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Blogger series: Serena Norr of Momtrends on Wanda's Monster

Momtrends' Serena Norr tells us about her family's special day with the cast and crew of Making Books Sing's Wanda's Monster.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to check out a production of the lively Wanda’s Monster. Held at the Vineyard Dimension Theatre (right near Union Square) and produced by Making Books Sing, this heartwarming musical tells the tale of a shy fuzzy monster who just happens to be living in the closet of Wanda, an imaginative little girl who wants to believe but is also a little scared.

Prior to the performance, my family and I had the chance to fill up on some tasty GoGo squeeZ apple pouches, fresh fruit and sandwiches as we anxiously awaited the arrival of children’s musical sensation Laurie Berkner. Having listened to her songs for years, we were really excited to meet the composer of this family musical. All of the bloggers in attendance had the chance to chat with the singer and songwriter as she warmly met our children and took pictures with us. She also told us about the song "Monster Boggie" and asked us to show her our best monster faces—it got my kids laughing and excited for the show.

There was no bad seat at the spacious Vineyard Theatre where we opted for a seat in the second row. The show kicked off with a mini-musical concert—the hip Granny character (Jaime Kolnick) belted out three songs to get the kids up and dancing. Our favorite was “Wanda Watcha What to Do” that described main character (Laura Hankin). During the last song, the fuzzy purple monster (James Orttiz) slowly made his way on to the stage. My two-year-old (and some other kids in the audience) were a bit scared of the larger-than-life character (my husband took her to the back of the theater for a bit). However, the show engaged my five-year-old from the moment it started—she was really engrossed by the characters. I loved how it dealt with issues like fear, shyness and friendship as the monster and Wanda slowly become friends. We also enjoyed how the story connected Wanda and her Granny—it was Granny who encouraged her to believe in the monster and be open to making a new friend.

One of my older daughter's favorite parts was when Wanda went off to school and brought back gifts (paddle ball sets, stuffed animals) to the monster. She loved how funny it was to see the "big and scary monster" interact with these items and how much braver Wanda got throughout the production. She also noted how similiar Wanda and the monster were—despite how different they looked. (I personally loved how the musical taught kids—and adults!—to embrace their fears and accept others that may be different.)

Following the play, we had the chance to meet the cast and take pictures with them. And good news: My younger daughter got over her fear of the monster and posed with the cast—she even ended up giving the monster a high-five!

Wanda’s Monster plays at the Vineyard Theatre's Dimson Theatre through September 8. Tickets start at $39. Use the code MBSAVE at makingbookssing.com to receive 25% off tickets.

A writer and mom of two, Serena Norr is the managing editor of Momtrends and social media consultant for the activities website, Kidsy. She loves to write about travel, culture and food on her lifestyle blog Travel Culture Food and is also the creator of Seriously Soupy, a website devoted to soup making.

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