The Cat in the HatArden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122 visit site> Running till June 22nd The Cat in the Hat production at The Arden Theater is great. If you have not taken your child to see a play at the Arden Theater I am going to encourage you to give it a shot. I have been taking the boys since they were two. First I am going to talk about the play and then I am going to “experience pressure you” into thinking about taking your little one.
The play is on the Arcadia Stage, which is a little smaller than the main stage if you have ever been there. I am going to tell you about the play but I am not going to ruin it for you by telling you about the surprises.
The play is an adaptation of the Dr. Seuss’s classic The Cat in the Hat and follows the story but in true Arden tradition they add their own flair. This play is also 60 minutes long with no intermission (another reason why this is a safe one to try).
The play had me a little worried because the first 10 minutes are slow as Nick and Sally silently agonize over the prospect of the rainy and boring day that lies ahead of them. The first 10 minutes actually had me thinking this might be the first Arden production that I am not in love but as the performance went on everything came together. Arden performers did what they do best and had everyone laughing and hanging on their every move wondering what they would do next.
It is amazing what a cast of 4 actors, a stage hand and a sound and lighting engineer can put on. The show is funny, creative, and interactive and even has its share of exciting moments. I know for a children’s play it sounds like I am lying but you will have to trust me because I told you I was not going to ruin the surprises for you. I will tell you that the best seats in the house are row 8 and down (you will see why) and Thing 1 and Thing 2 steal the show and become everyone’s favorite within seconds.
The play has what I call Saturday Night Live moments. After an exceptionally funny line or action the audience reaction is so great that the actors themselves are forced to join you in a laugh or a cracked smile. After every performance it is an Arden tradition to have the actors come out and answer questions from the audience. Kids get to ask how they did certain stunts or about their costumes. Then after that the performers go out into the lobby where the children have a chance to ask them more questions and get their picture taken with the cast members.
Taking toddlers to plays… I understand that this might seem a intimidating. The first time I took the boys I went with the understanding that if it didn’t work out we would leave and that would be fine. I also went during the day when they do the school trips. The boys loved watching the other kids and no one is louder than a large group of school kids so your little ones squeaks are hardly an issue. This specific play is only one hour with no intermission. That makes this the best first timer play in the city. If you are on the fence I would say go for it. I am so glad I did because now it is a family tradition that we all look forward to. My boys love to go to the movies but there is nothing like watching them shift in their seats to get a better view of the actors and with their eyes glued to the stage.
One of my friends made the comment a month ago that on FB it looks like my boys don’t give me a second of trouble and everything looks so easy so I am going to include this picture of me tacking Henry to force him to take a picture with me. I am sure this will look familiar to several of you.