Monday, May 21, 2012

SADAKO MET BARNEY FOR THE FIRST TIME--AND BAWLED




I am not really a big fan of Barney because I didn’t grow up watching “Barney & Friends.” But when I heard that the purple dinosaur was coming over for a show called “Barney Space Adventures,” I knew I had to be there. My two-year old daughter Sadako, after all, is a fan. She may be too young to sing along to the songs featured on Barney’s show, but my little girl’s face instantly lights up when I pop in one of Barney’s DVDs; she even screams, giggles, and claps her hands every time Barney shows up. In fact, she has stuffed toys of Barney, BJ, and Baby Bop, plus whenever she throws a tantrum, sometimes all we need to do to shush her is play a Barney DVD.

Sadako, her mom, her yaya and I got good seats when we watched “Barney Space Adventures” at the Aliw Theater in Pasay last April 28. We were front and center, and we were very excited because it was Sadako’s first time to see Barney “in person.” However, when “everyone’s favorite huggable dinosaur” showed up onstage, my daughter unexpectedly burst into tears, clearly afraid of this purple mascot hopping in front of her. She was so inconsolable that her mother had to move her away from the stage just so she would stop crying.

Meanwhile, I—together with my daughter’s yaya, tried to enjoy the show.

“Space Adventures” has a very simple plot: Barney, BJ, Baby Bop, Cousin Riff, and some human friends ride a rocket ship and fly to the Perfectly Purple Planet, where they get to meet, hang out and have fun with its inhabitants, led by King Morado and Queen Purpurina.



Lasting 90 minutes, this two-act musical with a 20-minute interval had enough familiar and lively songs to keep the older kids hooked and singing along, some impressive visual props (like the huge silver rocket ship), and an unexpected confetti blast, that definitely enthralled the kids. It is also commendable how the team tried to keep the young ones entertained (a lot of kids do have short attention span) through costume changes, the use of musical instruments and audience participation. Best of all, the show wasn’t just about singing and dancing; it was educational, too (there was one lesson on good manners).

On the downside, the 20-minute break proved to be too long for most kids, especially the younger ones. Actually, one thing I’ve realized is that the show is something that the younger kids could just skip. Basing on the audience when we watched, it was really the older kids that enjoyed singing along to the songs, seemed to be focused on the story the whole time, and finished the entire musical without tantrums. Take it from me. My daughter’s good seat didn’t matter because she opted to be as far away from Barney as possible. She thankfully was all right and back to her seat after the 20-minute interval, but she was more interested in playing with her seatmates than watching Barney. She even bawled during the confetti blast, frightened by the explosion.

So my daughter’s first meeting with Barney wasn’t that pretty. Hopefully, they’ll be in good terms next time they meet again.