“Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz” at Paper Mill Playhouse

papermill playhouse

We just saw the new play,”Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz”, at Paper Mill Playhouse. Continuing until October 27, this world premiere focuses on the early life of Francis Gumm, who became Judy Garland. Best known for her breakout performance as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, her life and family are brought to life in a musical.

Honestly, I thought it was a bit….well, lets say “light hearted” in it’s presentation. Her mother, well documented as a nightmare stage parent, was portrayed as a little rough but doting. Her father, whom she adored, was also a bit much. His homosexuality was really hammered on, with long, dramatic songs, and quite a few scenes that a fellow theater-goer described as “over the top and self indulgent”- to which I agree. Over indulgent and almost mocking, so light hearted (and even joking) was made of her theater experiences with her mother and different people in the business, such as directors, owner, and other cast members. She had such a rough go in reality, and to present it in this way really seemed to belittle her life and to mock her life and experiences. It seemed very unfair to her, in my opinion. Abuse should not be downplayed as bumbling or nonsensical, her body shaming and resulting dysmorphia and eating disorders barely touched upon and again, very light, drug abuse (which killed her) pushed upon her and encouraged by those that should have been there for her, never mentioned.

NJ theater

The songs were odd and disjointed, nothing really played all the way through or presented in any sort of logical way, with the exception of “All Ma’s Children”, which was both fun and lively, as well as made sense in it’s placement (and was the entire song in one go). In my opinion, it was the best part of the show. Some songs, such as “You Made Me Love You” were done over and over, in bits and pieces, some of which were weird- such as between Judy and her father. Love songs between parent and child, not great.  The music was all over the place and jumbled, we really would have loved some consistency. As well, some more upbeat numbers to fill the 3 hour show.
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Get Cooking With Pop Oh Ver

My kids love to play pretend! From princess adventures to playing school; the seem to have the most fun when they make use of their imaginations. Playing in the kitchen has always been a big hit with all of my kids. When they got to try out a few fun sets from Pop Oh Ver they declared them all to be a lot of fun for their little kitchen play sessions.

My youngest daughter is all about sandwiches, so she was more than happy to get her hands on the Pop Oh Ver plus play food set . It has all the fixings to make a soft and squishy sandwich. She has had so much fun offering her little brother sandwich after sandwich and a hotdog here and there too.

The Pots and Pans set and the Master Chef set have been intriguing to my oldest daughter, who loves to help mix things up in the kitchen. I love that the pots and pans set contains a nice assortment of kitchen necessities to keep the kids entertained, and playing with enough variety to mix things up and enough toys to go around with 4 kids! The Master Chef set is a cute addition to the kitchen. I love seeing my kids dressing up like a little chef!
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Keeping Kids Entertained with Brio Toys

 

Summer is here and we are heading out to visit family, go camping and have a lot of fun making memories. This summer, I have a strong desire to make our memories hands on based, instead of technology based. I think that hands on play is vital to childhood development, no matter how old your kids get.

Toys

This year, we are taking Brio along for the adventures to keep the kids happy, engaged and learning.

One that the entire family likes to tinker with is the Brio Labyrinth. This is a classic toy that has been reimagined for a younger, on the go, audience. We love that it is two sided and completely sealed for a fun way to play and challenge young minds anytime, anywhere. Retailing at under $30 this is a fun toy for the car for your summer travels.
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