Theater Review: Billy’s Globe House’s “Goldilocks and the Three Clowns”

13141011_10100676664827084_65816241_n“Brush your HAIR,” I told my kids yesterday morning.

“We are going to the THEATER.”

It’s hard to imagine more wonderful words than, “We are going to the THEATER,” isn’t it? Especially after a week like this one.

Lately, the Rhodes family really hasn’t done much brushing of anything. To quote an old favorite, it’s “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.” A bit TOO easy. But when it is time to go to the THEATER, the nonsense must end, kids. The nonsense must end. (Unless we’re seeing “Nunsense.”)

And so, after the kids had climbed out of their hole, wiped icing from crusty lips, and brushed every brushable part of themselves, we went to see the latest in Stolen Shakespeare’s kids’ series (Billy’s Globe House) entitled “Goldilocks and the Three Clowns,” a rockin’ 80s-esque show only loosely parodying the eponymous fairy tale. Written and directed by Dean Phillips II, a junior at Texas Wesleyan, and acted by a lively troop of great children’s-theater actors, “Goldilocks” was a fun outing on a hot summer morning.

When I was performing in SSG’s production of “Persuasion” back in April, Billy’s Globe House was doing “Cinderella and The Glass Flipper,” which was similar in concept and style: take a well known fairy tale, give it a fun pun (like Nunsense!), re-write pop songs for your musical score and throw in a dash of adult humor for good measure, then let the good times unfold.

I think the real key to SSG’s success here is this: the show is completely interactive. Families are greeted at the top of the show by “Billy,” a lovable bear who gives the down-low on how to participate — when to yell “OH NO YOU SHOULDN’T!”, when to be quiet — and kids are all too happy to participate. This sets SSG apart from other children’s theater venues around, not to mention that the show’s duration is a very digestible 30 minutes, and a heck of a lot cheaper for a family of four. ($7 for adults/$5 for kids, anyone?)

SSG’s “Goldilocks” is proof you don’t need a big budget and fancy effects for a family to have a good time. When I asked my five-year-old daughter what her favorite part of the show was, she said, “The clowns were SILLY.” Yes. Yes, they were. Which is about the highest compliment a child can give a clown in my personal opinion. (My almost-nine-year-old son also enjoyed the clowns, as did my almost-forty-year-old husband. So never fear: THESE clowns won’t haunt your dreams.)

“Goldilocks” is best suited for your littlest people. The sweet spot would be your four-year-old who has not yet been in a theatrical environment. What a great way to introduce a tiny one to theater without the big-ticket risk that comes with big-budget lighting/explosion/sound production values that might upset your pre-schooler anyway. But your jaded, worldly, cigarette-smoking eleven-year-old? He might want something more.

It’s been a sad time in the D/FW area this week. Hearts are heavy. We sigh and sigh. And we struggle to talk to our children about what we ourselves find hard to articulate. And after we cry, and pray, and go to church, and hug each other’s necks, and eat together with our kids and pray some more, what better thing is there to do than go to the theater? I can’t think of one.

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