Cinderella

The other day I took the kids to see the Chicago Kids Company perform Cinderella.

When Evie was little, we went to several productions by the Chicago Kids Company; Alice in Wonderland, which she enjoyed, and Pinocchio, which she did not. Seeing the people in costume really freaked her out, and after the Pinocchio disaster, we decided we needed a little break from plays.

However, being as she’s a little older, and a little bit into Cinderella, we decided to give it another go. For Oliver’s part, we suspected he wouldn’t be quite as nervous as she was, and anyway Cinderella didn’t have anybody in costumes.

It was a big hit.

Both kids were very excited. Evie had the most genuine smiles that I’ve seen out of her in quite awhile. Oliver was just sort of staring at everything open mouthed in wonder. For the record, Evie’s favorite part was the fairy godmother shaking her butt at the audience, and Ollie’s was yelling, “Cin-der-ell-a!”

The Chicago Kids Company definitely knows their target audience. They engage the kids and make it a lot more interactive. The Prince even came into the crowd to have girls try on the glass slipper to see if it fit (Evie wanted to do it, but lost her nerve). When it was over, Oliver gave the Fairy Godmother a big hug out in the lobby, and Evie got the picture she really wanted:

We will definitely go back to see another play!

Monday Catch Up Post (and quotes!)

Evie: “Rabbits eat vegetables, like grass, carrots, raisins…”
Me: “I didn’t know you knew so much about rabbits!”
Evie: “I kept it to myself.”

Evie: “Does an ant have 8 legs, like a spider?”

I’m very proud of my smart girl!

Evie, trying some food at a restaurant: “Mommies and Daddies say it’s yummy, but big girls say it’s yucky.”

Last week, Evie took another stab at high theater, when Sara took her to see a play of her current favorite story, Pinocchio. It was a disaster. Complete 180 from the first play. She started freaking out as soon as the lights went down and refused to go back into the theater. Her main complaint was that Pinocchio was “big, not little”, i.e. played by an adult, not a child. I think it will be a while before we give plays another try.

On Sunday, we took the train in to the Art Institute of Chicago, for “Free February”. Sara and I wanted to check out the new Modern Wing that opened up last May. I was a little nervous about how Evie was going to do at a museum that was not hands-on, but she did pretty good. Obviously, when you’re going with a kid, you have to sort of present things in a certain way. Like, “Ohh, look, horses!” Or like, find the things that she would be into. She seemed to really dig the modern art! She liked the idea that we could look at it and decide what we thought it looked like. She even sat on the floor and examined a few for a while. Afterwards, we found some children’s art activities in the basement, and Evie enjoyed them so well, that she didn’t want to leave.

Naturally, we managed to get in a trip to Yolk while we were in that neck of the woods.

We also managed to hit up a new (for us) restaurant in Chinatown, but I think I’ll save that for a separate post tomorrow

Me: ::Throwing a long, beautiful, arching snowball and nailing Evie in the legs::
Evie, excitedly: “Good job daddy!!”

What can I say, it was a beautiful throw?

Alice

Evie has recently become obsessed with Alice in Wonderland. She has 2 slightly different versions of the Little Golden Book summary of the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland. (Kind of like a game of telephone, isn’t it? A translation of a translation.) It’s not all that surprising that she’s into it, considering it stars a little girl, a cat, and a rabbit; probably Evie’s three favorite things to hear stories about.

Imagine her delight when she found a copy of the original Lewis Carrol book on my nightstand.

I bought it at a used book sale some time ago, meaning to read it, but never quite getting around to it. Evie, however, was desperate to read it immediately. Sara and I figured that she was probably ready for chapter books and, though it’s probably not the one I would have chosen, it would do. So I started reading it to Evie before bed.

I’m not sure why Evie liked the book so much. She mostly seemed bored while we were reading it and asked for more pictures. Alice is quite a precocious little girl and most (if not all) of the story went right over Evie’s head. After we finished reading she would ask me what happened and I would try to summarize it in a way that would be more interesting to her. But every night she would demand that book, even when I tried to get her to read something else.

Now it so happens that around this time we stumbled across an Alice in Wonderland play being put on by the Chicago Kids Company. The timing was too perfect, so we had to go (in fact, Evie and I finished the last page of the book the morning of the show).

Tickets were pretty cheap, and, the day of, Evie and I were pretty excited about it. It was definitely designed for kids and was very interactive. There was yelling, counting, and even a dance section. During the dancing Evie mimicked Alice exactly, move for move. Because most of the theater was full of school kids, Evie and I ended up in the very front row. This was pretty cool, but maybe a little scary for Evie. At one point, the White Rabbit ran through the row right behind us and then down the stairs next to Evie and she about clawed my leg off trying to get into my lap away from him! Evie had insisted on bringing her stuffed bunny to the show, and, whenever the White Rabbit was on stage, she would hold her bunny up so he could “see”. Afterwards, the characters all waited out front to say hi to the kids. Evie was a little nervous, so she wouldn’t get too close, but she did show her bunny to the White Rabbit. He said that it looked like one of his cousins, and I think that was a highpoint for Evie.

I asked her what her favorite part was and she said the singing (it was a musical). She liked seeing all the characters she expected to see. The play was about an hour, and there was no question about Evie sitting still for it. She was enthralled and probably could have gone another hour, no problem. Huge attention span on that girl. (Side note: the theater company must have been a little leery about the Queen of Heart’s famous “Off with their heads!” line, because when it came time to deliver it, they decided to go with, “Off to the dungeon!” instead)

Since Evie’s main exposure to Alice was from the book and not the Disney movie (which she’s never seen), I imagine her perspective on the show was a little different than the average audience member. She kept asking for obscure characters like the Griffin, the Duchess and the Mock Turtle. Her favorite character in the book is the Griffin, which she knows has a “birdie face and lion legs”. She has decided in particular that the Griffin in Alice in Wonderland’s face is red, like a cardinal. She was not quite sure what to make of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. I seem to remember them being a big part of the movie, but they aren’t in the book at all.

Anyway, it was a great day and I’m sure Evie will be talking about it for a long time. Already she keeps talking about “when we go back” and who we will see (she’s hoping for the Duchess). She told me, “When I grow up and become a mommy, I’ll take you to see Alice in Wonderland!” Unfortunately, I forgot the camera and didn’t buy a shirt, so memories are all we’ll have.