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Babes in arms? Maybe a babysitter might be in order, theatre says

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to enough movie theaters with crying babies to know not to bring my infant there – even if I’m dying for some time out of the house.

And that’s why I’m pretty pleased to see the Fisher Theatre warn audiences that some ages just are meant to attend shows like “Shrek the Musical” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Sure, that Walt Disney guy and DreamWorks made some fun movies for the kiddos based on these stories. But seeing them live and in person might be better saved for when the tots are teens.

OK, teens might be too far a stretch. But I noticed that both shows are asking parents to use some discretion when it comes to bringing children ages five or under. For example, “Shrek the Musical” specifically states on the Broadway in Detroit website that kids under kindergarten age will not be allowed in the theater. And “Beauty and the Beast” notes that the show is not recommended for children under age five. It adds: “We ask for your discretion,” which I’ll translate into … please leave the small folks who wiggle a lot at home. It then goes on to say, “Babes in arms will not be permitted.”

Sure, this might upset some families. I understand that you want to bring everyone in the household to a major event like stepping out to the theater. However, I have two little kids myself (ages 4 and 6) and I know that even the 6-year-old has trouble sitting still for very long. He bounces up at every chance to ask questions about the plot, the scenery, the music, the words or whatever else might be puzzling him. So I probably wouldn’t bring him or any of his friends to see these shows, as tempting as it might be.

That’s because I believe this venue, the Fisher Theatre, truly is meant for an older audience. Metro Detroit has lots of great children’s events, and there is a wonderful children’s theater in Northville that caters to the small folks. I recently took both kids to see “Beauty and the Beast” at the Marquis Theatre, and the setting was very appropriate for their ages. The songs were short, the cast was age appropriate and the mood was light. Everyone had a good time – especially the adults.

If you do want to see some Broadway in Detroit, “Shrek the Musical” will make its debut from Feb. 28 through March 12. Then you can check out “Beauty and the Beast” from April 10 through April 22. If you bring the kids, you might do so at your own risk!

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