I grew up going to the theater, performing in musicals, doing ballet. Living in Brooklyn meant going to a Broadway theater was an event. We planned ahead, tickets were bought in advance, reservations made, more often than not a special occasion was involved. I didn’t really care what I saw – I just loved going. And the truth is, when you’re a kid, if there’s singing and dancing and a big velvet curtain it’s all magic. If you also got Tommy Tune, Bernadette Peters, Mandy Patinkin or Patti LuPone – well then that magic elevated to a level of serious wizardry.
When I’m being totally honest with myself I will admit that I miss being a part of the theater. For most of my childhood and early 20’s it is where I assumed I would be. And it does not surprise me that when I look at most of my closest friends many, many of them are theater geeks too – with their own drama stories and a bit of wistful regret. I never doubted that I would raise my daughters as theater goers. They do not have quite the performing bug I had – they participate, but that love of the stage is not deep in their bones like mine. They are more attracted to singer/songwriters, not all out musical theater. However, they love to go. Even when they were little – when they hated movies, were terrified to watch previews or sit in a movie theater, they loved watching live theater.
Nothing can replace that feeling of being in the audience and watch real people, feeling real emotions, working through relationships, love, loss, and joy right in front of you. Theater is almost a basic human need – going back centuries – the desire to connect, relate, tell a story, entertain, educate. And you don’t need much to put on a show right in your own basement, backyard, school auditorium, or neighborhood park. It’s enough to inspire Broadway dreams in kids across the country.
That’s why I’m so excited to announce that KidzVuz is partnering with The Tony Awards this year to promote the June 9th telecast of the Tony Awards hosted by Neil Patrick Harris (woot!). We are holding a contest for kids all over the country to tell us about their favorite show, or sing a bit of their favorite Broadway show tune. And the response has already been amazing. Here’s one of my favorite video entries so far:
If you’ve got a Broadway Baby in your life make sure to let them know about this contest – they can win a giant bag of Broadway Show swag with hats, T-shirts, soundtracks, autographed Playbills and more. AND they could be featured on the Tony Awards website!
The kids have taken over Broadway this year in Matilda, Newsies, Kinky Boots, Annie, Motown, Annie and more. There’s never been more family friendly fare on the Great White Way – so if you’re in NYC be sure to see a show. And make sure to check out the regional theaters near where you live. Support your local theater since that’s where so many kids’ dreams begin.
And in the meantime, they can enter the Totally Tonys video contest by clicking HERE!