I almost called it quits before we even arrived. My five-year old date wanted to stay home and play video games, we were running late, and the car sputtered down Lyndale Avenue barely making it into the gas station parking lot. Date night with my little man was not off to a great start. We made it, five minutes late, and settled into our seats with no expectations and absolutely zero clue what this show was about. We went in blind and – holy clown shoes – we were blown away! One of you can be blown away too simply by entering to win a four-pack of tickets to a showing of Snowflake. Giveaway details below…
Snowflake is running at the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Company through February 22, 2015 and if you have kids in the appropriate age range (Kindergarten through 4th grade), I couldn’t recommend a better way to tiptoe them into the wonderful world of on-stage performance art.
Not a word is spoken through the entire hour-long show, but I found it completely unnecessary. Of course, I’m an adult and my five-year old could’ve used a little narration to help understand the actual story, but story or no story, the performance was sheer magic through his little eyes. I whispered explanations into his ear when I sensed his confusion: “He lives outside. He doesn’t have a home. He’s playing pretend with the stuff people throw away. He is sad because he longs for a different life than the one he has. He is making his own joy.” Actually quite heart-wrenching when I type it, but so profoundly beautiful when witnessed in person. Snowflake, played by Gale LaJoye – a former Ringling Brothers performer – commands the stage with his subdued slapstick and intensive facial storytelling. While there may be stretches of the performance that exhaust your youngster’s attention span (intended to be reflective), the bounce-back is instantaneous through the magic of ski-dancing, aluminum can tennis, and skateboarding over sheets of bubble wrap (a moment that made my son stand up out of his seat and shout “That was awesome!”). Making use of items located in his junkyard home (with the help of a tranquil, contemplative score that nearly brought me to tears), Snowflake expresses a side of himself that is endearing, adorable and, well, sort of made me want to run onstage and squeeze the suspenders out of him.
My son would’ve probably requested more backwards spills or magic disappearing acts or boomerang tosses or bubble wrap (the kid loves him some bubble wrap), but it kept his attention and he sits at the lowest end of the recommended age spectrum. In fact, I’d say even older kids would enjoy the unsuspected jubilation of it all. If nothing else, it makes you think. It makes you laugh. It makes you thankful. It makes you happy you didn’t stay home and play video games.
The Children’s Theatre Company has some good stuff in their pipeline for their upcoming seasons so be sure to check them out online at www.childrenstheatre.org or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Disclaimer: I received two tickets to the Children’s Theatre Company Snowflake performance in exchange for my time sharing this post and hosting this giveaway. All thoughts are my own.