News Flash. Pink is A-OK for boys and dads to love, too. Think pink this summer for family fun. Broadway in Chicago has teamed up with Emerald City to present their hit musical, Pinkalicious, downtown at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place through September 3rd.
Sagezilla and I checked out opening day, Friday, and were both tickled pink by the colorful costumes and sets, catchy tunes, and open minded gender message. Pinkalicious is The Hairspray Musical for the kindie set, with a larger than life, wild haired heroine, bucking convention and signing autographs.
Emerald City's Pinkalicious compels kids to eat their greens as a cure for pinkititis, and we're all about encouraging fresh, healthy veggies. But there is a deeper and more colorful theme we really dug. Men and boys can love pink, too, and girls can love a host of colors beyond pink. Wow! Thank you.
It seems so straightforward, but this is a pretty radical concept for mainstream children's theatre. It's also one dear to our hearts. In high school, my husband was the rebel skate punk with the pink trimmed board while I wouldn't be caught dead in such a girly girl color. We've both mellowed with age, but the sentiment still stands.
I'll be honest with you, we skipped Pinkalicious when it first played at Emerald City's home base, The Apollo Theatre. Their productions tend to skew young and I thought the world needed another pink pushing, pastry tasting excuse for little girls to embrace a monochromatic existence like I need a pointy toed, anorexic Barbie Doll as a role model for my daughter.
Sagezilla is somewhat of a self proclaimed "anti-princess" and not a big fan of the color pink, just because every other little girl in her 2nd grade class universally picked it as their favorite. But we are big fans of literature based theatre and Sagezilla had read some of the Pinkalicious books at school and she surprised me by really wanting to see the show. The message turned out to be a pleasantly unconventional one, encouraging individuality and expanding beyond gender stereotypes.
My little rebel without a clue is the one who horrified her conservative, suburban Grammy by belting out, "MY FAVORITE COLOR IN THE WORLD IS BLAAAAAACCCCKKK," at the tender age of 3. She still loves black at age 8 and was quite happy at the Pinkalicious premier, to be the ONLY punk in head to toe black and all black Chucks high tops in a sea of poofy pink girls (her wardrobe choice). The only hint of hot pink she conceded to were the skull laces on her shoes. No Pepto Bismol hued princess tote for this grrrrl. The pink polo wearing theatre boys adored her!
One of them even recommended we check out this book, Not All Princesses Dress in Pink which I'm looking forward to.
Like I said before, we're big fans of book based theatre. When shows encourage kids to read or books spark a love of theatre, it's a win win situation.
A number of books by sisters Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann, who co-wrote Pinkalicious, are available in the lobby. They come in a whole rainbow of colors beyond pink, too, in case the show's message sunk in, that girls can love a wide range of hues. Check out the books, Purplicious, Goldicious and Silverlicious.
Kids can meet the cast and collect autographs in the lobby after the show. One thing we've always enjoyed about Emerald City Productions is their play bills. The adults get one version and the kids get a smaller version that's big on fun, with pre-show games and show related questions.
Check out Pinkalicious and make a whole, fun, downtown day of it. We went to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch after the show, to rest our eyes from all that pink in their golden, cave like, spiral filled space. While you're at Water Tower Place drop by American Girl Place, The LEGO® Store and Marbles: The Brain Store for kid centered shopping fun.
Pinkalicious runs Thursdays through Sundays at 10AM with alternating Thursdays and Sundays. For an exact performance schedule visit Broadway in Chicago.
We're working out the details, but ChiIL Mama may have exclusive video interviews with members of the cast for you in the next few weeks, so check back in early and often.