I grew up in a small, rural town in northeast Ohio, so small it didn’t have even have a single stop light. It also had no fast food, low crime and, aside from productions done at through the schools or local churches, no Theater. Living in such a small community, the opportunities to grow up around the Arts was pretty much not happening except for the annual drive into Cleveland to see “The Nutcracker”. From the time my son was born I decided that we would take advantage of living within the vibrant and giving Arts community here in Columbus and see as many shows, concerts, and plays as possible. Columbus makes this easy for parents thanks to groups like CATCO Is Kids.
CATCO has launched their 2016-2017 season with a musical adaptation of the children’s classic “James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl titled “James and the Giant Peach Jr.”. Featuring local actors from the CATCO is Kids education program, the show kept the kids (and us adults) entertained with a variety of musical and dance styles from beginning to end. CATCO did a fantastic job of translating one of my favorite children books into a light and entertaining production with fantastic performances from the cast ranging in age from around 8 to 16. This is not your normal “kids” theater; The scene settings, wardrobe and choreography were all very well done and they did a fantastic job making every kid in the audience feel like they were inside that Giant Peach as it floated its way across the Atlantic with James, Centipede, Miss Spider, Glow-worm, and Ladybug.
This was my son’s first experience with Musical Theater and, with it being on a Friday night starting right about the time we are usually tucking him in bed for the night, I was a little nervous how it was going to go. To make my anxiety a little worse, while we had excellent seats 8 rows from the stage, we are as far away from the exit as is physically possible in the theater. Arriving a bit early we went over some of the enrichment materials that Catco provided about the different insects that were going to be featured and, once we had done that and my buddy started getting a bit fidgety we read a few books from CATCO’s well stocked kids library. CATCO is Kids definitely knows how to entertain kids, even before the show starts!
Operating with the help of their Season Sponsor L brands Foundation, Season Partner The Columbus Metropolitan Library and Presenting Partner the City of Columbus. This season’s run of productions will all be be held at the Columbus Performing Arts Center on Franklin Avenue and will include established works as well as the development of new work through its annual Playwrights Fellowship with the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC).
The schedule for the rest of the 2016-2017 schedule includes: A Seussified Christmas Carol, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Cowgirls Don’t Ride Zebras, and Anne of Green Gables. Also, If you have a child or two who have the acting bug, CATCO also has a fantastic education program including acting classes, summer programs and more for school aged children.
I cannot thank CATCO enough for inviting us to see their opening night production of “James and the Giant Peach Jr.” and both Harrison and I are looking forward to their next production. And thanks to GCAC, Columbus Foundation, and L Brands for helping Art Make CBUS!
#gcac #columbusfoundation #lbrands #artmakescbus #catcoforkids #catco #roalddahl #jamesandthegiantpeach
“Aaron Sheldon is a Stay-At-Home Dad, photographer, and Photography Educator. He is the creator of the “Small Steps Are Giant Leaps” project which reminds parents that our children are explorers and our everyday world is a vast, unexplored landscape waiting for them to explore it.”