Category Archives: Picks

Star-Spangled Family Fun - The Music Man

Chilrdens Band

The Music Man at Lubbock Moonlight Musicals Amphitheatre

CoverExtra show added!  Final Shows: Thurs. 7/5, Fri. 7/6 and Sat. 7/7

There are so many reasons that The Music Man is the ideal escape, right here in River City, er, the Hub City!, to enjoy some family time during the mid-summer, lazy, hazy, firecracker days of the 4th of July holiday week!  The multiple Sousa-esque marches entice the little ones to march along and everyone to clap and tap in time!  And there may even be a few new musical conductors as a result:  we noticed several kiddos standing and leading the band!  Even if the kids haven’t seen the movie, they will be amazed that they already know some of the songs, like “Seventy-six Trombones.”   BarbershopThe ‘barbershop’ quartet, who appear during various scenes, treats the audience to “Ice Cream” (it’s a song and actually as good as the cold stuff!) and their smooth harmonies just scream of summer.

The beauty of this huge production is the introduction of musical classics to many in the family who need to be inspired by it!  Our 16 year old has a new favorite song from the show that she loved learning and has been singing at home since the show… “Goodnight My Someone.”  A beautiful ballad, performed magically by Shayna Tayloe as Marian.  Who knew it would be a sweet melody that would touch a teen!

Ya Got Trouble

That’s the benefit of sharing the experience of as many musicals, live, as we can with our kids – we don’t know what will touch them and in what way.  Giving them more connection to culture and history as well.  As we were leaving the park, we overheard a conversation between what appeared to be a grandmother and her grand daughter…. maybe about 8 years old.  Grandma asked the girl if she liked the show, and the bouncing girl responded with a squeal “yes!” but wished that her cousin had been there too… then the 8 year old asked grandma if they could come see it again so she could share it with her cousin.  Proof that the music and the lively dialogue and all the children on stage keep the show interesting to even the youngest e-connected set!


So many of the songs are full of movement and percussion and alliteration:  “Rock Island” chorus is a mesmerizing tongue-twister…  we still don’t know how they all remembered all the words!  And be prepared for your kids to take “Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little” and make it their summer theme-song!


The story revolves around teaching the children of a small town that they can play music and become a marching band with the proper instruments, and uniforms, and instruction – by the The Music Man of course!  It creates a statement of the importance of being exposed to music and learning music for all children:  “Teach them kids to play”…. which is the mission and the moral of the story.

Children pretend music

The story is set in the summer of 1912 in River City, Iowa, so there are several fun words and themes the the kid can learn and explore.  One is “Billliard”… our kids didn’t realize what that was and what it symbolized especially during that time period.  Another learning opportunity was explaining why it was that walking with books on your head, was a method of training young girls to walk gracefully and “lady-like.”  ChoirAnd speaking of graceful:  the costumes are beautiful and truly appeal to the nostalgia of simpler times.  The kids will love them and will have fun watching all the kids in the show in their vintage band uniforms, playing their instruments and having fun themselves.

Parent Pointers: Tips for making your experience more enjoyable

Reminders:  The venue is perfect for even the youngest of children.  It’s outside with wiggle room and lots of tiered grass seating perfect for blankets and chairs.  Hills for rolling.  Bahama Bucks for snacking (which is a fundraiser for Moonlight Musicals – remember they are a nonprofit!), and aisles for MARCHING.  Picnics are always allowed!DSCN4374

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 are cooling down nicely.

There is plenty of time to 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.

After the show, just for fun, plan to have a movie night with the kids to see the movie version and discuss the differences…

Just the Facts!

When: June 15-16, 22-23, 29-30,
Thursday 7/5, Friday 7/6, Saturday 7/7.  Gates open at 7pm and performance starts at 8pm.

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

How: Tickets are available online, or by calling 806-770-2000. Prices start at $20 for adults and $7 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 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:  Book, Music and Lyrics by:  Meredith Willson, Story by:  Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey.

Images from Gypsy Arts Design & Photography, Lubbock Moonlight Musicals 2018 production of The Music Man and 


A Holiday Weekend BLAST for Families - Legally Blonde Jr.

35283656_10155487815791899_8816017113501138944_nLast Chance – Final performances this weekend!
Bruiser is waiting…

If you are looking for a way to spend some time together over the pre-holiday weekend with especially your oh-so-bored-with-summer-already teens and pre-teens, then you can’t miss the final performances of Lubbock Community Theatre‘s production of Legally Blonde Jr. The Musical at the LHUCA Firehouse Theatre.

Great for the entire family, and not just for the soon-to-be sorority gals… super fun for the men and boys in your life and perfect for recent 2018 grads!

35221955_10155487815826899_1661112836912316416_nThe beauty of this production is not only its length, it’s under 2 hours, but its infectious cast and crew… including 2 absolutely adorable dogs who are very talented stars in their own right!

The show follows the story made popular in the movie “Legally Blonde” staring Reese Witherspoon. However this production is sweeter, and more inspirational for our kids – whether they are soon to be graduates or have a few years to go. The underlying message of always being true to yourself, yes, even if it means wearing your signature color (pink!) to your first job, is timeless and is reinforced though a super-fun music score (and one you and your child will sing together for days!). In addition, the theme of tenacity and never giving up on something you believe in, is a very valuable take-away. And one of the most encouraging messages, as a parent, is the fact that Elle has to work hard to reach her goal of going to Harvard Law School… dreams take effort!

If your kids aren’t fans of musicals, then this is the the show you must see together… it’s so much fun that our family will be seeing it again this weekend! And the layout of the theatre lends to the feel that you are part of the story and the fun, with a very close proximity to the stage.

The talent of the young actors will blow you away. The actor who played Elle the first weekend, Macee Maddox, not only pulled off the spunky attitude of Elle while keeping her sweet and endearing, but also treated the crowd to a beautiful, angelic voice. And one of our family favorites was Paulette Bounafountie, played perfectly and charmingly by Taylor McKenzie Sines. And Karson Hood as Brooke Wyndam truly stole the show at times!35238490_10155486882131899_3282695482027016192_n

Start the 4th of July holiday weekend with a bang, and bend, and snap, and join the fun at Legally Blonde Jr.  OMG You Guys… you’ll love it!

If you go:
It is a close-up theatre, so once the show starts, late arrivals are not allowed.
Waters and light treats are available with no concession so eat before or after you go.

Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:30 PM.
Friday, June 22, 2018 7:30 PM.
Saturday, June 23, 2018 7:30 PM.
Sunday, June 24, 2018 2:30 PM.
Thursday, June 28, 2018 7:30 PM.
Friday, June 29, 2018 7:30 PM.
Saturday, June 30, 2018 7:30 PM.
Sunday, July 1, 2018 2:30 PM.

Where: Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (LHUCA) Firehouse Theatre. 1511 Ave. K., Lubbock, TX 79401.

How: Tickets are available online, at the door or by calling 806-749-2416. $15 for students and seniors and $20 for adults.

Length: Lasts approximately 1 1/2 hours with a 10 minute intermission included.

Age: Recommended for ages 6+ but lively enough for all ages!

Going to the show?  Let us know!  Write your reviews below.


Legally Blond Jr. The Musical

Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin.  Book by Heather Hach.  Directed by Heather May.

Elle Woods:  Macee Maddox 1st weekend, Eve Helak 2nd weekend.
Margot:  Natalee Sanchez
Serena:  Liberty DeLeon
Pilar:  Hannah Hays
Warner Huntington III:  Zachary Ell 1st weekend, Wyatt Brownell 2nd weekend
Emmet Forrest:  Dylan Avant
Vivienne Kensington:  Allana Cano
Paulette Bounafountie:  Taylor McKenzie Sines
Pro. Callahan/Grandmaster Chad:  Miguel Martinez
Brooke Wyndam:  Karson Hood
Kyle:  Deacon Chaney
Whitney:  Brenna Ryan
Kate:  Sophie Goforth
Saleswoman:  Sylvia Medina
Judge, Store Manager:  Abi Mills
Chutney:  Natalya Pappas
Enid Hoops:  Lindsay Little
Winthrop:  Harrison Black
Pfizerreeme:  Erin Ewings
Fratboy, Salon Worker:  Robert Spencer
Jet Blue Pilot, Guard:  Grand Pyke
Aaron Shultz:  Nicholas Ellerbrook
Sundeep Padammada:  TiAmos Jackson
Dewey:  Nelson Hudson
Fratboy, Guard:  Kagan Baker
Delta Nu, Bookish Client:  Anya Pappas
Harvard Student:  Gabby Pena

Photos provided by Heather May – Lubbock Community Theatre.

Parent Review: Miracle on 34th Street The Musical

Gobble Up
Some Family Memories this Thanksgiving!

Miracle Poster


Kris Kringle is Alive and Well and in The Hub City…
Catch him while you can!

Special holiday week shows through Sunday November 26th.

Moonlight Broadway has given area families another holiday treat… a chance to bridge generations with its latest production of Meredith Willson’s Miracle on 34th Street – The Musical.  It’s the perfect outing for the entire family during the Thanksgiving holiday week, whether they are coming from out of town or across the street, are young or old.  And this production is particularly charming because, in true Moonlight Musicals fashion, they have included many children into the cast.

In fact, the story line revolves around a child: Susan Walker (enthusiastically played by Abi Mills).  Susan is a little girl who was never allowed to believe in Santa or other things that are not tangible.  It was a well-intentioned strategy by her mother, Doris, to protect Susan from being hurt or disappointed from dreams that may not come true.  Susan’s quest to discover if her friend Kris Kringle really is who he says he is, strikes a chord with the kids in the audience, establishing Susan as a hero: she is the little girl who finds her Santa and whose faith helps inspire all the adults around her to believe in and follow their own dreams.

Santa march

The Thanksgiving Day Parade scene at the first of the show, with the kids and floats is fun, and includes a spirited march as the children at the parade fall in behind Santa, forming a line and marching to, of all things, a Christmas carol!

The music is festive and enjoyable and helps make the musical version more lighthearted than the screenplay versions.  One that everyone in the audience will recognize is a family fave:  “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”… who knew that one of our favorite carols was born on the stage!

We loved the gentle, kind, yet commanding presence of Kris Kringle, played wonderfully by Mike Morgan.  His warm and playful manner was fun to watch as he interacted with the children on stage, from leading the kids on a holiday march, to answering their questions and requests with compassion and sage advice.  And what our kids enjoyed as well, was seeing how Kris was able to to help the grown-ups believe once again in miracles and in the goodness of people.

Santa and HendrikaA real treasure in this production, was a song performed by Santa and a little Dutch girl, Hendrika (played by Aubrey Giselle).  Santa is approached by the girl’s guardian, who tells Santa that the little girl speaks no English yet, only Dutch, whereby Santa begins a conversation in her language and they sing the little girl’s favorite Christmas carol together, “Bugles.”  It was an enchanting moment for the audience and the pivotal moment when Susan started to believe that the gentleman known as Kris Kringle, could in fact be Santa Claus.

Parent Pointers:

Parents need to be aware that the show does start by showing a tipsy Santa, who was to be in the parade, which gave the real Kris Kringle the chance to take over as Santa in the parade.  And the entire basis of the show centers around the disbelief in Santa Claus:  Susan was never allowed to believe in Santa or other things that are not tangible.  So parents may want to be prepared to answer some similar questions.  However, as the story progresses, Susan was shown that “Faith is believing in something that common sense tells you otherwise” – another teachable moment with out kids.

Preparing for the show:

Miracle on 34th Street has several different productions available on film or video, which would be fun to watch together either before or after seeing the play.  Most of the movies are not the musicals, so especially with older kids, it would be interesting for them to see the difference in a musical format compared to a story or screenplay format and for them to share which they prefer.  In addition to having a Christmas theme with Santa and some recognizable music, the show also features rich dialogue that is a great chance for older kids to follow the story, but that might lose the interest for the littlest audience members at times.Miracle cover

Miracle on 34th Street is set in the post WWII era, which gives us the opportunity to share with our kids how things were different.  One of the main characters was in the Marines, and uses words like “dames” in reference to some ladies and “the head” when talking about the restroom, which can be explained in today’s context.  And an explanation or Google search for “Gimble’s” and “Macy’s” before the show could help them understand that during that time period Gimble’s and Macy’s were real stores and heated competitors, not just the men who were in the show.

How families benefit:

Thanks to Moonlight Musicals, we’ve had the chance to enrich our children with the inspirational, magical, and yes miraculous, world of performing arts.  And what some may not realize, or forget at times, is that Moonlight Musicals is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.  As parents, we can feel that purchasing a ticket to their performances is a win/win: our kids are exposed to high-quality theatre giving us precious time together and conversations about topics that are brought to light, plus we are supporting a local nonprofit.  The seeds planted by Moonlight Musicals throughout the community have been exciting to see take root and grow.  Every theatre department and group in the area has either been formed as an off-shoot or has greatly benefited from the multiple opportunities for children (and adults) to hone their on-stage experiences.  The vibrant Lubbock theatre community gives thankful parents many outlets for our kids to be able to tap into their inner star (and for some theatre parents it’s a God-send, giving our spirited kiddos the outlet they need!).

Just the Facts!

When: Thursday, November 16, 2017 7:30 PM.
Friday, November 17, 2017 7:30 PM.
Sunday, November 19, 2017 2:00 PM.
Monday, November 20, 2017 7:30 PM.
Friday, November 13, 2017 7:30 PM.
Saturday, November 14, 2017 2:00 PM.
Saturday, November 14, 2017 7:30 PM.
Sunday, November 15, 2017 2:00 PM.

Where: Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Theatre. 1501 Mac Davis Lane, Lubbock, TX 79401.

How: Tickets are available at Select-a-Seat, online, or by calling 806-770-2000. Prices Range from Prices range from $prices range from $15 – $35 for children and from $25 – $65 for adults.

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

Age: Recommended for ages 4+ but best for 6+ .  Younger kids may get antsy at times.

Going to the show?  Let us know!  Write your reviews below.


Credits:  Book, Music & Lyrics by Meredith Willson.  Based on the 29th Centrury Fox Pictures.  Story by Valentine Davies.  Screen Play by George Seaton.
All rights to Willson’s song catalog owned by Sir Paul McCartney.

Images from Lubbock Moonlight Broadway 2017 production of Miracle on 34th Street – the Musical,, and Kim Phillips.

Parent Review: Peter Pan Proves the Power of Belief

Treasure MapsTick. Tock. Tick. Tock… don’t let this one get away!
Last show is Sunday April 23.

The Lubbock Moonlight Musicals organization through their Moonlight Broadway series once again treats the families of the South Plains to a top-notch, beautifully crafted performance that gives parents the chance to enrich their children and instill a love of the arts… and the ability to actually image themselves flying!  But invite your friends who don’t have kids too… it’s that much fun!

This performance of Peter Pan is a jewel and perfectly scheduled during the Easter holiday weekend (great for out of town guests) and during the weekend of the Lubbock Arts Festival (in fact, make it a day… most of the children’s crafts at the Arts Festival are in the lobby area, which is free of charge, plus they are offering free admission into the Arts Festival with tickets to see Peter Pan).

The set is beautiful and pulls even the little ones into the story… truly looks like a nursery, the sky, a forest and pirate ship.Peter played by Bridget Riley   teaches Wendy played by Francesca Arostegui andher brothers Michael played   by Aubrey Tucker and John play

This production is infectious… we found ourselves singing ” I Won’t Grow Up,” and  “I’ll Call for Tiger Lily, and I’ll Call for Peter Pan…” for days after the performance.   We loved each scene but the warrior dances lead by a mesmerizing Tiger Lily (performed by Alex Caldwell) were some of our faves.  Kids and parents will love seeing the young actors truly fly across the stage and across the skies to Neverland…  little Michael Darling (performed adorably by J. Aubrey Tucker) was even an old pro at flying, especially when grabbed in mid-air by the hands and feet by big sis Wendy (performed by Francesca Arostegui) and big bro John (performed by Elijah van Gilder).

The warm feel of the show is inviting… the professional talent (who were amazing!) combined with local cast members gave it a very approachable, reachable feel… one that the children in the audience relate to and can aspire to.  As we were leaving, we heard several kids say, “Wow, Mom, can I be in the play?  I want to fly like that!”  The fun was that contagious.

Peter Pan (performed by Bridget Riley) was stunning and so much fun to watch… a great, effortless flyer (you really thought Peter was flying!) and such a great voice!  The singing is what really struck our group.  The leads - Peter, Wendy, Hook, Tiger Lily - all had amazing, crystal voices that were perfect for each part.  Captain Hook (performed by David Edwards) was so well played… lovable, sinister, and hilarious with the perfect voice to not frighten the children in the audience, but to still give them a thrill.Captain Hook played by David  Edwards sings of his terrible plans to kill Peter to Smee played by Richard  Privitt and his pirate crew Keeg (1)

It’s evident to all, that Moonlight Musicals is dedicated to outreach and lighting the art-spark in our kids by including them in any way to join the fun… whether in the production itself (in fact, during the show, everyone has the chance to save Tink!), in their camps that they mention at the first of the show, and even in sharing with each child in attendance their own treasure map with crayons.  Each touch of the arts shares a new world with our children.

Teachable Moments

This production is a great example of the power of never giving up:  by thinking happy, positive thoughts, you can fly. That’s the secret of staying young, and we all have that power… with and without Fairy dust!  Such a great learning opportunity for our kids, and reminder for ourselves.  It was a perfectly-timed message for our teen (and parents too!).

Preparing for the Show

Children may think they know Peter Pan but many only know the 1953 Disney version. Be sure that your little princesses realize that this is a stage play, not the Disney version: they can (and should!) wear their favorite Tink or Peter Pan costume, but the character of Tinkerbell in the show does not take human form. She is a lively, sparkling light. But never fear: Tink is so cleverly acted, that her spunky personality shines through!  For older kids, encourage them to take a look at the original novel and then share their thoughts.  The Alligator is also never seen, but always heard by his loud, scary “Tick Tock.”   The imagination is always engaged!

Another point that parents can cover before the show, is that this presentation is from the novel, which was written at the turn of the century in 1904… a time when some words had different meanings. At the first of the show, Peter uses a funny word that in previous times meant a “funny donkey”… however some children may think it’s an unkind word (yes, you guessed it… starts with an A and ends with an S).  Another nice learning opportunity.

Just the Facts!

Friday, April 14, 2017 7:30pm.
Saturday, April 15, 2017 7:30pm.
Friday, April 21, 2017 7:30pm
Saturday, April 22, 2017 2:00pm and 7:30pm
Sunday, April 23, 2017 2:00pm

Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Theatre. 1501 Mac Davis Lane, Lubbock, TX 79401.

Tickets are available at Select-a-Seat, online, or by calling 806-770-2000. Prices Range from Prices range from $25-$75.

Lasts approximately 2 hours with a 20 minute intermission included.

Recommended for all ages but ideal for 4+.  Younger kids may get antsy at times, but the music and theatrics will keep them engaged.

Gone to the show?  Let us know!  Write your reviews below.

Credits:  A Musical Based on the Play and Novel by Sir J.M. Barrie.
Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh.  Additional Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
Music by Morris (Moose) Charlap.  Additional Music by Jule Styne.
Originally directed, choreographed and adapted by Jerome Robbins.
Producer:  Gerald Dolter.
Director/Choreographer:  Jeff Smith.
Conductor:  John S. Hollings

Images from Lubbock Moonlight Broadway 2017 production of Peter Pan (R) The Stage Musical and Elizabeth Logan.