On Saturday the girls of Team Abulous mixed it with the cognoscenti and literati of the primary school set at the Sydney Opera House. We were there to see Dr Seuss’ magnum opus – The Cat In The Hat brought to life on stage. The show only ran for 40 minutes but there were plenty of other activities on hand and we made a full day of it. Its well worth a visit if you’re looking for the quintessential Sydney experience these School Holidays. As with many Sydney experiences however its not exactly easy on the bank balance.
The Cat In The Hat Live
The Cat In The Hat has been a favorite with children since 1954 because our feline friend is deliciously cheeky and naughty. In the stage show, as in the classic book, The Cat lobs in uninvited on two bored home alone children and their pet gold fish. Much to the gold fish’s disgust, house wrecking chaos ensues. The sets are faithful to the Dr Seuss’ illustrations. The are simple, bold and striking. The dialogue is pretty much taken word for word from the book with very little embellishment. There are precious few sly one liners for the adults. Rather the performance is a feast of visual comedy. My girls were enraptured. P2 was squealing with delight “Oooh silly cat”, ” Oooh funny cat”, “What’s he doing now Mummy?”. Meanwhile P1 and her kindy friend Miss R were giggling like teenagers on a sleepover. When some exaggerated bum wiggling from the cat scored major laughs from the audience I felt a tad miffed. Whenever I bust that move I am chided about being “wude”. Apparently The Cat has enough chutzpah to carry it off.
The highlight for me was the unleashing of Things 1 and 2 from the big red box. The blue haired creatures were like gremlins on speed but their little red onesies were just adorable. The cast’s energy and enthusiasm was palpable. They seemed to be having an absolute ball up on stage. At times it looked like it was all they could do to contain their laughter. The Cat was enjoyably camp as was the recalcitrant gold fish.
The 40 minute length was well suited to young attention spans but at $40 per ticket, I’d hoped for a little more bang for my buck. It was a slick and entertaining production but I can’t argue it was value for money.
More To Explore
My misgivings about draining my bank balance were offset by the free activities on offer. The western forecourt has been converted into a creative play space attended by a bunch of super enthusiastic “play co-ordinators”. The first play station was a Dr Seuss themed walkie talkie. It was a Seussified version of the old fashion tin cans with string. Loads of fun.
Another play station was devoted to the Imagin Oceans show also currently playing at the House. The kids got to make sea creature shadow puppets with torches. Always a big hit. The good news was that were allowed to keep the torches. P2 was so enamored of hers that she took it to bed with her that evening.
We also got treated to story time. The narrator Drew – “a retired pirate turned fisherman” regaled the kids with his tale of a brave piece of seaweed who saves a baby whale. He was wonderfully naturally and the kids hammed it up with him.
El Loco Mexican Cantina
The upper forecourt area had been converted into a Mexican style Cantina with tex mex grub and icy margaritas courtesy of the El Loco restaurant chain. With an outdoor play area to keep the kids happily occupied, adults can kick back enjoying a few beverages, some funky grooves and the relaxed harbourside vibe.
The Cantina food was hit and miss. I enjoyed my chicken and sweet corn taco but the girls found their “kid’s tacos” too spicy. However the pink lemonade was met with universal approval.
You know that Mumabulous can’t resist a name drop. I spotted the Sydney night club Tsar Justin Hemmes strutting around in gold rimmed sun glasses like he owned the place. Fair enough – he does own the place. El Loco is part of Hemmes’ empire. I guess he was trying to demonstrate what a great down to earth dude he is by helping out at the coal face. Either that or he was cruising for chicks.
Before our arduous bus journey home, I couldn’t resist stopping for a sweet treat at the Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café. Strangely there were no complaints from the girls about the food at that fine establishment.
Overall it was a full and fun day. I stopped watching my spending after the Cantina and let it cash flow like a waterfall from my wallet. The girls showed their appreciation in the best way they know how.
May all your bus trips be this peaceful.