.

Oh the joy in my kids’ eyes.

On Saturday, Mr. Wonderful, the kids and I went to The Rose to see the musical “Leo Lionni’s Frederick.” We went to the 5 p.m. show, which in my book, is a great time to start a kid’s show: Not over nap time and not so late that it will mess with bedtimes.

What to expect

This is called a dramatic musical, but the physical comedy was a big hit with the crowd, especially when Baby (played by Stephanie Jacobson) tried moving an ear of corn. Comedy gold for my 4-year-old.

The music is pretty good and the cast of five were all great singers.

The set is colorful and over-sized, and I could tell as soon as we walked in the both kids were captivated by it. They had that “whoa” look.

In the lobby, you’ll find a colorful display that you are welcome to add to.

Before or after the show, stop by this display in the lobby and have your kids think about the things they'd gather for the winter. Or go during the  show, like i did with my antsy little 2-year-old.

Before or after the show, stop by this display in the lobby and have your kids think about the things they’d gather for the winter. Or go during the show, like i did with my antsy little 2-year-old.

It’s a good conversation starter for your family.

By the way, like all shows at The Rose, after all performances, there is a Q&A from the stage and autograph signing on the upper floor of the theater. My kids are really starting to like the autographs (though they still won’t talk to the actors, which is kind of awkward).

Cast members of "Leo Lionni's Frederick" ham it up for the kids' picture.

Cast members of “Leo Lionni’s Frederick” ham it up for the kids’ picture.

Timing a potty break

The show isn’t quite an hour long so there is no intermission. That said, the pace of the production allows for a quick jaunt to the bathroom. You’re not going to miss a plot twist.

Is it kid-friendly?

It’s best for the preschool crowd to early-grade school, ages 3-8. Mooch, who’s 2 ½ now, made it to about the 40-minute mark before she needed to get up and cruise the lobby. Anyone older than 9 may get bored.

Will an adult like it?

Honestly, I wouldn’t go to this on my own. It’s good but I’m not the target audience. That said, I loved watching my son react to what was going on on stage. He laughed and he repeated lines he thought were funny; as a parent, that’s starting to be entertainment for me.

What was it about again?

From left, Walter Shatley, Stephanie Jacobson, Wai Yim and Allana Reeves in "Leo Lionni's Frederick" at The Rose.

From left, Walter Shatley, Stephanie Jacobson, Wai Yim and Allana Reeves in “Leo Lionni’s Frederick” at The Rose.

It’s about a family of mice preparing for Winter. Frederick is not like the other field mice in his family. While they spend their summer preparing, he seems to dream away his days. As the cold winter rages on and the stores of food dwindle, it is Frederick’s collection of stories and poetry that brings light to the dark days. In the end, the other mice realize that Frederick’s work has a unique value all its own.

Here's Frederick.

Here’s Frederick.

The show does a fine job showing the value of things like poetry and art. It was pretty charming and cute without being overly so.

If you go

“Leo Lionni’s Frederick” is staged at The Rose, 2001 Farnam St., through April 13 with performances on Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 5 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $18 general admission; call (402) 345-4849 or purchase online at www.rosetheater.org. Discount ticket vouchers are available at all area Hy-Vee stores for $14 each. Reservations are required.

Disclosure: The Rose provided tickets for my review. I was not compensated in any other way for the review. All opinions expressed here are mine.

Comments

  1. We should go there! My niece used to take classes there. I just signed my boys up for classes at Community Playhouse. They loved it last year. The only reason we go there instead of The Rose Theater is because it’s closer.

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