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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Disney on Ice

by Amanda I took my son to see the show on Friday night at 7:00 pm.  It was such a wonderful event!  First of all, I myself am a huge fan of Disney.  You just can't go wrong.  It is truly fun for the whole family.  If you follow me on Twitter you would have seen my tweets throughout the show.  I didn't intend to Tweet like that during the show, but, I was excited, and my 4 year old was even more so!

When we walked in the front doors to Scotiabank Place we were immediately bombarded by the souvenir stands.  Immediate eye candy, for both him and me.  Of course I let him have a look, and of course I let him have an Incredibles spinning light toy!  It is his favourite Disney movie!  He is a particular fan of Dash because "he runs really fast Mommy!".  I bit my tongue and just paid the $20 for it because it made him happy.  I did not spring for the $12 popcorn or the $15 snow cones, however the mugs they came in were very cool!!

Off we went to find our seats a few minutes before the show started.  We ended up having really good seats.  We were able to see everything with no difficulty and close enough to make out facial expressions!

The show itself covered many wonderful Disney movies, they played out on the ice the most beloved scenes from each movie that was part of the show while Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy narrated between scenes.  I will give you some highlights from each scene.

Act I

Alice in Wonderland:  The playing cards had amazing choreography.  It was fairly intricate group skating with a lot of intersecting lines where the skaters had to be quite close together.  It looked so good!

Peter Pan:  The crocodile costume that the skater wore was incredible!  He skated on his hands and feet with picks on the front and his blades in the back to maneuver around the ice.  The Lost Boys set was very true to the movie with a tree house and slide.  Tinkerbell was a little firecracker and got to be suspended by wires, how cool was that?

Act II

The Lion King:  Again, wonderful costumes, skaters with billowing 2 piece costumes, one part was carried overhead and they looked like a herd of what I think were meant to be buffalo, they were just gorgeous!  They also did the giraffe in the same style, very visually appealing.  And what can I say, I LOVE Timon and Pumba.  I sang every word of Hakuna Matata.

Snow White:  Snow White and her Prince were beautiful dance style skaters.  I really enjoyed just watching their skating solo.  They were expressive and to me their skating was quite good.  Again, fantastic costumes on the dwarfs and the witch.

Aladdin:  Amazing job on the set in this scene.  Jasmine's balcony was just like the movie.  I was disappointed they didn't have Rajah, Jasmine's tiger in this piece!  He was such an important part of the movie!  Or  Abu, the monkey!  ("Kiss the monkey, Blech, hairball!")  They of course had Genie and the magic carpet ride, but I honestly think this one could have been better!

The Little Mermaid:  Ariel, Sebastian, and fish of many beautiful fluorescent colours.  It really looked like it was Under the Sea!

The Frog Princess:  I have never seen this movie, but I am glad to see that Disney is embracing multiculturalism more and more.  Princess Tiana had a gorgeous dress and I enjoyed the skating the most in this scene.

The final group skate incorporated many characters from movies they didn't cover during the show.  We saw Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Mulan and so many more!  What an enjoyable evening.  My son was very well behaved, he was enthralled by the show, and he smiled and danced throughout the performance.  He also amused himself with his spinning light toy, just like a boy!  It was all said and done just before 9:00 pm and of course, my son fell asleep in the car on the way home, surefire way to tell the evening was a success!

Check out this link for clips on the official website! http://disney.go.com/disneyonice/

Did you go? Are you going to the show?

Amanda was born and raised in Ottawa where she continues to live with her husband and son “J”. Amanda is bilingual and interests include reading, blogging, socializing, and advocacy on children and teen issues.

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