With all the Broadway shows my daughter (who's eight) and I have been privilaged to see lately, I was begining to think that theatre for older kids was all top-tier ticket prices and my little guy (who's four)would be my sole date for anything staged just for kids. We've enjoyed ANNIE, BRING IT ON, NEWSIES and several other Broadway offerings that appeal to kids, but the other great shows in town for kids seemed too babyish for my almost nine-year-old. Then last week, my daughter asked me if there were any plays without songs in them. I was determined to find a play for her to enjoy!
Just at the right moment, we were invited to see JACKIE AND ME, the latest from Atlantic Theater Company's amazin Atlantic For Kids program. Based on the story by accomplished children's book author Dan Gutman (My daughter loved his "My Weird School" series), JACKIE AND ME was adapted for the stage by Steven Dietz and performed to perfection by a strong ensemble that refuses to play down to kids. It's nice to find a show that bills itself as being appropriate for ages eight and up that teaches about great acting, tolerance, history AND baseball without condescending to children.
The theater describes JACKIE AND ME like this:
Joey Stoshack may not be the best baseball player on his Little League team but he does have one unique advantage. With the help of the old baseball cards in his prized collection, Joey has the remarkable ability to travel through time! When assigned to write a report on a legendary African American, Joey ventures to the segregated world of the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers clubhouse to meet his hero and one of baseball’s greatest players, Jackie Robinson. Through his adventures, he learns what it was like for the man who endured more than his share of prejudice to break baseball's color barrier.
I was suprised to see that the house was quite empty. I'd think a show of this quality would be more agressively attended by culture-seeking families on a Saturday morning. It's great to have the opportunity to bring your older child to Broadway shows, but it's important not to miss the family theatre gems out there like JACKIE AND ME.
GET TO THE POINT, MOM!
- A play that teaches kids about history, tolerance and baseball.
- Best for ages eight and up.
- For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the show's website.
- Completely entertaining, even without any music!