Five years ago when “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” debuted at the Children’s Theater, I wasn’t in the audience. I was at home, chasing two babies and reading this beloved children’s tale by Laura Numeroff to my girls Erin and Brita night after night after night. This time, on June 22 when “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” took the stage for a new crowd of mouse-and-boy fans, I was there with my school-agers Erin (age 7) and Brita (age 6).
As a mom who has read this story night after night after night, I couldn’t quite imagine how the book would take the stage. And I’m glad. This production is more than my imagination ever expected. Much more.
For moms and dads who might be thinking, ‘Isn’t it enough that I read this book over and over and over?’ The answer is, “No, it’s not enough.” You can’t miss this show, and neither should your kids, for so many reasons.
First, as parents, we can always use a good laugh, and our kids can always use good, clean humor. And when my girls watched, they belly-laughed (and so did I). The humor was clever and physical and perfectly executed by amazingly funny actors. Mouse, played by Dean Holt, and the Boy, played by Reed Sigmund, have incredible chemistry and they work hard to make the show funny for all ages.
Second, the sets, costumes and props are beautiful and magical. The storybook came to life before our eyes! Remember the part where Mouse is determined to help scrub the floor because he made a mess? Hats off to the costume and props department who fashioned a pair of roller skates into strap-on scrubbing brushes and provided Mouse with the ability to appear that he was slipping on a soapy floor. But it doesn’t stop there, while in the process of catching his balance, Mouse stumbles into Boy and the collision results in an impromptu figure skating routine to a beautiful waltz.
And finally, the theater is incredibly welcoming for families. Now, I’ll admit, we are a theater family. My girls have been going to plays since they were very young. But, if you have never been to a play and you’re not sure how your family will react to live theater, remember this: it’s called the Children’s Theater for a reason. This theater is incredibly child-friendly, and this show is the perfect place to start. The audience is laughing the entire time, so there is low-risk and you won’t have to worry about the show keeping your family’s attention. There is also low investment, as tickets start at $10. You can also find ticket deals (and a host of other exclusive experiences) at go.minneapolis.org.
Before leaving the house, I told Erin and Brita that they were on a special assignment. Their mission: to share their thoughts about what they saw in this blog. Here's what they thought:
Erin: “My favorite part was when the mouse was ice skating on the floor…”
Brita: “My favorite part was when the mouse was sweeping. He was funny, and I liked [the ice skating] too. The part where he was supposed to be going to sleep was funny too because he started eating the cotton balls…”
Erin: “…which were really marshmallows. And then he had to spit them out into the boy’s hand. That was a little gross.”
Me: “How many stars do you give this play, with five stars being the best play ever, and one star being terrible?”
Brita: “I give it TEN stars. No, 100 stars!”
Erin: “I give it 1,000 stars.”
Brita: “No, 1,000 stars to infinity and beyond!”
I think they liked the show. I also think if you give your kids a funny play, they’re going to want another funny play to go with it.
Amanda Engquist DePhillips is the Director of Marketing for Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Bureau, and guest resident mom blogger. She and her husband Tom enjoy family adventures with Erin and Brita, as well as collecting Minneapolis theater and dining experiences on “date nights.”