Editor’s Note :: this post was written prior to the Governor’s mandated stay at home order. If you’re interested in watching a musical online with your children while social distancing, there are a few shows available HERE.
Every parent loves the gift of experience, instead of more things. So when my mother called asking if she could get my family tickets to her favorite Musical, CATS, which was touring from Broadway, I quickly said YES! Then immediately followed with, “But I don’t know what they will think. I can’t guarantee the kids will enjoy it. Like, at all. They may actually hate it.”
As much as I want to think we are raising our 7 & 9-year-old boys to be cultured, appreciative of the arts and all-around interesting human brings… For now, They are still 7 & 9-year-old boys!
My mother understood, agreed, and said it would be worth it to see their faces when the show began. She really thought they would love it, but she would be ok if they didn’t. She reminisced about what it was like when my brother and I saw CATS for the first time and she wanted to do that for the kids. This particular musical is near and dear to my heart, and all because she loved it first, so I absolutely wanted her to have that opportunity!
Growing up, my mother embraced my love for theater from a young age and I remember being in shows at our local theater my entire childhood. She took us to every touring Broadway show we could get to and many other local performances. It’s no surprise that when given the opportunity to see CATS on Broadway in New York while I was in High School, I geeked-out completely! It is to this day, one of my fondest childhood memories.
So we took the kids. I prepped them by reading them the book that the musical is based on. I also played the soundtrack so they could hear all the songs that related to the book. They still didn’t realize we were going to see a play. When we got to dinner we filled them in that we were going to a theater to see a play that was based on the book and the music we had been listening to.
A play… with CATS? Like, Real Cats?
I never could have bargained for all of the hysterical conversations that followed. Without our prompting, the kids immediately assumed the play would involve real cats so we didn’t bother to correct them. They went back and forth for an hour, grinning and discussing how anyone could get real cats to act, and if the cats would act, did they really act like the characters in the book?
Into the theater we went. They were mesmerized from the moment the first beat of music fell. My oldest immediately looked at me grinning with the much-anticipated update, “that’s a person, not a cat”
So they loved it. They were on the edge of their seat watching every act. They were excited to recognize the characters we read about and the songs we had listened to. I could tell they truly enjoyed it and our hearts were so full. I even busted them trying out the dance moves they learned the next day and my oldest asking Alexa to play the soundtrack.
I don’t think I ever would’ve brought these boys of mine to such a performance were it not for my mother’s prompting. But she was right; they loved it! And now we will do it again sometime as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will wait, until we can let the memory live again… (Have you seen the show… see what I did there?)