I have always been into theater. Ever since I was little and my parents enrolled me in theater camp over the summers I have loved it. I was also fortunate to have parents that took my to NYC a lot growing up to see Broadway shows! That love continued as I got older, which translated into being involved in drama in high school and throughout college.
Lucky for me, my husband is open to trying new things and has tagged along with me to see shows both locally and in NYC. It’s not always his cup of tea, but he does enjoy it (most of the time) simply because I do!
With my husband being a soccer player and me being a “theater nerd” as my college friends called me (in the most loving way possible), we both had different ideas of what we wanted our children to do, but of course being happy with whatever the end result was/is.
You can imagine my excitement when Ella started to show an interest in theater, show tunes, Broadway, etc. THRILLED!! You see, Ella is terrified to try anything new, or anything at all, really. So the fact that she loves live theater makes me so happy and excited.
This past Thursday we were given the opportunity to see Shrek the Musical at Dutch Apple Dinner Theater in Lancaster. I love that we have a place to feed our passion/hobby so close to home! This isn’t the first show we have seen here either- we saw Pinkalicious the Musical there a few months before Charlotte was born and it was awesome!
What’s pretty great about Dutch Apple is that it’s a dinner theater. You don’t have to worry about squeezing in a meal elsewhere before your show, waiting to be seated, rushing through your meal, etc. There is a really great buffet that they provide (the mac and cheese is delish) so there is something for everyone! If you aren’t into buffets, you can just purchase show tickets, and show up right before the show starts. There are seats that are like your typical theater seats (as opposed to seats at the dinner tables) for those that opt out of dinner. Ella and I did that for Pinkalicious because she is so picky with her food. For me, it’s nice to have that option so I know I don’t have to waste money on food that won’t get eaten!
I felt comfortable having Ella there too. I feel like the atmosphere is pretty kid friendly. Although she is six, and she knows how to behave in public, she is still a little kid. Her excitement can get the best of her sometimes, which makes her talk louder, so having her shout out “SHREK TOOTED MOMMY!!!” in the middle of the show didn’t make me squirm as much as it would have had it been somewhere else! (yes, there is a song dedicated to Shrek and Fiona “tooting and burping” as Ella says. She loved the music so much I had to download the soundtrack on my phone for her!)
We had our good friends Jess and her little girl Aubrey come along with us…these are the faces of two excited little girls!
We even got to sneak in a little meet and greet with Shrek before the show started! Remember how I said Ella is terrified to try anything new (and just terrified of life in general)? Well that was evident with Shrek. She was happily watching from afar! Aubrey jumped right in!
And of course I did too! I love meeting actors, whether it be on Broadway, regional theater, traveling theater, I love it. (You should hear the stories of how “fan girl” I’ve gotten when I have met actors of Broadway).
Shrek (Chuck Caruso) was SO nice. He answered all eighty million of my questions about the show, rehearsals, traveling, his resume, the costume, makeup, etc. I am sure after my 500th question he wanted to be done, but I kept asking away!
The whole cast also hangs out in the lobby after the show for a meet and greet with the audience, which I think is so awesome, especially for little kids and theater nerds like me the love this kind of thing! They even have a gift shop for you to get little souvenirs from the show….Ella didn’t have to twist my arm too much to get her these cute Fiona ears 🙂
They’ve got a pretty great lineup for the rest of the year, too. Jess and I are already planning on heading back later this summer for Hairspray, minus the kids-Mommy needs a night out! They also have some really great children’s shows planned for the year as well! I am adding a show or two to our summer plans- I know Ella will love it!
One thing I am trying to convince her to do is their Broadway Bound class. It is only a week, and they learn all sorts of basic theater techniques, and end the week with a small production! I can just see the cuteness overload now!
Those of you that are in the York/Lancaster area, or those of you that are coming to the area for the summer- check out Dutch Apple and their summer season of shows! It’s pretty affordable, they feed you (yay for not having to make dinner), and its something you can do with the whole family!!