Monday, February 23

Thomas & Friends Live Review

When MomSelect offered my family the opportunity to go see Thomas & Friends Live! On Stage: A Circus Comes To Town I jumped at the opportunity. My daughter loves any kind of theatrical entertainment and my son use to love Thomas when he was younger so I thought this might be an event that both of them would enjoy.

Thomas & Friends Live! On Stage: A Circus Comes To Town: “When Thomas makes a big mistake, all the engines on the Island of Sodor must work together to prepare for the exciting event under the Big Top, and Thomas must prove he’s a really useful engine once again.”

It was only when I turned my vouchers in for tickets did I realize that the shows were during the week. We are usually sticklers for our evening routines, especially on school nights, but I thought, “what the heck, it will be a fun family night out.”

We arrived at the show about 15 minutes before it started (perfect amount of time to have our bags checked and find our seats). Some of the clowns and engine conductors were walking through the audience interacting with the kids trying to get them excited about the show (and help pass the time before the show started). It worked like a charm!

I would have loved to post pictures but Thomas & Friends Live! On Stage: A Circus Comes To Town is a no cameras show. If the bag checkers saw a camera they would ask you to leave it at the front counter. So if you go, you will probably want to leave your camera at home.

When Sir Topham Hat stepped onto the stage the children erupted in cheers. As loud as those cheers were, they were nothing compare to what greeted Thomas. When the train whistle sounded and Thomas the Tank Engine rolled onto stage the kids screamed, clapped, stomped their feet, and kept pointing at him in amazement. They just could not believe that The Thomas the Tank Engine was really there. It was quite an adorable site!

I was impressed with the engines too; they looked very realistic! Moving eyes, steam shooting out of the whistle, conductors driving, and the engines actually rolling across the stage. Very well done!
The show was filled with interactive songs and dancing that had the kids clucking like chickens and moving their arms like the wheels on the trains. The kids really seemed to be enjoying themselves. The story line kept to any that you would find in the Thomas series of books including signature lines by Gordon, “I am a big engine” and Thomas, “I want to be really useful.”

About an hour into the show there was a 15 min intermission (something I wish they would not have done). This is when the “problems” occurred.
With the show starting at 6:30 pm (dinner –time) and the intermission starting at about 7:50 PM (bed-time) most of the kid’s normal routine was disrupted and it was starting to show. In order for us to make it to the show on time we had to eat in the car (less than ideal meal situation). Other parents fed their children at the show (hot dogs being the only “food” option). Before the show and during the intermission the vendors were in full swing; cotton candy, popcorn, licorice strings, lemonade, kettle corn, and snow cones. Those were our only options. Not very healthy.
We bought some Kettle Corn and shared with everyone around us (Seriously. The bag was nearly the size of my daughter). After a few handfuls my daughter said that her stomach hurt and that she had to go to the bathroom. Apparently my daughter was not the only one having issues; a poor little girl in the stall next to us was throwing up while another was having the same issues as my daughter. I texted my husband and told him we should probably head home. As we were leaving the restroom another little girl did not quite make it to the bathroom in time and threw up all over the floor right outside the door. Poor thing! I felt so bad for her (and the staff member who had to clean it up)
Just then we heard the whistle blow; the intermission was over and Thomas was back on stage.
There was one tense moment when I thought my daughter was going to throw a temper tantrum when I told her that we were going to go home instead of returning to the show but luckily it passed quickly.
Both her and my son were fast asleep before we reached the freeway.

As much as my kids enjoyed the portion of Thomas & Friends Live! On Stage: A Circus Comes To Town that they saw and as much as I would recommend the show to other parents of young children (especially Thomas-the-tank-engine fans) I would caution against going at inconvenient times. Before you purchase your tickets be sure the dates and times will suit your child’s schedule as well as your own.
If you do go, plan ahead. Eat before the show and consider bringing your own healthy snacks and drinks. It may just be the difference between an enjoyable time and a not so enjoyable time.

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