If you’re looking to introduce a child to musicals, Shrek the Musical is probably the best way to do that. My kids and I saw the show this week during what was supposed to be a fun day in San Francisco, only to get caught in the rain with one umbrella (my fault), a sweatshirt nabbed out of his preschool’s Lost and Found for my son (also my fault, I forgot his warmer jacket at home), and no piña coladas. There was snow in front of City Hall, while it was raining hard, the upside was that no one else was playing with the snow or even watching it, giving my kids a chance to throw a few snowballs. In the rain. It rained so hard we couldn’t walk to a restaurant, instead we ended up at the Burger King right next to the Orpheum Theater. We were in San Francisco, home to many great restaurants, but we were eating at Burger King. It was like being in college again. But it was raining. Hard.
Thankfully the theater was dry and warm. The kids were so excited, they took their seats immediately, even though the show didn’t begin for another 30 minutes. We finally dried out and enjoyed the show.
Shrek kept my eight year old’s interest, but it felt a little long for my four year old. However, it should be noted that kids are supposed to be five and up to see the show, but knowing that my son had quietly sat through other musicals, I knew he could do it. He wasn’t disruptive, but he started leaning on me hard during the end of the first half, better than the woman in front of me who kept checking her phone (you know who you are!). He made it through fine with help of M&Ms. It goes without saying that both kids found every fart (ugh, I hate that word) and burp reference hilarious.
The show was entirely kid appropriate, even though my daughter seemed to expect something a little different. Very casually as the second half was about to begin, my daughter said to me, “Are they going to have sex now?” I didn’t hear the entire question, so I asked her to repeat it. “Are they going to have sex now?” This time I hoped I didn’t hear the question, so I asked again. “Are they going to have sex now?” I think I stopped breathing. “No. I doubt it. I’d hope not.” It was all I could muster. I don’t dare google it because I’m sure some such Shrek tape exists, but oh my god, what does she expect in a Broadway matinee? Should I take her to see Avenue Q?* Should I put her into a pre-Vatican II Catholic school? This was a true San Francisco outing.
*Before I get concerned emails or cornered on the playground, this was a joke.
Disclosure: The tickets were provided for free from SHN. Shrek runs through Jan. 2 and would make a perfect holiday break theater outing with grandma.
Photo courtesy of Carla Duharte Razura of jidesign.