This past Sunday afternoon, thanks to The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust I was able to take my 4 year old to see Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE!. We arrived about 2 minutes before the scheduled show time, but luckily they started late so it gave me a minute to collect myself. The theater was packed with parents, grandparents and children as far as the eye can see. You could feel the excitement in the room.
The lights dim and here comes TROLLEY! My little one could hardly contain himself. “Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood” begins to play and out comes Daniel Tiger, the crowd erupts with excitement. Sadly that is one of the few times the crowd gets excited. This show had all the characters, realistic set design and great actors but it lacked in excitement and audience participation.
For a children’s show, I expected the characters to engage the audience more. It felt like I was watching a regular episode, but instead of on a TV it was on a theater stage. The children around me where bored and uninterested. The adults tried to pep the kids up but they seem frustrated and disappointed.
Also, the cast was stretched thin. There were only 8 actors for 16 parts, which was confusing for the kids. I heard a few say “that’s so and so”. Heck they were even out selling merchandise during intermission. I have to say even though the cast was playing different characters throughout, the star of the show was …. Ciarah Amaani who played Miss Elaina & Teacher Harriet. Her acting and superior voice caught my attention right away. She owned the stage and commanded your attention. Bravo Ciarah!
Overall it was an ok show but wasn’t on my top 10 greatest theater experiences.