This weekend, I got a chance to take Soccer Girl and a friend to see “FreckleFace: The Musical“. This family-friendly production is based on the books of the same name by actress Julianne Moore that tell the story of a young girl named Strawberry. She’s just like most kids you know – loves to go to the playground and hang with her friends, takes dance class and is generally happy and easy going. Except when she gets teased about her FRECKLES. More than anything, she hates having a face covered with freckles and is very self-conscious about them.
Eventually she comes to realize that everyone has a THING…there was a great number called “We Wanna Be Like Them” where each kid pointed out their own (perceived) flaws and pointed to another kid, showing how much better they were, and how they wanted to be like him or her. I think that really hit home with my girls. At first, they didn’t understand why Strawberry was upset about freckles, because they are “no big deal”. I reminded them that they had things that they were teased about and made them upset. Being the tallest or shortest person in a grade certainly made them self-conscious, so yeah, everyone does have a “thing”.
The kids I brought were age 12 – I’d say that’s really the upper age range of who should attend. The production says it’s for kids 4 and up, but I saw some younger ones there that were incredibly into it and very well behaved. Ideally, you’re somewhere in between, because the message of empowerment and self-acceptance is great for kids to hear.
The production is working on an anti-bullying initiative. I think this is a great idea – the first step to stopping bullying is stopping it before it starts, and that means making kids aware that teasing can hurt. Each cast member listed something that they were teased about in school days – it was enlightening for the kids to see that everyone, I mean everyone, had something that they were self conscious about. People who say that during middle and high school thinking they were super duper popular and had no issues ARE LYING. Even the most popular people don’t always realize it and think they are less than worthy. Well, listen to the Freckleface – you are worthy. You are something. Love the skin you are in!
The cast was kind enough to provide me with a “backstage pass” so the girls could take pictures with the cast. HOWEVER, an urgent text from Mr. IT begging me to come home because IT Boy was in charge of the TV and not allowing the Patriots-Ravens game to be played pulled at my heart strings. The girls graciously agreed we could skip the meet and greet. I was bummered, because I really wanted to thank the cast and let them know how great the show was. Francesca McGrory who played Strawberry was just as cute and exuberent as they come. Of course, I can’t really play favorites, BUT I will say we were all so impressed with Sarah Haines who played 3 parts – Mother, Teacher and Jane – and honest to goodness, we didn’t even realize it was the same actress.
Also, the marketer in me couldn’t help but point out how the production in it’s new location had a new look with an updated show poster and promo materials. The girls thought the new show poster with the jumping Strawberry and the exuberent cast members was so right for the spirit of the production. Well done!
Freckleface The Musical is playing off-Broadway at the MMAC (Manhattan Movement and Arts Center) Theater, 248 West 60th Street, with new block of tickets now available through April 1st.
Performances are Saturdays and Sundays at 1 pm and 3 pm – check the website www.frecklefacethemusical for dates and times. Tickets are priced at $45.00 and can be ordered through Telecharge.com at 212 239-6200. Use discount code MAMADRAMA at the box office or online to save $5 on tickets.
For more buzz on Freckleface the Musical, visit MamaDramaNY on BroadwayWorld.com.
Disclosure: I attended this performance, with complimentary tickets provided by MamaDramaNY but the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.