Kids Show Review: The Amazing Adventures of Harvey and the Princess
As a single mom living in Harlem, I would’ve never expected to identify so strongly with a King and Queen from a place called PinkMountainIsland.
I should explain.
I walked into New York City Children’s Theater as a first-time blogger with my preschooler on a brisk Saturday morning. This was also our first play together and I wasn’t at all sure what to expect from any aspect of this experience.
Nevertheless, we checked in, were seated and soon after found ourselves on an industrial dock during an unclear period of time.
There we met buskers Bert and Gert, played by Liam Fennecken and Sarah Charles. Buskers are street performers, if you’re like me and didn’t know that. Bert and Gert worked that teaching moment into their intro act nicely and my son giggled lots during this scene.
The tall slender mime of the crew, Harvey (Ben Laxton), finds himself in a box just his size and on a ship bound for Pink Mountain Island (PMI, henceforth).
We’ve commonly seen princesses like Mindy in books, TV and film. She’s a spoiled, tantrum-throwing brat, to say the least. She is dissatisfied with each and every toy her wealthy parents give her and rejects them with wails and stomps. I looked beside me to see if the little one was appalled and found delight in her behavior. He was appalled. Yay.
Enter Harvey, who in his gentle mime manner, shows Mindy the best source of contentment is actual interaction and play. Harvey simply gives Mindy quality one-on-one attention.
Here’s where I come in. While I make sure my little one has the best of everything, is always smiling and is the complete center of my universe, I’d love more time and bandwidth to get on the floor and play uninterrupted and fully engaged.
The King and Queen are thrilled with Mindy’s instant transformation and swiftly offer Harvey a PMI home and sort of demand that he stay there to keep her happy.
But by now Bert and Gert arrive on PMI to claim Harvey, as they need him for their act back on the dock. The King and Queen understandably balk at their silent manny up and leaving, but Bert, Gert and Harvey show them how to be more playfully hands-on with Mindy. It is then that he’s allowed to leave PMI and get his busk on back on in his home city. Everyone’s happy.
The King, Queen and Harvey have motivated me to slow way down and make quality one-on-one time with my little one a daily priority.
With valuable lessons for adults and children alike, coupled with Laurie Berkner’s music, “Adventures” is certainly worth your theater time. It runs from November 15th through December 7th.
For tickets information and show schedule, visit nycchildrenstheater.org.