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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Review of Children's Theatre Shows at Derby Dinner Playhouse in Southern Indiana

 photo dd_zps0142d9bc.jpgMy daughter and I recently braved the torrential downpour to head to Derby Dinner Playhouse and enjoyed a hosted visit to see Miss Nelson Has a Field Day. What I love about the children’s shows is they are right at an hour. They are short, sweet, and keep your little ones entertained for the duration. Not only do they have a good message behind them, but they’re great for piquing interest in the arts.

When we arrived my daughter immediately began oohing and aahing over the gift shop. I have to say, I don’t think the Derby Dinner gift shop gets enough credit. They have a wide variety of things to appeal to all age groups and it’s not your typical junky who really needs that anyway stuff kind of place. In fact, I have some super cute Halloween decorations I purchased there about 10 years ago. I remember them being cost effective and I can attest that they’re still in good shape. With that being said, make sure you take a little walking around money with you. The kids are now allowed to take light up toys into the show and if yours is anything like mine, they’re going to have to have one. They sell a great light up toy and it’s only $6.50 here so save it for Thunder! There were all sorts of other cute things too. Again, all very cost effective.

Next it was time to enter the theatre. There are two lines formed, one on each side of the theatre to get in. However, if you don’t have your tickets in hand, you will need to go to the left. This was the case with us, but it was painless and we were in our seats at no time.

If you’ve never been to Derby Dinner, there is no such thing as a bad seat. It is a theatre in the round, which means they play to 3 sides of the stage. It’s an intimate setting, so even if you’re on the 3rd row, you’re still in great shape! However, my daughter was a bit nervous because a couple of rows in front of us, someone was celebrating a birthday which meant there was a bunch of balloons tied to their table. It also means if you want to celebrate a birthday there, you can! They have parties for up to 12 kids which includes the show. When our server, Gavin, walked up to the table, she pounced on him asking about the balloons. Gavin immediately put her fears to rest and set about taking out beverage order. Coffee and tea are included with the buffet; milk and OJ are on the buffet. You can purchase soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. After giving Gavin our drink order we headed up to the buffet. Let me preface this by saying I am not a buffet kind of girl. I do like a variety of food, but buffet food tends to not be cooked well (either over or under) and it tends to be cold. I am not a fan. That was not the case here. The salad bar had a lot of good choices. I was very happy with the selections. It wasn’t anything too extreme, but it was enough for me to make a meal since the hot line was definitely catered more to the younger palate. Waffle fries, corndogs, green beans, corn cobletts, mac n cheese, chicken nuggets, and a turkey carving station. I got some green beans to go with my salad and left the rest.

When we got back to the table our drinks were waiting and this was a sweet older lady sitting at the table next to us. She saw I didn’t have much other than a salad and asked why I didn’t make myself a turkey sandwich. PURE GENIUS! So, I went back to the buffet, grabbed a couple of turkey slices and a roll and voila! Turkey sandwich. I asked my daughter if she wanted one, but she was too busy scarfing down a corndog while doing the games inside the program. So, I guess she was good!

Before the show started, Bravo the Star came out and talked to all the kids. He walked the aisles then went on stage to discuss turning off cell phones and all the other pre show do’s and don’ts. He gave a synopsis of the rest of the Children’s Theatre shows and after every description my daughter said, “Mom! We HAVE to see that one.” So, it looks like we’ll be getting season tickets. That’s four shows total for $17 per child and $55 per adult. FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON SHOWS!!- Let’s not forget that includes lunch or breakfast depending on which show you pick. Also, if you went to Miss Nelson Has a Field Day without season tickets, paying full price, Derby Dinner will deduct the price of your ticket off the season ticket package. Pretty sweet! The remaining shows are Jingle Arrgh the Way (Pirates, matey!), The Jungle Book (I LOVE Baloo), and Princess Penelope’s Dragon (after How to Train Your Dragon, who doesn’t like dragons anymore???) Alright. I admit, I’m excited too. After all, I was a theatre girl in a previous life. Which is why I love that they offer camps and classes too!

When the show started my daughter was glued to the stage. It was a cast of 5 with lots of songs, audience participation moments, and lots of antics. Some of the scenes were performed in slow-mo which my daughter thought was too cool for words. She’s always “performing” slow-mo around the house. The show was super cute and we really enjoyed it. I don’t want to go into too many more details and be a “spoiler alert” as my daughter calls it, but I definitely recommend the show.

 photo MissNelsonHasAFieldDayPhoto_zps81d7d4eb.jpgIf you’ve never seen a Derby Dinner production, they are always top notch! A few years ago a bunch of us parents got together and took a group of girls to see Cinderella. They all dressed like princesses and it was a great time. This was part of their normal season, not the children’s theatre. The show was fantastic and the girls loved going. Ticket prices are very reasonable, especially when you consider you get dinner and a show. There are even some performances during the regular season when the kids get half price admission. I believe it is Friday and Sunday evenings. However, feel free to call the Derby Dinner box office and ask. We'll see you at the show! 

Above image courtesy of Derby Dinner Playhouse
By guest contributor: Heather

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