Review: Here to Hear (Carousel Players)

The Carousel Players educate and entertains little ones about music in their latest production playing at Toronto’s Young People’s Theatre

I can’t say I have ever had to set my alarm to wake up in time to see a play before, but there’s a first time for everything I guess. As I got out of bed on February 5th I thought to myself “this better be worth it.” After a strong cup of coffee and a snowy streetcar ride, I arrived at Young People’s Theatre for the Carousel Players production of Here to Hear.

Billed as an interactive play for young audiences, I naively assumed that it meant a play for teenagers. “I can handle that,” I convinced myself. But when I arrived at the theatre only to find dozens of noisy six- year-olds running around everywhere, I was immediately disappointed and regretted that I had dragged my poor, adult friend Sarah along with me.

As we took our seats, I presumed we were about to see a show with the same level of intellectual stimulation as Teletubbies. However, this show turned out to be a pleasant surprise, and well worth the early awakening.

Here to Hear is a light-hearted play about the world of music heard through different ears. Amanda and her father disagree on what music is: She enjoys a more modern approach that involves beats, looping and innovative sounds, while her father regards her music as “noise” and opts for a more traditional style. But just when it seems as though there won’t be a concert at all, a surprise visitor shows up unannounced and turns things upside down.

Together, Amanda and her father create a song that not only helps their new friend find the way home, but encourages them to work together and garner a deeper understanding and respect for one another.

With the sole goal of entertaining six-year-olds, this play was certainly successful. Children were included in the music making and seemed to really enjoy this creative process. When a modern drum beat began playing, I noticed the majority of these kids started grooving in their seats and many were very quick to express their opinions during the performance with comments like, “It’s an evil hat!” and “Look over there!”

I’m not sure, at this point, whether or not the play or the kids were more entertaining for me.Either way, both actors were a delight to watch. They seemed so committed to their roles that nothing they did came across as fake or a plan to teach someone a lesson. They were really great with the kids and everyone seemed to truthfully enjoy creating music together.

Although, I may not necessarily recommend this play for someone’s bachelor party, if you have small children at home, this is a great outing for the whole family.

Details:

  • Here to Hear is playing through February 22, 2013 at Young People’s Theatre (165 Front St. E.)
  • Consult the schedule for show times.
  • Tickets $15 – $20
  • Tickets are available in person at the Young People’s Theatre box office (165 Front St. E.), by phone at 416-862-2222 or online.

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