BWW JR: STINKY KIDS THE MUSICAL- This Show Stinks (In A Good Way)
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by Erin Leigh Peck
Usually when I take my kids to see a show for BroadwayWorld Jr., I go in with the expectation that I might be slightly amused, slightly bored, and hopefully thankful that my kids had a good time. It's always a welcome surprise when the show ends up being endearing, funny and entertaining to both the kids and the parents in the audience. Not only did the adorable Stinky Kids not stink at all, they managed to make my whole family laugh.
This time the stakes were high...my husband accompanied us on a rare, full-family theatrical outing. As my daughter (age eight....and a quarter) begins to mature out of the realm of "early childhood" and my son (age three...and a half) is finally aging into the realm of "I can sit still for an hour", it's a special moment for us to catch shows that are appealing to both the preschool and elementary school set. This show fit the bill, and I was happy to have the opportunity to share a show with my entire household.
To be completely honest, my daughter ran into some friends and ended up sitting a few rows away from her hovering parents and embarrassing brother, but we were all in the same theatre enjoying the same show at the same time. And we all had fun. How often does THAT happen?
To give you an idea of just how clever the writing has to be, check out this riveting plot summary:
"StinkyKid Britt never gets in trouble and loves making everyone happy! She's convinced her parents to take her friends Max, Hannah, Jen, Johnny, and Billy the opening of the new MegaJumper 3000. But when Britt gets a massive wad of gum stuck in her hair, she must rely on her friends to help her get out of the sticky situation before her parents find out and cancel the trip!"
I promise you, between the catchy tunes, hilarious lyrics and quirky, original performances, "Stinky Kids" made this story engaging and memorable. Even for the grownups.
There was also something very insightful about the way the two male creators (Book and Lyric writer Sammy Buck and composer Dan Acquisto) have crafted the girls in the Stinky Kids gang. I noticed recognizable conflicts between two competing best friends, and the rivalry that is often sparked when little girls play in groups of three.
Meanwhile, my Little Guy checked out during some of the extended all-female numbers but sparked to attention when "the boy kids" came on stage. I wonder if he could see himself as clearly as I could in the one little boy character who wore a super hero cape and looked for opportunities for mischievous fun in every situation.
"Stinky Kids" manages to do something that I gather has become a new goal of the Vital Theatre Company: It appeals to little kids and older kids without annoying parents. Family theatre that actually entertains the entire family? That's a great idea that doesn't stink.
Get to the Point, Mom!