So today, at showtime I wasn't sure what to expect ... The 60-minute production is fantastic. (If you can get tickets to the March 19 Worcester show, get them! -- www.theatreworksusa.org) In the show, Junie B. (The B stands for Beatrice, and she doesn't like it, so she goes by B.) is now entering first-grade. She finds that her two "bestest" friends (Lucille & Grace) from kindergarten have new friends. Now, Junie B. needs to make new friends, cope with getting glasses (purple ones), survive a stint as an assistant to the lunchlady, who makes fabulous sugar cookies; and standout during the kick-ball tournament after hurting her toe kicking a watering can.
The 10 a.m. show today at the Berklee Perfomance Center was packed with school children (Tewksbury, Revere, etc). Most of the TheatreworksUSA shows cater to field trips - few families attend as performances are typically during school hours.
That's too bad as this show is wonderfully staged, filled with fun, laughter, and toe-tapping music. (My daughter has been singing Top-Secret Personal Beeswax the rest of the day.) The small cast does a terrific job with multiple roles.
The New York-based TheatreworksUSA did an enjoyable job of bringing Barbara Park's famous bus-riding first grader to life.
This show (and the rest of the company's schedule) is unquestionably family-friendly and VERY cost affordable at just $10 a ticket ($7 for groups 15+).
Most of the theatrical performances are ideal for elementary-aged children, but a couple are great for middle schoolers, including The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere and The Color of Justice.
There are shows in Boston at Berklee Performance Center, in Worcester at Mechanics Hall, and in Providence, R.I. at the VMA Arts & Cultural Center. (So almost anywhere in Eastern or Central Massachusetts, there is a show about 30 miles away.) Other productions include Charlotte's Web, Seussical, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and several others.
Again, I just wish TheatreworksUSA offered family-friendly shows in Massachusetts on weeknights and weekends, so that everyone could enjoy the fun!
For now, you can either pull your child out of school, like I did today, or encourage (and help) your child's teacher to plan a field trip.