By Laura Richards
On Friday I dropped my three year old son off at my parent’s house and took my husband and 6 ½ year old twin sons to see the North Shore Music Theater’s Super Scientific Circus. The show is recommended for children ages 4 and up due to the concepts involved and some loud noises. When we arrived, the parking lot was teeming with kids and over a dozen yellow camp school buses. The theater said this show is one of their most popular children’s performances each year. After a quick snack at the concession stand, we entered the theater which is circular and no seat is more than 50 feet from the stage thus an excellent venue for kids. Plastic booster seats are readily available for kids who need them. The show began with the very high energy, and crazy-haired, Mr. Fish who bounded onto the stage promising the audience a show of magic and circus tricks all of which could be explained by science. The show had a circus theme but one should not expect a traditional circus per se with many participants and activities taking place at once. My twins were expecting a real circus of sorts but this show consisted only of Mr. Fish and his assistant, Trent the Mime, though was no less entertaining. Mr. Fish brought out a living 'human' robot and examples were made in a fun, engaging way that robots cannot do anything without the use of the humans who created them. Mr. Fish and Trent used a wonderful blend of comedy and slapstick humor to get the sometimes complex principles of science down to the kid level. They demonstrated the center of gravity and balance point, friction, sonic booms, speed of sound, centripetal and centrifugal force through spinning dinner plates, huge beach balls, metal rods, boomerangs and the old trick of pulling a tablecloth off of a table piled high with items. They even used a bullwhip to demonstrate the speed of sound. Audience participation was garnered through clapping and several volunteers were brought onstage to assist. At one point, Mr. Fish had to leave the stage and asked the audience to watch Trent to make sure he didn’t touch anything. My kids went wild over this and loved screaming “Nooooo” along with everyone else as Trent attempted to touch things. The duo stressed throughout that the power of imagination is often more important than knowledge and that science is fun and can explain almost everything. If you exercise your mind you gain knowledge. The show wound down in energy at the end with an entrancing demonstration of bubbles and things kids can do at home with a plain drinking straw and some bubble fluid. A perfect conclusion to a rip-roaring hour of scientific fun.
This was the only performance this year at The North Shore Music Theater http://www.nsmt.org/
For future performances check out http://www.superscientificcircus.com/