by Melissa Moore
Have you ever walked past Judy Garland’s ruby red slippers at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and sensed an overwhelming feeling of childhood nostalgia only to turn around to see your child, oblivious to the slippers, looking around for more Star Wars memorabilia? Now is your opportunity to experience The Wizard of Oz with your child at the National Theatre in Washington DC. This colorful, flashy touring production of the classic musical is only in town for two weeks until May 15.
My seven year old daughter and I were thrilled to be able to spend an evening out in the city seeing The Wizard of Oz on its second night at the National Theater. Ever since taking her to the Wizard of Oz themed playground at Watkins Regional Park and subsequently watching the classic movie, she has been a bit obsessed with glittery red slippers, rainbows and small dogs named Toto. This touring production of the classic did not disappoint; it had plenty of playfulness, rainbows, and even the most adorable live dog playing Toto. My daughter talked about the tricks that Toto performed the whole way
Wondering if this is the right first theatrical production for your little one? There were lots of little kids in the audience, including some preschool age children, and I didn’t see any tears or scared faces -- only big smiles. Of all the full length musicals that I have seen with my kids, this has to be one of the best for the younger crowd; aside from a few big booms, flashes of light, huge stage-sized face of Oz, and a tiny bit scary Wicked Witch of the West, this rendition of The Wizard of Oz was pretty tame. Kids do need to be able to sit still through the entire 75 minute first act, which is full of singing, joking, acrobatic dancing and fun; the second act is shorter at about 40 minutes.
Yes, the childhood classic will also meet, or exceed, your own nostalgic expectations. While the plot is modernized in a few ways and there is some extra humor added, the characters, especially the Cowardly Lion, echo back to the movie that you saw as a kid. This has always been a story that appeals to all ages, even tweens and teens, and this particular rendition had the entire audience laughing at the Tin Man and sighing at the cuteness of Toto.
The Wizard of Oz
May 3 – May 15, 2016
The National Theatre
For more family travel adventures, follow the author, Melissa Moore, on Twitter and Instagram as @DCTravelMom and read her articles as the DC, MD and VA family travel guru on the acclaimed national website, Trekaroo.
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