When I was 7, or maybe 8, my parents took me to see The King and I on Broadway. I was little, I had no clue what was happening on stage. Rumor has it I should be grateful that I got to see Yul Brynner live before he passed away, but all I remember is that we had tickets in the very last row and that my parents allowed me to sit on the backrest of the seat and to lean against the wall.
It was cool.
And the people on stage were very little. Like tiny ants dancing around. You know, since we were in the last row.
Fine, as memories of a first musical, it’s not much. And yet, that first visit fueled a love of musicals that has yet to die.
Lucky for me I married a man who also loves musicals. He’s the one who took me to see Miss Saigon in Boston and Wicked in San Francisco.
Last night we were beyond excited to finally get to take our kids to see their own first musical.
I think it’s safe to say it won’t be the last.
First, lucky ducks that they are, they got to meet two of the cast members.
|Grown-up “Nala” and “Simba.”|
|C, star-struck, Little L, wondering when she gets a piece of chocolate.|
After a quick bite, we headed back into the theater to take our seats.
|Out late on the town!|
I wish they’d let me snap a few pictures of the girls in the theater. Their faces as they took in the set decor (“Mommy, I think I know why the tickets are expensive. It must cost a lot to paint a new curtain for every new show! I don’t think they can use this one for Mary Poppins!) and their wide eyes as the lights started to dim and the animals started to dance down the aisles.
The whole thing was amazing.
The costumes were glorious and, as C was quick to point out, were cool because you could see the people inside them. (She has issues with people with masks.) They’re kind of a hybrid between costumes and puppets. I love that you could both see the facial expressions and still get some of the whimsy and fantasy of the masks.
The girls were stoked to hear some of their favorite songs from the movie, though I was hoping more of the original soundtrack would be present in the musical. They sat, mesmerized, as the story unfolded with just enough familiarity to make it feel like something they knew, but with enough novelty to make it feel like a brand new experience.
Little L almost lost it when Mufasa, the father, is killed, but the joy of seeing Timon and Pumba brought to life quickly distracted her. C didn’t stop beaming from beginning to end.
We show ended long after the girls’ bedtime. It didn’t take long for Little L to pass out in the car. C, however, chattered all the way home, about costumes, favorite bits, things she’d noticed, and everything else that kept crossing her mind. As we got closer to home she got quiet, finally giving in to the exhaustion, but when we pulled in to the driveway she asked if we could go see Mary Poppins for her birthday.
I think she’s been bitten by the musical bug.
Even though she sat in the very last row.
(Please note, we’re very grateful to have been comped tickets to see this amazing musical. The Lion King is now playing in San Francisco and I encourage you to take your kids to go see it. You won’t regret it!)