Kids Rock Broadway at the NAC!

Sometimes, being a kid can be tough. Between balancing school and home life and trying to navigate their way through childhood into adolescence, there isn’t much time to just sit and enjoy being a kid.

Now imagine on top of all those things; having to learn a script, memorize a song list, and play a set in front of a live audience night after night….

Well, the kids of SCHOOL OF ROCK’s North American touring cast make it look easy. The process of finding the perfect kids for the cast, on the other hand, is anything but. For the initial production of SCHOOL OF ROCK, which opened on Broadway in 2015, the casting team looked at a total of 22,000 kids around the US.

School of Rock at the NAC

Challenge 1: Making sure the kids are between 9-12 years old; any younger and the physical demands of the show could be too much, any older and their bodies and voices are subject to the many changes of teenage development.

Challenge 2: Putting acting and singing on the back burner at first, and making sure the level of “musicianship” of the individual is strong. Can they carry a tune? Once that is established, the production team will help to work on the additional aspects.

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More than anything, casting directors are looking at the personality of the child as that’s as important to them than being a “quadruple threat”. Do they love music? Are they enthusiastic and friendly with others? And more importantly, are they willing to work hard? In addition to regular rehearsals for the touring actors, cast members must also attend separate band rehearsals and tutoring lessons while on the road.

Making their way to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa from September 25-30th, the SCHOOL OF ROCK cast is arriving just as Ottawa students are beginning to settle back into the daily routine of classes and homework. Because of this, we have decided to celebrate the amazing kids in our lives by having Kids Rock Broadway night on Sunday, September 30th at 7 pm.

Tickets for the performance start at $40, and there will also be a number of fun props that kids can use to get that epic Rock 'N Roll photo with. Additionally, School of Rock Orleans will be hosting an instrument petting zoo. Drum kits, guitars, and basses OH MY! Kids will have a chance to check out the instruments up close, learn more about them, and get some totally jammin’ shots to add to the family photo album.

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What’s special about SCHOOL OF ROCK is that children in the audience can see what others their age are capable of and therefore, what they are capable of. It’s a show about the pressures of achieving perfection and the power that music and pursuing your own passions can have. Finally, it’s an exuberant reminder to children and adults to take a second out of their busy lives to have fun and let loose once in a while.

For more information on show times, ticket prices and availability, check out BroadwayAcrossCanada.ca. We hope to see you there!

** If you're planning on attending as a family, make sure to check out this special offer for Kids Rock Broadway on Sunday, September 30th - Click here to purchase tickets and use offer code: FAMILY

A night at the National Arts Centre

by Ali One of the most fascinating things for me as a mom is experiencing the world through my daughters’ eyes. I remember the first time they met princess “Belle” in Disney World. They were literally speechless. But that was quite a few years ago, so when I won tickets to see the Broadway touring company’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, I was a bit hesitant to suggest that we all go together.  But, since it was a Broadway musical, I did suggest it and despite a few eye rolls, I think both girls were pretty excited to go.

While both my daughters have been to the National Arts Centre before, it’s always quite an experience. From getting dressed-up, to taking the escalator up from the parking garage to the bustle of movement in the lobby pre-show, it always seems a bit like an otherworld occurrence. Walking through the lobby, watching all the different types of people coming together to see this show, I could sense the anticipation building as we entered the buzzing theatre to find our seats.

I love that moment when the lights dim and the curtains go up. No matter what show you’re seeing, the excitement of possibility is palpable in the air. From the moment the music started, I think I spent more time watching my girls faces than I did the stage. Based on the 1991 Disney animated film, Beauty and the Beast has been adapted from a movie fairy tale to stage production that is a mix of color, music and song. From the opening stanzas until the last strains of music ended, both my 10 and 12 year old were mesmerized by the whirl of color, the flurry of dancing and the captivating music.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a small town, and the Beast, who is really a prince spellbound by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved by another, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity. The play is pretty much the same as the movie, which was a staple in our household about 6 years ago.

Despite the fact that we have all seen the movie over and over again, it was so different seeing on stage. One of the best parts for me was seeing my daughters’ astonishment at the confetti falling on the stage during the “Be Our Guest” scene. My eldest called it a “fireworks of confetti.”  My younger daughter’s face light up every time Lumiere’s hands did. We all loved watching the performers on stage in right front of us. They thought it was pretty cool that one of the performers was even a kid. Thanks so much to Kids in the Capital for giving me and my girls this incredible opportunity. It’s something that we will all cherish for a long time to come.

Have you taken your kids to see any full length shows at a theatre? 

Ali is a psychotherapist, blogger, social media enthusiast and chocoholic. She is also a Dance Mom to two awesome girls. She is the owner of Second Act Consignment Dancewear and creator  of Therapy Stew. She blogs at AliGoldfield.

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