A Theatre Rant

November 14, 2007 at 1:39 pm | Posted in Rant, Theatre | 2 Comments

Before I get to the show, the FO and other good things (still need to get my Stage Door pictures online) I have a rant to do with parents and theatre.

My big issue is involved with bringing children to inappropriate shows and either shrugging off what they’ve seen or being angry about what was on stage!

While I was at the show last night, from my seat, turning around, I could see no less than 10 children that were 8 or younger. Now, 2 things sprang to mind. First… it was a school night. The show wasn’t over until 10:30-11pm. Also, there was no real discount for going on a Tuesday versus a Friday. It wasn’t like they were saving money. Second, there were some VERY mature themes in this show. There was multiple sexualities displayed on stage, there was groping, revealing costumes (including one number that had a group of girls in rather sexy undergarments, not that anything was shown mind you but still).

Now, I’m all for exposing your children to theatre, heck I’ve been going to the theatre since I was 6 and got to see the Nutcracker the first of 9 times. However, I think it is the responsibility of the parent to research the show and see if it is appropriate for the child.  Even if it means going onto a theatre forum, like say Musicals.net, finding the show you’re going to buy tickets to, and putting a little post there that reads “Hi, I’m planing to go see this show and I’m thinking of taking my kids with me, is this a show for kids under x age”. By doing this, you will be given opinions and reasons for or against taking your child to the show from fans who have seen the show, not once, but probably multiple times, and who know the show well enough to say “yes” or “no”.

For example, there is a show called Avenue Q. From the posters and such, you see that it is a show involving puppets.. and in a way it has a Sesame Street kind of feel to it. HOWEVER! This is an adult parody of Sesame Street and were it a movie, the show would have at LEAST an R rating, if not NC18. I was in New York a couple of years ago, and watched a woman yell at the box office people because they wouldn’t sell tickets to her. She had 2 children with her under the age of 6. The box office person said that this show was not appropriate for children and she was just focused on the puppets and that her children loved puppets.

Well, in one scene, these puppets have sex, loud rambunctious sex, and there’s a song all about it! Plus the profanity, the topics, all sorts of things that she might not have wanted her children to know about.

I’m getting to the point that I’m almost thinking that if the parents aren’t going to check out the shows, even do a little research themselves, these shows need a rating system like movies. Parents wouldn’t take their children to see a movie rated A, or sometimes even PG-13 depending on the age, but they’ll take their children to see theatre where there’s burlesque, profanity, sexual innuendos and all sorts of adult topics that the kids aren’t really ready to deal with.

All in the name of exposing their children to culture.

I personally think that theatre isn’t really any different than movies, you just have the bodies and sweat and everything right there in front of you, making it that much more real.

There are plenty of child appropriate shows, you just have to find them, or research them and use your better judgment. I think that’s pretty much all I have to rant about or I’ll begin to repeat myself even more. This is just something I’ve been noticing on increasing occasions and I think that it needs to come to people, or society’s, attention.

Till next time.



RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Oh lord, tell me about it. People who take their kids to the theatre as an activity without properly researching it drive me nuts. It also bugs me when they don’t educate their children about how to behave at the theatre and the kids will talk through it, or make loud comments. My boyfriend often says that they should make you pass a written test to see performances 🙂
    Avenue Q is so totally NOT appropriate for anyone under the age of 18, though it does totally rock! Did you know it’s coming to Toronto next summer?

  2. Hi, my name’s Mickie. I found this blog by searching Yvan pedneault on Google — I’m a big fan of WWRY as well and I have to say I completely agree with what you are saying.
    I’m personally very upset about Mirvish Productions recent desicion to market WWRY towards families and younger audiences — the show is clearly appropriate for viewers at least 16 years of age. As much of a benefit the show is to Toronto’s theatre scene in getting more people interested in threatre, the production company is really grasping at anything they can for fans, and have scooped up families as a target market. As a result there have been countless cuts and edits to the script and costumes because of complaints being sent in from parents and concerned audience members. I think Toronto’s hardened theatre scene isn’t ready for such a shakeup of a show; they really need to put some sort of warning in the ads that it’s not for the faint of heart (or pre pubescent).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: