Review: Max & Ruby
Thu Dec 13 2007
It's hard to tell with children's theater if it's the play the audience finds compelling or the spectacle of a bunch of adults dancing around on stage in goofy costumes being totally silly. Such was the way I felt about Max & Ruby, the musical based on the Nick Jr. TV show.
Admittedly, some parts were humorous, such as when Max (Lee Markham), a young boy bunny living in East Bunny Town, had his passionate toddler desires thwarted by his control-freak, older bunny sister Ruby (Kelly Felthous). Ruby spends the day minding Max, while trying to write and produce a show for their grandmother. His anarchic (i.e. age-appropriate) behavior makes her task impossible, as she spends all her time trying to put a lid on his energy level (also impossible).
The songs were catchy and the acting energetic, but whenever I'd ask the children sitting around me whether they understood what was going on, the answer was no. The show is recommended for kids 3 and older, but perhaps it's more appropriate for 5-year-olds. There was a sequence with a spider puppet that some kids found scary. Unless your kids are devoted fans of the TV show, Max & Ruby is not a slam dunk, but it beats sitting home in front of the television on a freezing cold day.