Last week marked the official, one-year anniversary of BroadwayWorld Jr. I took a moment to look back on the first few shows I took my kids to see last year. My daughter, then six, was young enough to enjoy children's theatre designed for actual children and my son, then two, was too young to enjoy anything. Now I find my theatre-going family is moving on to the next stage. Later this week, my almost-eight-year-old and I will catch a preview of Lysistrata Jones, and my little guy is over the moon excited to see more shows with Mommy.
It was a perfect time to get back to my BroadwayWorld Jr. roots with a real kids show that's meant for real kids. The Amazing Max and the Box of Interesting Things, the latest show to take stage at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, is a traditional children's magic show with many a modern twist. Max Darwin manages to enthrall children while still entertaining adults, all while gracefully executing sight-of-hand tricks and improvisational comedy.
You have to improvise when you're inviting children up on stage to be your assistants. I think five or six different kids each took a turn at joining Max on stage during the hour-long performance. Every time Max asked for another volunteer, the audience erupted as children leapt to their feet, waving their arms and shouting "Me! Me!" After a year of taking my shy, always-embarrassed daughter to see children's shows, I wasn't prepared for my little guy who not only tried to climb on my shoulders in an effort to get Max's attention, he practically dissolved into tears when he wasn't chosen as one of Max's assistants! Note to parents: Max seems to invite kids ages four and up to join him on stage. I don't blame him. A three year old is too unpredictable!
Max knows his audience. The tricks are thrilling without being scary, he moves at a pace that is slow enough for even little kids to digest but fast enough for some top-notch slight of hand. And of course, he doesn't shy away from the ever-popular poop joke. In fact, he has a prop....well, let's just say it was the one thing my son wanted to talk about when the show was over.
I won't share the details of any of the Amazing Max's tricks....that would ruin the fun! But I will tell you that a few laws of physics are defied, spectators are astounded and everyone ends up laughing. Who says men can't multi-task?
GET TO THE POINT, MOM!
- A comedic, modern take on the classic children's magic show.
- Great for ages 3 and up, probably best for kids 4-8.
- Plays weekends with a few additional holiday performances at MMAC on W. 60th St.
- For more information, including show schedule or to buy tickets, visit the shows website: www.theamazingmax.com.
- For more information on magician Max Darwin, visit his personal site: www.maxdarwinmagic.com.
- There's a poop prop.