Introducing children to the beauty of theater can be a little difficult. Shows steered towards children tend to be boring for the parents and shows that are more for the adults are hardly able to entertain the little ones. To find a happy medium is usually difficult. The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley is one of those happy mediums.
My family and I were able to see the show on Saturday (10/25), and we enjoyed every moment of it. The show is based on the popular kid’s book series, Flat Stanley, written by Jeff Brown. It’s about a boy who becomes flat and makes the best of an odd situation. The musical does differ from the book series in how Stanley becomes flat and how he’s cured, but if you aren’t a stickler for continuity (or have never read the books like me) then it really isn’t a big deal.
The show starts with meeting the adorable Lambchop family. Instead of Stanley and his little brother, Arthur, going to bed, they stay up singing about doing great things when a shooting star flies over and Stanley makes a wish to be able to see the world while “doing things no one else has ever seen before.” The next morning, Stanley wakes up to a much flatter self. After talking to the mailman, Mrs. Cortero, Stanley decides to mail himself to visit his friend in California. Once there, he meets a Hollywood producer who sends him to France and Hawaii. After Stanley has his fill of adventures, he decides home in the best place to be.
My mother liked how there were mats along the perimeter of the stage so that the kids could sit close to the performers and even interact with them during the show. The performers, who were all very animated, had wonderful voices and the songs were a lot fun. Whomever the Set Designer(s) is/are needs some recognition because they created a beautiful world with such a limited space. The fact that five people were able to portray 18 different characters during the hour and a half show was the most impressive thing to me. The speed in which they did the costume changes was worthy of Broadway. Once the show was over, the kids had a chance to meet the Lambchop family to take pictures and get autographs.
Since the show is running until November 22nd, my mother and I are already planning on seeing it again with other family members because it was that darn cute! I highly recommend that parents make plans to take their little ones to see this show. It will definitely be a memorable time.
Orlando Shakespeare Theater presents The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 E. Rollins St., Orlando). Tickets are $9 for shows Tuesday through Friday at 10:30am, and $12/$15 for shows on Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and 4pm.
For more information, visit OrlandoShakes.org. Thanks to Orlando Shakespeare Theater for inviting us to this weekend’s opening performance!
[Photos by Ginger Roberts]
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