Posts Tagged “Theater”

Matilda the Musical – Academy of Music

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Thank you Kimmel Center for supporting Homeroom At Home and our mission. This is a sponsored article whereby we were provided tickets to the show and attended a promotional party.

Matilda flyerNothing like a little rebellion to get some kids’ attention. And so be it… along with the perfect children’s Broadway performance: Matilda The Musical. If it takes a little sass to get children interested in the theater arts… well, I’m all for it. This fun musical comes with some super catchy (parents be warned) sassy songs.

20151118_113502Matilda The Musical is based off of Roald Dahl’s children’s book, Matilda. As summarized by The Guardian the story is “about a smart, easily infuriated little girl who is misunderstood by her parents and loathed by the school’s headmistress. On the other hand her kind and generous teacher, Miss Honey, thinks she is a brilliant academic genius. Matilda has a number of excellent schemes in her head to teach her nasty parents and headmistress a lesson.” Roald Dahl is known for his quirky, imaginative humor that keeps children engaged. I was excited to find this story on our book shelf for a later read (recommended for ages 7-11). By the way, love the review on Kids’ Book Reviews for this title… so be sure to check it out too. And speaking of checking things out, click below for a quick recap of Matilda the Musical.

My daughter and I are looking forward to the Broadway performance of Matilda The Musical, singing all the way there. The performance is held at the Academy of Music from Nov 17th through the 29th. Tickets are discounted 35% using QUIET as the promo code.

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Bullets Over Broadway at The Academy Of Music

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This post is sponsored by the Kimmel Center by providing us with tickets to the upcoming performance. This opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.

Homework isn’t just for the students. Sometimes a parent has to do their own homework Bullets Over Broadwayand that might include reading a magazine article, attending a lecture or in my case… grabbing tickets to an upcoming performance. Nothing wrong with delving deeper into your interests and after-all that’s what life long learning is all about.

Bullets Over Broadway performed Oct 27th – Nov 1st. Promo code: MOBSTER

20151023_080614For me, I love the jazz period. Over the summer I had an incredible experience at Jazz Age on the Delaware at the beautiful Glen Foerd. My family and I were completely immersed in the 1920’s atmosphere from food to attire and music and more. It was a fantastic learning experience being transported back in time. And while the Bullets Over Broadway performance isn’t exactly family-friendly, it does provide me inspiration to revisit the summer’s experience, jazz it up for Halloween and dust off the old records from yesteryear.

Lesson here: don’t be afraid to indulge in your passion and find the takeaways to bring back to the family, perhaps a little something from the gift shoppe or in my situation it will likely be a CD of the Bullets Over Broadway music. Here’s to our homework, Parents. Enjoy.

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Annie on Broadway Philadelphia

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A BARGAIN for Broadway… 50% off coupon code for Annie at the Philadelphia Broadway Show March 17th, 18th and 19th at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia.

Broadway Philadelphia present Annie

There is just nothing like live theater!!  Check out Annie, an American classic at the Academy of Music. 

Save 50% on select tickets to ANNIE with promo code SANDY*.

 * Discount available on select Family Circle and Amphitheatre seats for the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evening performances of ANNIE. Offer not valid on previously purchased tickets and may not be combined with any other offer. ALL SALES FINAL. No exchanges or refunds. Offer may be revoked without notice. Limit 8 tickets per person. Additional fees will apply.


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Timeless Classic Wizard of Oz

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Kimmel Center presents Wizard of Oz on Broadway

Tea with Dorothy from Wizard of Oz


Having grown up with re-enactments of the Munchkins and Dorothy, it was a pleasure to find that my daughter is just as in love with this old time classic as I was, in fact more so. I remember from my childhood, a particular cousin being talented enough to “do the voices” for ALL the characters. I would make her tell the entire story, songs and all each time she spent the night. In fact, I should ask her to record herself reading the story for all of our little munchkins now – what a sweet treat that would be.

Anyway, all these years later – 75 to be exact and the Wizard Of Oz still holds a special place in our hearts and imaginations. It’s such a story that takes you on a journey, allowing our minds to creatively travel from one world to another.

A few weeks back my daughter and I were invited to Tea with Dorothy with friends. DSCN0471We had yummy treats and tasted many tea variations but the best part was taking pictures with Dorothy in front of the yellow brick road. We were extended passes to the Philadelphia Broadway production of Wizard of Oz for this evening. We couldn’t be more thrilled to share an evening out – just us – on my birthday – with Dorothy!! We’ll post an update once we’ve seen the show but for now here are some details on the production:

Wizard of Oz is being held at the Academy of Music Philadelphia Tuesday, June 3 – Sunday, June 8. Expect the classic characters and story, adapted for live theater and some special effects. We are excited to hear (and possible sing along with) all the classic Wizard Of Oz songs too. Friday, June 6th performance is designated as an ASL & AD Performance with more information available on the Kimmel Center’s website.

At Homeroom At Home we love pairing activities with learning fun trivia, so here are some websites with fun puzzles, toys and facts from the movie. Enjoy.

We are so excited to head off and meet the wizard, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.


Soooo what can we say?  It.Was.Amazing!! Very clever designs for the Wizard scenes, the “yellow brick road” and special effects made this a truly memorable performance.  The characters were brilliant, including a real Toto.  Dorothy of course stood out but the entrance of the evening was, with out a doubt, Glinda – breath-taking and radiant.  The Wicked Witch of the West was in full evil form and even surprised us with a visit in the balcony.  It was a birthday celebration not to be forgotten.  Below please find Victoria’s short video as she was full of anticipation and excitement.

wizard of oz

Disclosure: Performance tickets were provided for promotional purposes. The thoughts and opinions expressed herein are strictly mine.

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Phantom of the Opera at Academy of Music

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At The Phantom Of The Opera with Deb McMaster

At The Phantom Of The Opera with Deb McMaster

Finally my long-awaited opportunity to experience the one and only Phantom Of The Opera had arrived. It happened to be rather last minute plans, for which I am grateful because I don’t think I could have contained my excitement had it been on my calendar any long than a couple of days.  I had never seen this performance and purposefully refused to watch it on film until I’ve had such opportunity to see it performed live on Broadway.  And let me say… it was totally worth the wait!

Poetic and aesthetic, this spectacular performance was by far my favorite EVER.  The vocal and orchestra talent was breathtaking and perfectly matched with the story line and one another.  I was simply swept away with the costume design. Of course being a performance about an opera, scene after scene graced us with bold baroque and equally elegant costume creations.  If only they sold replicas of those gorgeous gowns during intermission. And then there’s the stage set – WOW – to describe the magnificent set would give too much away and it is truly something to been for itself.  Scene after scene I was mesmerized by the creativity of the set design and its ability to truly transport you into the production, into the storyline, into character and back in time.  Together these imaginative and artistically talented threads of costume, stage design, lighting & special effects and musical geniuses created a masterpiece of a web, which sung of captivated beauty beyond any written description.

Only a few days remain… book your tickets for Philadelphia’s Broadway show The Phantom Of The Opera.

Now showing through April 12th… The Phantom of the Opera.  Phantom of the Opera E-Card

As described via the Kimmel Center’s website:

Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s phenomenal musical success, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, is now on tour across North America. Critics are raving that this breathtaking production is “bigger and better than ever before.” This PHANTOM features a brilliant new scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony® Award-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony® Award-winner Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and a new staging by director Laurence Connor. The production, overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh, boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier. The beloved story and thrilling score – with songs like “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask Of You,” and “Masquerade” – is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this PHANTOM one of the largest productions now on tour.

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Jersey Boys on Broadway: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

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jersey boys ecardIf you are looking for a WOW show… Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, is the one for you!  Warning: adult language and themes, but the music and stage performances are amazing.  My suggestion – parents take advantage of this opportunity to reconnect with the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in this “behind-the-scenes” production.  Then, with a renewed energy for this genre of musical excellence, pull out your CD’s (or cassettes/records – lol), and bookmark a couple favorites from iTunes or YouTube and introduce Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to your children.


(Remembering this song from Dirty Dancing.)

Fun ways to do so… grab a suit jacket from the back of your closet and mimic some of the simple swaying moves, or dress Ken dolls in their suits and line up like a stage performance.  Just like Jersey Boys on Broadway, use the music to help tell the story… and tell your story while listening or between YouTube uploads.  What childhood memories come back?  What BIG dreams did you have growing up?  How and when did you listen to music back then, unlike the constant stream and availability that is today’s norm? It’s so easy to get caught up in the Pop Charts top ten but how sad would it be if our children didn’t know the likes of Elvis, Sinatra, The Four Seasons, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Miles Davis, Paul McCartney and so many other great musical talents.  I truly believe that as parents we need to find and take advantage of every opportunity to introduce and celebrate these great artists with our families.  Had Jersey Boys not had such strong language I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it for a family outing.  I’m sure the inclusion of this type of dialog is intended to bring a certain authenticity to the performance more than just shock value.  So, we’ll just chalk this performance up to “research” for us parents.

Jersey Boys is running at the Forrest Theater in Philadelphia from December 11th through January 5th.  For more information on tickets, parking and pricing, please visit:

(A favorite – bringing me back to my marathon Grease watching days!!!)

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Beauty and the Beast Live on Broadway

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Beauty and the Beast cardDisney’s Beauty and the Beast is such a beloved story, and what better way to relive it than live on Broadway.  Join  Belle, Gaston, Maurice, Beast and the whole castle staff in this Tony Award winning musical set a quiet French village.

You and the family can enjoy this tale at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia from November 26 through December 1st.  For show times, tickets, parking info and more, visit the Academy of Music here.

The show runs 2 hours and 30 minutes with one 15 min intermission. Beauty and the Beast is appropriate for all ages.

Nothing takes the place of a live theater audience and full on-stage production of a favorite story.  With every detail in the costumes, props, orchestral music and stage sets, it’s living art unfolding in front of you scene by scene.
Update: Dec 1st my daughter and I had the pleasure of attending the Beauty and the Beast musical at the Academy of Music… and it completely lived up to our expectations. Character after character sang beautifully well and the set design was a masterpiece in itself. My daughter, being 3 years old, wanted to dance in the aisle and eventually whispered in my ear that she wished to be on stage. I love how Beauty and the Beast held her attention and provided this unforgettable glow of excitement.

Live theater can provide more than an afternoon of entertainment; it can ignite a passion for the arts – whether creative writing or production set design or any number of artistic avenues. Broadway musicals and theater unlocks the door to a child’s imagination. I saw this first hand, when my daughter decided to play Beauty and the Beast with her Barbies and Disney princess dolls – setting them up like the Beauty and the Beast show. My husband and I took advantage of this opportunity and helped her play this story out. Here’s our video below. Two days later, with Barbies in every space of her room, I found that she had set up yet another “production” on her own with a much smaller audience. She designed a run-way stage and said it was Cinderella’s turn. Thanks to Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, my daughter as a fresh idea in playing with her Barbies, accessories and things around her to expand her imaginative play. I love that.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post – we were either compensated or given product for review. The opinions expressed within this article are strictly mine.

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Broadway in Philadelphia: War Horse Open Nov 27th

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War Horse at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia

Review By Deborah McMaster

My friend and I fell in love with Joey within a few minutes of meeting him. Through a comical incident of one-upmanship, Joey came to live with Albert who took great care of him. Joey’s spirit was seen in the move of his head, his switchy tail and reactive ears. Over the next two years we frolic and grow with Joey and Albert in Great Britain just before World War I.

Photo by Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

We are one of the townspeople as Joey is unfairly taken off to battle and we are one of the infantry as Albert the desperate teenager follows the fighting to find his beloved horse.

Time, place and weather are creatively projected on a cloud shaped screen hanging above the stage. The wind blew and the birds flew. At one point it was raining on the screen and the horse on the stage actually looked wet. Lighting plays a major role in fading players onto and off the stage, and in bringing the action of war to every seat.

If this version of the story involved long discourses on war and dirges from beginning to end I was concerned that it would have been hard for me to stay awake. It didn’t, and in fact I was so mesmerized I wouldn’t have needed the intermission. There was constant action on the stage and the pace of the scenes had an excellent balance. I cannot find words to describe the music. It must suffice to say that it was pretty yet suitable, and definitely enhanced the overall production.

Photo by Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

There are two cautions that may be helpful to know in advance. First, during some war scenes there is some repeated implied profanity. The second is that there are some very loud sound effects throughout the show.

As keen parents and teachers are already aware, any event can be a springboard for education. This is particularly applicable with this production, and there is a 33 page educational guide available for download on the website. The most obvious opportunity for teaching is that the story takes us to Europe during the time of World War I. Cultural differences and International Relations can be explored, as well as things like a horse’s role in a war. Another opportunity is exploring the world of stage production such as set design, lighting and special effects.

One of the most impressive things about this production, though, and another avenue for learning, is the puppetry. There are birds, a cute goose, and of course, the horses. The horses are specially constructed, and each is operated by two people inside. Several of the actors actually mount and “ride” on these horses. Since the audience can see the operators inside, it is fascinating to watch a person moving one way but the outward appearance is that the horse is moving another.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable and moving play.  Click here for details on showtimes, tickets and directions.

Disclosure:  I was issued complimentary tickets to review this production.  The ideas and opinions expressed here are mine alone.

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