Category Archives: Father’s Day

Parent Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Moonlight Musicals

Tom Sawyer program

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a toe-tappin’ summer escape for families + a special treat for Dad.
Catch Friday & Saturday performances through July 1st.

The first summer production from Moonlight Musicals is a welcomed escape for families as we transition from the frantic end of school-time, into summer-time - the hazy, lazy days of summer that Tom Sawyer and his buddy Huck Finn have come to symbolize.  And we couldn’t help but think that a trip back in time with Tom and Becky and Huck is just about the best Fathers Day gift. Ever! The production is Dad-friendly (lots of male characters) with a bluegrass band rather than a full orchestra.  It’s even teen-approved.  Win/Win!  The night we attended was absolutely perfect: The view of the water at Mackenzie Park behind the stage was mesmerizing and the light breeze refreshing.  The full Strawberry Moon was the icing on the cake.  Perfect!

Tom Sawyer Full Moon Rising

The beginning scene starts with Tom Sawyer taking the stage… fishin’ of course! to a wonderful musical medley performed by an extremely talented 6-member orchestra that includes not only a violin, but a slap bass, banjo, guitar, mandolin, piano, and drums.  It really sets the mood for the show, and transforms the audience into a softer, slower time.

This production is especially enjoyable for kids because it includes so many children in the cast… and they look like they are having the best summer ever!  The toe-tapping music is not overdone but adds to the story in exactly the right spots… our toes were tapping and hands clapping throughout.  And several groups of kids in the audience could be seen busting out a few dance moves when the spirit moved them as well.

Tom Sawyer kids play

The story is truly timeless and one that all kids, and parents can relate to.  Tom (played by Coby Rogers) is charming and endearing, and Becky Thatcher (played by Anna Holmes) is spunky and sweet.  They are perfectly cast and with the addition of Tre Babineaux as Huck Finn, the adventures begin and friendships are made.  The cast is driven by so many talented actors in their teens that it’s a great opportunity to ignite a spark for the arts for children in the audience.  The exposure to performances such as Tom Sawyer is not only a way to share these special, fleeting summer days with our children, but an opportunity to instill a lifelong appreciation for the arts, perhaps even create a budding performer!

Tom and Becky

Although the kids take center stage in Tom Sawyer, the adults help anchor the show and give the characters the love and support needed.  The performance by Mariann Davidson as Aunt Polly, Tom’s aunt who is raising him, especially tugs on the heart of every parent in the audience.  Her song, as she checks on Tom as he sleeps, echoes words and thoughts that all parents have shared during sleepless, worry-filled nights.  It’s one of our favorite quotes from the show…

“This time tomorrow
we will have traveled another day
this time tomorrow
we’ll be a little farther on our way
we will be wiser
we will be older too
this time tomorrow
I will still be loving you

this time tomorrow
no telling how the world will turn
this time tomorrow
what lessons we will have to learn
we will find laughter
we will find tear drops too
this time tomorrow
I will still be loving you

so sleep tight
baby don’t you worry
it’s alright
we’re not in a hurry
come in through the window
oh, my
where does the time go…”

Tom Sawyer and Aunt Polly

Parent Pointers: Tips for making your experience more enjoyable

The venue is perfect for even the youngest of children.  It’s outside so there’s lots of wiggle room and lots of tiered grass seating perfect for blankets and chairs.  Hills for rolling.  Bahama Bucks for munching.  Aisles for dancing (yes, it’s OK to let them dance… in fact it’s encouraged!).  And picnics are always allowed… even if the picnic consists of a quick drive through!

The doors open an hour before showtime, so try to get there as early as you can to stake your claim on a favorite spot.  It’s open seating in the General Admission-designated area, which is the top section and sides… perfect when you have little ones anyway!  Be sure to bring sunscreen, mosquito repellant, and also a light jacket or blanket because regardless of the heat index during the day, our wonderful West Texas evenings can cool down nicely when the sun starts setting.

Although the show ends past some bedtimes (around 10:15pm), stay after the show and take the kids down to the stage where they can meet and greet the characters.  They may even know some of the cast members and can grab some hugs, program autographs and photos.

Preparing for the show:

The story does include some violent scenes that result in death, so parents may want to prepare children and discuss the story in advance.  The scenes are well-done and the actors in both cases do arise and make their way from the stage, proving that all is well.

Encourage older kids to read the novel or at least some excerpts of one of the Tom Sawyer book series.  Area public libraries have the books as well as the audio books and videos too.  For more fun, have the kids dress the part!

If your kids are veterans of Moonlight Musical productions, an element to this show that is different, is the orchestra.  Because it is a smaller, bluegrass inspired ensemble, it’s a great opportunity to discuss the different types of orchestras used for musical productions and perhaps even lookup and learn a bit more about bluegrass.

Tom Sawyer toe tappin

Just the Facts!

When: Friday and Saturday June 9 & 10, 16 & 17, 23 & 24, 30 & July 1, 2017.  Gates open at 7pm and performance starts at 8pm.

Where: Moonlight Musicals Amphitheatre at 413 East Broadway Lubbock, TX 79403.

How: Tickets are available at online, or by calling 806-770-2000. Prices Range from $23-$31 for adults and $10-$18 for children.  Students for $15. *For General admission child age is 5-9 years and Premium admission child age is 0-9 years.

Length: Lasts approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes with a 20 minute intermission included..

Age: Recommended for ages 4 and up.  Younger kids will still enjoy the open venue and the dancing and singing.

Planning to go?  Let us know how you like the show!  Write your reviews below.

Credits:  Based on the novel by Mark Twain. Conceived and written by Ken Ludwig.  Music and lyrics by Don Schlitz.

Images from Lubbock Moonlight Musicals 2017 production of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and 

Parent Review: Seussical from Moonlight Musicals

Catch a Family Funtastical Show Under the Stars!  Friday & Saturday performances through June 25th.  Performances added Thurs June 30th & Friday July 1st!

Cat in the Hat -Daniel Hogan -sm

Cat in the Hat – Daniel Hogan. Photo credit: Gypsy Artist Design and Photography.

Continuing our series featuring parent reviews & tips on local events and activities, our contributor Rebekah (a.k.a. Hub City Mom) shares her experience at the kickoff performance of Moonlight Musicals’ Summer Series:  Seussical!  Great review and super tips!  (Perhaps the perfect Fathers Day gift?)  Got an idea for a scoop?  Share it with us and we’ll check it out! Interested in writing a review?  Contact us and let’s blog!

by Rebekah Gillespie

Mom and SonThe 2016 summer series at Lubbock Moonlight Musicals kicked off recently with a fantastic performance of “Seussical.” This whimsical production of Dr. Seuss’s inspiring stories is fun, amusing and very entertaining. The entire family will love “Seussical”! We took our three-year old son to the performance, and he was captivated by it. This was his first theatrical experience, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. We all enjoyed the vibrant colors of the costumes and set as well as the remarkable singing and dancing.

“Seussical” follows the story of Horton the Elephant, citizens of the jungle and his friends from Whoville. Other key characters include Jojo, Gertrutde, Mayzie and Sour Kangaroo. My son’s favorite character is the Cat in the Hat who narrates the production. Thing 1 and Thing 2 make frequent apperances that leave the audience chuckling, and even the Grinch makes a special appearance. The incredibly hard work put into this production is evident throughout the entire performance making “Seussical” remarkably spectactular and memorable. The expressive song lyrics and upbeat music will leave you singing for days.

Cat on stage

This was our first Moonlight Musical experience in the amphitheatre, and the outdoor atmosphere is peaceful and serene. The summer evenings in Lubbock are very enjoyable making Lubbock Moonlight Musicals a great venue for outdoor entertainment. We also enjoyed bringing our son because it was a more casual environment than traditional productions at the civic center’s auditorium. Our son was able to sit, stand and lay down during the performance without being bothersome. The casual atmosphere at the amphitheatre makes it a great environment for small children who, like my child, have trouble staying still.

Thing sittingIn addition, I love that patrons are allowed to bring coolers and lawn chairs to the performance. We were able to have a picnic as a family and eat snacks throughout the performance without spending a small fortune on refreshments. Be sure to bring some cash for the concession stand because Bahama Buck’s is selling their pre-packaged Sno Blasts, which are delicious!  Also, freshly popped popcorn is always enjoyable at any performance.

Parent Pointers:  Here are a few tips to make your experience more enjoyable.

First, arrive early to the amphitheatre because seats are first come first serve unless previously reserved for a group. The gates open at 7 p.m. with the performance starting promptly at eight o’clock. Fortunately, every seat has a clear view of the stage making it impossible to have a bad seat. General admission is labeled in green tape; orange tape is premium admission. 


The center section of the amphitheatre as well as the first two rows of the side sections are premium seating. I would recommend premium seating if you want a center stage view and the opportunity to interact with some of the cast during the performance. There is a difference in ticket pricing for adults and children in the premium section and is important to be aware of those differences when purchasing tickets. I found that general admission worked great for our three year old because he didn’t sit still long enough to have paid for a premium seat. When he is older, I will invest in premium seating.

Secondly, be sure to bring a blanket and lawn chairs otherwise you will be sitting on the grass for two and a half hours. You can also bring a cooler and snacks to enjoy during the performance.

Family picnic

Since it is outdoors, mosquito repellent is must and beware of a few bees flying around the trash cans. You may also want to bring a light jacket if you get cold easily. Occasionally, the wind is blowing and will give you a chill. Binoculars are another item you may want to bring especially if you are arriving closer to the performance time. Remember that everything you bring in the amphitheater you have to haul back to your car. The amphitheatre is wheel chair accessible making it possible to bring strollers and wagons for smaller children.

Lastly, the cast will be available for pictures after the performance so bring a camera with a great flash. There is not enough lighting to get a good picture without a flash since the performance ends after dark.

My son was excited to meet the Cat in the Hat, but he was very uncertain about having his picture taken with him. Younger children might be intimidated by the characters in their costumes up close so be prepared to have someone take the picture of you and your child with the cast member. This will save time and avoid tears. As you can see, I ended up in the picture with my son still unsure about the Cat.

Meeting Cat

Preparing for the show:

It’s always fun to read Dr. Seuss, and I would highly recommend reading Horton Hears a Who to your child prior to seeing “Seussical.” In addition, there is also an animated movie about Horton that your child will love that can be watched pre or post show. These activities are enjoyable and will also help younger children better follow the performance.

Also, talking with your child about theater etiquette is another important way to prepare for “Seussical” or any performance. Lubbock Moonlight Musicals has a great page on theatre etiquette and gives patrons an idea of what is expected and permissible.

Lastly, a great talking point for your family is to discuss the function of a live orchestra. I loved seeing the orchestra at the amphitheater and the opportunity to explain to my son their purpose. Often times the orchestra is stationed in the orchestra pit which is hidden from the audience’s view. Some other questions my son asked that are worth discussing are: “What is the theater?”, “Why are they wearing costumes?”, “What are the [stage] lights for?”, and “Who is that person?”.

Seuss orchestra

Just the Facts!

When: Friday and Saturday 6/10 & 6/11, 6/17 & 6/18, 6/24 & 6/25, and just added: Thursday 6/30 & Friday 7/1. Gates open at 7 P.M. with performance starting at 8 P.M.

Where: Moonlight Musicals Amphitheatre at 413 East Broadway Lubbock, TX 79403.

How: Tickets are available at Select-a-Seat, online, or by calling 806-770-2000. Prices Range from $20-$28 for adults and $7-$15 for children. *For General admission child age is 5-9 years and Premium admission child age is 0-9 years.

Length: Lasts approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.

Age: Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Planning to go?  Let us know how you like the show!  Write your reviews below.

Rebekah is a blogger and mom of 2 who has recently embraced Lubbock and the Hub City area as her home. You can reach her by leaving a response on this blog article.  Find her at

For more photos and full article, hop on over to Rebekah’s blog.

Photos by Rebekah Gillespie (unless noted). Images from Lubbock Moonlight Musicals 2016 production of Seussical.


Top Dad-ventures: Father's Day around the Hub

Carving out some special time with Dad is what it’s all about for Father’s Day.  And our amazing Lubbock-area dads deserve to celebrate their day just the way they want… Hungry-man breakfast? CHECK.  Sleeping in? CHECK.  Easy-to-find fun stuff to do together?  DOUBLE-CHECK…  thanks to our double-stuffed  Father’s Day Dad-venture section!

Father's Day in Lubbock

So whether Dad loves the great outdoors or the hustle and bustle of the city, we know his greatest wish is to spend more time with his little buckaroos, and our guide can help give you some ideas to start the adventure.  But most of all, be sure to fill his day with love, and laughter, and hugs, and everything that makes him smile. 

Take in a Show Together

Father’s Day Weekend offers a bevy of performances – live and cinematic – that are perfect for dads to enjoy with children of any age:

—>  The Musical “13″ performed by the Lubbock Community Theatre.  Father’s Day Special:  dads who attend with their kids or wives get in FREE on Father’s Day!

Shrek performed by Lubbock Moonlight Musicals 8pm Friday and Saturday night at the Moonlight Musicals Amphitheatre.

Shrek 8x10
—>  Beauty and the Beast Jr.  performed by Lubbock Moonlight Musicals’ Moonlight Children’s Theatre at 10am Saturday morning at the Moonlight Musicals Amphitheatre.  Beauty and the Beast Jr.

—>  Parties celebrating the premier of Disney’s new movie “Inside Out” at Premiere Cinema and also at Alamo Drafthouse Saturday.
—>  The Juneteen Celebration Parade and Festival Saturday.
—>  The West Winds Brass Band Performance Sunday evening at Wagner Park.

Create Together

—>  Creating (and eating!) cookie works-of-art Friday at the Celebrate Dad event at Cookies By Design.
—>  Painting a masterpiece together at the Art & Company Father’s Day canvas class Saturday.
—>  Enjoying fun kid-friendly and teen-friendly sessions at Painting with a Twist Saturday & Sunday.
—>  Creating a priceless treasure together Saturday at the Mud Room or Clay Cafe.  Handprints are always a winner!
—>  Making a cool Father’s Day Card at Chick-fil-A Raider Park‘s Craft & Game morning Saturday.

Eat Together

Several places are offering discounts for Dad Sunday including Beef ‘O’ Brady’s where he eats FREE and also Hurricane Grill where he eats FREE!

Road Trip!

—>  The Abilene Zoo is offering free admittance for Dad on Sunday, and the Tahoka Centennial Celebration Saturday will be fun for everyone (you KNOW dad could win the pie eating or watermelon contest!).
—>  Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose is also having a special Father’s Day Sunset Safari Dinner and Tour Saturday (which also happens to be National Giraffe Day!).
—>  Or, if you feel like a road trip but don’t have the time, how about a “backyard campout” at the local KOA Campground where they offer a special kids camp free deal on Father’s Day weekend (and did you know they have an indoor pool?).
—> Enjoy a pre-historic road trip by joining the Night Hike at the Lubbock Lake Landmark Saturday evening at dusk and welcome the beautiful West Texas evening together!

Consider gifts that bring everyone together long after Father’s Day

Great gift ideas include:
—>  a season pass to the summer Moonlight Musicals… all are perfect for families.

2015 Season
—>  Critterfest Tickets to use next weekend at the Science Spectrum.  critterfest image square
—>  a yearly pass to the Science Spectrum Museum.
—>  a season pass to Lubbock Water Rampage.
—>  a multi-pass to Joyland Amusement Park.
—>  jump pass to Jump N Jungle

Check our full Calendar for a complete list of events found over the Father’s Day weekend!

Wishing all the incredible dads and men out there special memories with your amazing kids, whether you are able to spend time together this weekend or in the future!

Happy Father’s Day!