I couldn’t think of a more appropriate question considering that it has been the first night in a long time that my husband and I attended an Off Broadway performance without our children. Thanks to Playtime we were able to explore that question in depth at the Signature Theatres production of Edward Albee’s The Lady From Dubque. The Pershing Square Signature Theatre Center is located at 480 W 42nd St. NYC. The theater hosts a bar/cafe in a large modern open setting. It was perfect for our night out.
The Lady of Dubuque is set at a late night party where Sam and Jo entertain their friends with a round of Twenty Questions and another round of drinks. During this time the audience soon realizes that Jo is dying of cancer and we get a picture of the different relationships between the couples at the party. Actress Laila Robins (Jo) is convincing in her performance that a gentleman sitting in front of me wiped tears from his eyes. The story takes an unexpected turn when a guest and her mysterious companion arrive, the question “Who are you?” gains a whole new and desperate meaning.
The cast features Tony Award winner Jane Alexander in the title role, with Catherine Curtin (Love, Janis), Michael Hayden (Festen, Cabaret), Peter Francis James (The Merchant of Venice), Tricia Paoluccio (A Strange and Separate People), Laila Robins (Frozen), Thomas Jay Ryan (In the Next Room or the vibrator play) and C.J. Wilson (Festen, Henry IV).
Although the core message of the show is serious there are quite a few laughs involved in this journey and I would highly recommend this show on the great actors performances and wonderfully written and cleaver script. The show has been extended through April 15Th. For further information click HERE.
While the husband and myself were at the Signature Theatre our children were taking part in a theater experience of their own at PlayTime. Playtime is New York Theatre’s first child enrichment program of it’s kind. PLAYTIME makes sure that the children of theater-going parents are well cared for and enjoying an afternoon or evening of the arts with Playtime’s “ArtiSitters” while their parents enjoy a show. Childcare is provided by Sitters Studio, a bonded and insured agency. All of Sitters Studio’s sitters are working artists, and while parents catch a show, their kids learn songs, dances, theater games, and make crafts, so they BOTH walk away with a new cultural experience!
Honestly, my husband and I were nervous about leaving our children at Playtime. However, our nerves were eased by their attention to detail and kind manners. Before we even arrived we had gotten a phone call by the event coordinator to verify our childrens ages and needs. My oldest son has Aspergers and we were nervous about how he would react in this new environment. She assured me that the staff was not nervous at all and ready to deal with anything that arise. They have had other children with similar issues and have not had a problem.
When we arrived we were greeted and given a card with a phone number to call if we had any questions during the show. The children were given wrist bands and we were given numbers that matched our childrens to make pick up easy and safe. So, how did my kids do? They want to go back! They participated in making crafts, learning a pirate song and dance. The snack provided according to my son was juice, cheeses and fresh fruit. Awesome! Now probably the most impressive part for me was that I received a written report on both children. It contained how they behaved, what they did, if they ate snack or not and what skills were worked on during these exercises. I honestly couldn’t believe it! I know what you are thinking, “This probably costs a fortune!” Nope, $15 per child for the duration of the performance you are seeing. I was so pleased to have learned about this fantastic service that is affordable and allows for parents to be able to enjoy the theater. Check Playtime out HERE for more information.
Disclosure: Performance tickets and child care option were provided courtesy of PLAYTIME! for the purpose of this review. The views and opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
I also want to thank MamaDrama for making this opportunity available to me and my family.