During the summer months I always look forward to seeing some outdoor theatre. There’s something about seeing a live show outside in the fresh air, with the casual seating and the yummy snacks. (think popcorn, cotton candy and Italian ice!) Have you ever been to a drive-in movie? Well, outdoor theatre is way better. Why, you ask? BECAUSE IT’S LIVE! However, there are two downsides to outdoor theatre, …mosquitoes and outdoor toilets. Yikes and yuck. Well, you’ve got to take the good with the bad in life. My suggestions are to wear your bug repellent and perhaps either pants or a long skirt and then don’t order the jumbo sized soda before or during the show. There, problems solved. Me smart.
Two weekends ago I saw The Little Mermaid at Plays in the Park , which is a summertime outdoor theatre that is not too far from my home. If you’ve never done this, you really need to. It’s quite simply the most perfect family night out. Mariah and I made it a mother/daughter day with dinner and then the wonderful show. I feel renewed. For Mariah, this was the second outside theatre performance in just two days because she saw The Taming of the Shrew at the Delacorte in Central Park on the Friday night before with one of her college friends, Avery. That show is part of a summertime New York City program called Shakespeare in the Park. It’s free but it’s also first come, first serve, so there’s no sleeping in on the day of the show. Get up and get your fanny in line for tickets! The die-hards start lining up at about 5am. Yes, this is brutal, but after you receive your tickets, you can frolic in the Big Apple for the day or go and nap on a friend’s couch until you need to head back for the show at 8pm.
The only thing that tops a live show outside is seeing your own child perform in it. I’ve been a theatre mom now for many years. My girls were fortunate enough to grow up in a school system where the arts were heavily supported. They have also consistently been involved in summertime theatre camps and conservatories. Both Mariah and Hayley have been performing since grade school and the evolution of their performances has really been something to see. While this won’t be one of those shows since neither is doing summer theatre this year (scowl…pout), I’m just so happy for the experience and the time with my daughter as we see the show together.
Now sit down, put your feet up, sip your tea and google away until you find your closest venue for outdoor theatre. Once you start going, it’ll become part of your summer fun each year. I’m certain of it.
Here’s how the whole thing plays out…
First, you arrive early and plop your chairs down in line to wait for the ticket booth/box office to open.
While waiting, you whip out your handy dandy phones and take selfies…because it’s 2016 and that’s normal.
Here’s a suggestion, Snapchat face-swaps are FUN…and very disturbing. Ew.
Getting closer now….
Now quickly run in and claim your spot. This one looks good. However, the show doesn’t start for about 2 1/2 hours yet so…..
Head off to The Rainforest Cafe with this sweet baby and have…
THESE! I have to admit that after not having gone to the Rainforest Cafe for years, ever since my kids were small, I was pleasantly surprised at how good the food was.
Now scoot, walk or run back to the venue for a wonderful night of entertainment.
There’s Ariel marrying the prince. See Sebastian and Flounder waiving?
Here’s the link for Plays in the Park in Edison, New Jersey.
Just in case you’re near NYC, here’s the link for Shakespeare in the Park.