Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dear Edwina: A Musical Comedy for Everyone - Fun, Entertaining and Princess-free!

This past Saturday my daughters and I saw the musical comedy Dear Edwina at the DR2 Theatre in Union Square. It was wonderful in so many ways.

Dear Edwina features a group of singing, dancing, advice-giving kids (played by adults) from the town of Paw Paw, Michigan.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the play was that the kids in Paw Paw are able to have a good time without cell phones, TVs, or brand name consumption.

Using a play-within-a-play format, we watched as the kids from Paw Paw had a fun afternoon working together on a play they perform from Edwina's garage. Edwina and her gang provide advice on a number of kid-friendly subjects from how to be a good guest to how to decline undesirable food.

I may be a little optimistic, but I think my children might have actually learned something. Either way, they spent the rest of the afternoon singing songs from the show (instead of their usual modes of communication of whining and screaming) so I consider it a win regardless. 

I especially loved when my kids made-up their own lyrics with their own advice - mostly aimed towards helping adults (namely me) with a variety of issues from how to pack a good lunch to how to give your kids a later bedtime.

I also loved that the Dear Edwina cast featured kids with their own real, unique personalities as well as their own strengths and weaknesses. Too often these days I feel like programming for kids deals in stereotypes - the smart kid, the tough kid, the class clown.  Add in the marketing of princesses for girls, and super heros for boys, and you forget that kids can, and should be able to, make their own fun.

Living in these modern days when kids are now seen as consumers to be marketed to - and even a toy as basic as Legos has been repackaged and is sold in blue and trucks for boys and pink and flowers for girls, it's nice to see a show celebrating what's great about kids just being kids.

Dear Edwina doesn't feature a single princess, but it certainly does have real magic. I recommend it highly for kids of all ages, and best of all, its equally good for both boys and girls.

Dear Edwina is playing at the DR2 Theatre at 103 East 15th Street through Friday, February 25, 2011.

Dear Edwina tickets are $39.00 and are available on, by calling 212-239-6200, or in person at the DR2 Theatre box office (103 East 15th Street). Tickets are also available for groups (10 or more) and birthday and holidays parties (20 or more), with party space available, and can be purchased by calling 646-747-7400. The performance schedule varies – visit for additional details and full playing schedule.

I received four free tickets for review purposes, but my enthusiasm for the show is all my own.

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