Children's theater generally makes the list of things to do with our little ones, so finding a new theater with appropriate shows for the under 10 crowd is always a treat. The Little Theater, a 49-seat theater in West LA, is a great, low key spot to enjoy kid friendly theater, and a wonderful start for the beginner theater goer.
I recently took my three year old to see The Giving Tree and Cinderella. Both shows are geared for three year olds up to eight or nine. The shows run one hour or less, and kids can meet the actors for handshakes and photos after the show - which provides a great incentive for fidgety kids to watch until the end. The young audience was very engaged throughout, and the adults in the audience had fun as well, watching their children get into the action.
Cinderella uplifts, with a heroine who maintains a positive attitude and triumphs in the end. There are some mean spirited step-sisters in Cinderella, as we all know, but there isn't anything too scary for sensitive viewers. Cinderella is played by the beautiful Sara Schodrof, who, of course, my child wanted to meet after the show. One highlight for most kids was the mean step-sisters auditioning their preposterous dance moves for the prince, played by Matthew Faller; silly adults on stage translates to giggling children in the audience. Some princess fans came dressed as Cinderella, and others brought their own Cinderella books to have signed post show.
The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein, is a favorite bedtime story of my little one, so watching it come to life on stage was a unique and exciting experience for her. I could tell that it was just as special for other audience members - particularly those attending theater for the very first time. The Giving Tree is a story of giving and receiving as well as finding happiness in the simple things; the story is told on a set that is uncomplicated, with just two actors playing the boy and the apple tree. Together, they bring the book to life through words, props, dance, and movement. My child and I were enchanted.
There are very few concessions at The Little Theater, so bringing a snack or coming fed is advisable. Because space is tight, you might want to leave the stroller in the car. But if the stroller is a must, there is room to tuck strollers away.
Children are advised to use the restroom before the show, since it is located behind the stage (meaning one would have to walk onto the stage to get to the restroom). Because it is open seating, getting there 10-15 minutes before the show is a good idea. The seats are large and comfortable, so if you little one ends up on your lap, parents can hopefully remain comfortable.
The shows are seldom sold out so buying tickets at the door for a small group is possible. You might want to call ahead nonetheless, since tickets are generally cheaper in advance. I always seem to save 50% by going to Goldstar. Check the The Little Theater website frequently for future children plays coming up such as The Frog Prince or sign up for their email announcements.
The Giving Tree runs Saturdays and Sundays 4pm until April 5th. Admission is $15 dollars.
Cinderella runs Saturdays & Sundays 2pm & 7pm until April 5th. Admission is $20.