When you walk into the lobby at Norristown's Theatre Horizon, it is clear that Hero School is no ordinary show. In this 40-minute interactive experience, you and your kids will go through superhero training all while solving a mystery to find the bad guy.
Hero School was a truly unique show and a very exciting experience. Instead of sitting in theatre seats, the kids travel through different rooms throughout the theatre with Captain Felix and his friends trying to find the bad guy, Polonium Malograve. They solve puzzles together and use their powers to turn the bad guy good. Kids are encouraged to talk, touch, participate, and share ideas during the adventure.
Kids use power poses to summon up their superhero strength.
I wanted my 2.5 year-old to love it, but it was a little too intense for him and a handful of other younger children. He spent most of the show scared in my arms after the hero popped out from behind some of the theatre seats. Be aware that certain rooms are very dark and the music is pretty loud and intense, so younger kids might find it a bit scary. The theatre recommends the show for kids ages 4-8, but use your descretion if you have a little one who tends to be jumpy. The theatre also has sensory-friendly shows on August 19th and 25th, which you may want to opt for if you have smaller kids who might be scared. That said, I was really proud of my son for pushing through and being brave, and, despite being scared, he was still intrigued and participated in a few parts of the show. Ideally, kids will go through the experience independently with parents tagging along and participating behind them, but feel free to stay with your kid if they need you.
Walk through the hallways with Lady Nature to discover what mysteries lie ahead in the next room!
The show ended a bit abruptly and we were a little disappointed that there was no meet and greet or photo-ops with the cast aftewards. I think it would have been helpful for those who were scared to have the show demystified a bit and to see that it was all pretend. There was a particular cast member who played a fellow Hero School student whom we wanted to meet and say hello to after the show. Taysha Canales was super sweet and really amazing with the kids. If you have kids who are hesitant or scared, stick close to her during the show. Unfortunately, photo taking is not allowed during the performance, which is a shame because it's hard to resist taking photos of your kid doing something cool like this, but it was also nice to take a break from being the family paparazzi for a few minutes.
I was really impressed with the way they set the lobby up. If you've ever taken your kids to a show and arrived too early, you know how brutal the wait can be. Hero School has that covered. The lobby is filled with coloring pages and crayons, a giant chalkboard for kids to draw on, $1 snacks, and a DIY photo booth area, which is perfect for keeping kids entertained until the show starts. You can also buy capes and bracelets for your superhero.
What you need to know:
- Come early for crafts, activities, and $1 snacks
- Be aware that the lighting is very dark and the music can be intense- opt for the relaxed performances if you think this might be a problem for your kids
- There are some scary parts for smaller kids
- This is an interactive experience and parents participate as well
- Pictures are not allowed during the performance
- There are 30 spots available for each show, so purchase tickets online before the show
Hero School runs August 4-27, 2017 with several performances each day Friday-Sunday. There are relaxed performances on August 19 at 4 PM and August 25 at 7:30 PM. Tickets range from $15-25 and are available for purchase online.
All photos courtesy of Matthew J Photography for Theatre Horizon