Sunday, November 23, 2008

I love Aunty

A mother's group friend came by a number of free tickets to see the latest Hi-5 concert and invited us along. I figured a free concert couldn't hurt and we could always leave if it was too much for the Crankmaster. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

If you asked the Crankmaster, and if he could answer in language unbroken by gibberish, he'd probably tell you that the best bits of the concert was the big balloons they threw into the audience and the camera on a crane. And possibly mention the popcorn which was bought by another parent and shared by the kids.

He was quite rivetted.... or perhaps shell shocked. I'm not quite sure which. He did sit motionless for the performance.... until the balloons came out. We left halfway through because it was getting close to naptime and I didn't want to fight the crowds to get home with an overtired child.

It was fun, but it seemed to me to be kinda dodgy children's entertainment. It was certainly pitched for an audience older than MrJ, but I was quite aware of that when I went.

First up, the concert was in a stadium which seated thousands. We were in the first balcony about 100m from the stage. Then there was the massive stands of merchandising for sale in the foyer. The stage was very bright and colourful. There were a lot of sound effects and lighting and costume and much hype of the "I can't hear you..." variety. Every song and dance seemed to involve some sort of toy prop, which no doubt could be found in the aforementioned merchandising stand.

In contrast, I got free tickets to see the Jay concert last year. All the music was played live and accousticly. The theatre was about 40 rows deep. The stage was a backyard setting. And there was only one prop.... a plastic bottle. We've also been watching a lot of Play School at the moment, with many episodes featuring Jay. All the activities have a home made feel.

The ABC style kids entertainment seems to invite the kids to think and imagine and to do things while the Hi-5 style seemed to push the passive watch and buy stuff.

I know which one I prefer my child to watch.

Mind you, I don't expect I'd pass up a free ticket for any sort of kids entertainment in future. I'd think twice about paying for some stuff.

By the way, does anyone know a source for the massive balloons.... They WERE funky.

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