Full Disclosure - I received two free tickets for this event as a media guest. All opinions are my own.
Pearl and I attended the Broadway in Portland showing of Beauty and the Beast at Keller Auditorium last night. Pearl is four years old with a bedtime generally around 8:00 pm. The show started at 7:30 pm. I wasn't sure how she would handle being out so late. I had plenty of cash on hand to keep her distracted with snacks if necessary. For the most part, my treat distractions were not needed.
After we arrived, I relaxed a little. The auditorium was full of kids under the age of 10. There were so many adorable fancy outfits and just a buzz of general excitement. Pearl was so bubbly, it was hilarious. The atmosphere helped her settle into the appropriate mood I think. As we found our seats, she was smiling from ear to ear, just examining the glowing flower on stage.
The opening song in town was wonderful. Pearl was mesmerized. It was the perfect start. She maintained that it was her favorite part even after the show was over. Most of her favorite moments were the highly choreographed numbers with lots of characters on stage. The production did a fantastic job incorporating child level humor so the kids never seemed to lose interest. The show lasted until 10:00 pm and I only heard one child cry the entire time. Pearl barely even acted tired. She was so excited that she chatted my ear off the whole drive home. If you are hesitant, I can confidently tell you not to worry about taking your kids. They will be entertained and will most likely not be a distraction. There are also two matinee showings this weekend if you are concerned about bedtime.
Photo c/o Broadway in Portland
Another concern parents may have is whether the show is too scary for little ones. There are a few scary moments. Nearly all of them involve someone being chased in the woods by wolves. During the first wolf attack, I held Pearl's hand. She was concerned, but seemed fine once she realized that Belle's dad was unharmed. If you are concerned about scary moments, maybe talk to your child beforehand about the wolf parts. The production handled the Beast character very well. He is clearly mean at times, but is never at any point terrifying. Only the most sensitive of small children may take issue with him. Overall, the fun outweighs any of the brief scary moments. You can always hold a hand or keep your child on your lap when you see those moments coming.
The show plays throughout the rest of the week in Portland. If you are looking for a special family outing, I highly recommend it.