Omaha has a vibrant performing arts community. It’s delightfully overwhelming when you’re interested in seeing live theatre. The Orpheum plays host to excellent Broadway Across America seasons each year, but the local theatre scene is also diverse, talented, and prolific. Really. Including what is coined the children’s theatre.
The Rose Theatre
The Rose Performing Arts for Children and Families puts on several shows that include many children actors and focuses on a young audience. This week, however, Marcus and I are attending opening night of what may be their most ambitious project yet, Disney’s Tarzan. We have not seen the live version of this show, except via Youtube clips from Broadway, these led to the must-have soundtrack, Tarzan – The Broadway Musical (Original Broadway Cast)
,and Marcus has been jonsing to see the show live.
This week I received via email a “Going to the Rose Guide.” What an incredible resource! It includes great information about the story and cast to gear you and your family up, conversation points to begin before the show, and also “Be Aware” section that includes both physical (strobes, loud noises) and emotional (scary bits to be prepared for) points to prepare families for the best possible theatre experience. Marcus is ready for all of that, but it’s a great family tool worth mentioning.
The Rose offers extensive programs for children in acting, dancing, and all of the creative performing arts. It’s a local resource that I regret not making the time/money for Marcus to be a part of in his youth. At this point, it is still on my list of pursuits for Marcus to do volunteer work and find a way to be a part of/help the Omaha arts community. That’s really a side note – the main focus of this Theatre Thursday is our excitiment to see Tarzan on stage.
In the “Rose Guide” there was this section note:
“Growing up, young Tarzan is picked on by the other apes for being different. You might want to discuss with your family what it is like to feel different and why people can be unkind to those who are “different.” It is important to remember that being different is what makes everyone unique, and in Tarzan’s case, his differences are what save the day.”
As a writer, I read analysis of the Hero’s Arc, how every hero has to start out the underdog or reluctantly. Marcus’ favorite heroes are predominately the extreme outsider, Shrek, for example. What I love about theatre is the way a good story makes another being’s experience, someone far different than ourselves, relatable. I love the way theatre compels us to root for a character who, minutes before, was a stranger to us. I’m always hopeful that people leave the theatre with a little bit more empathy than when they arrived. A well done story, character, and performance can sneak that in. I also love the music.
The Rose theatre is showing Tarzan June 6-22, 2014, Fridays at 7 pm, Saturdays at 2 pm, Sundays at 2 pm and tickets are reserved seating for up to $25. We’re checking it out opening night, there are plenty of seats available for your family over this stretch too!
And then Sunday for the Sikora’s – The Tony Awards. We actually have TV this year and it’s on CBS, so we’ll be popping the popcorn and pouring sparking fruit juice to enjoy the performances and awards. So there will be much to talk about next Theatre Thursday!
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