Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Clifford, The Big Red Dog - Playhouse Square

Ian comments on ‘CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG’

One of the segments of theatre that receives little critical attention is children’s theatre. So, in order to help children’s theatre get a voice, I took my youngest grandson, Ian Berko to see the Play House Square sponsored production ‘CLIFFORD, THE BIG RED DOG.’ His quick summary, “I liked the dancing.” To be honest, he didn’t get caught up in the clapping, singing and invitation to dance with the characters.

Maybe at five and-a-half he was too old for what he termed, “little kid’s stuff.” I think, however, that from an adult perspective, the huge size of the Palace Theatre and the character’s being on stage many yards away, instead of up close like on TV, made for a breach of involvement.

The show does an excellent job of teaching lessons such as “let’s all work together” and “let’s work in harmony to solve problems,” which Ian recognized and commented on when I asked him what the story was about.

Ian did enjoy turning his Clifford flashlight on and off, as did all the kids who had conned their parents and grandparents into buying them star-wands and spinning electric flashers. In addition, the popcorn, sodas, candy and large pretzels being sold were all excitement inducers.

I wish the Palace would not allow the kids to bring food into the theatre. By the end of the production the floor was littered with mess and stickiness. Many of the beautiful seats had soda poured on them. This mass display of littering is not a good lesson for the kids to see or participate in. And, it was not a good way to treat a beautiful and expensive theatre.

In the future I plan to go to other venues to see their young people and children’s productions which will be reviewed by not only Ian, but Alex and Noah, his older brothers.