Roald Dahl fans in the house? Head to Lovegood Performing Arts Company‘s production of James and the Giant Peach. Your child will be delighted to see these beloved characters come to life, and you will feel great about supporting Lovegood’s student performers, who clearly worked so hard on this production.
Getting there is a breeze. Lovegood’s new performance venue on NW Bronson Road in Beaverton is easy to find and has a parking lot. Even late on a Friday night, my nine-year-old and I had no trouble arriving in plenty of time to pick up concessions before the show. You can even eat inside the venue, so my daughter enjoyed her goldfish in her seat, rather than standing in the lobby. It’s the little things! Speaking of seats, these are spacious; my daughter only took up about half of hers. Despite a packed house, we felt we had plenty of room. Smaller children may want to bring a booster, as the floor is not angled. We both wore our coats inside, so I would recommend bringing in your jacket just in case. Masks are required until the indoor mandate is lifted, but no vaccines are required.
It’s an ambitious performance for these young people, with twenty musical numbers, innumerable costume changes, and a clever set design that transforms the stage from hilltop house to the inside of a peach in a moment. My favorite moment of the show is when Earthworm declares that real families love you whether you’re a “boy or a girl or — in my case — both!” The audience cheered. Both Earthworm and Aunt Sponge stole the show for me, with their good sense of comedic timing and commitment to their characters.
If your very young children can sit still for two hours, I wouldn’t hesitate to bring them. There’s nothing too frightening about this production, and the death of James’s parents isn’t graphic or scary, just a red light when they run offstage chased by a cardboard rhinoceros. And the buggy nature of the characters is just hinted at by their costumes; they look absolutely human. Grasshopper carries a violin, Earthworm wears pink overalls, Ladybug’s red skirt has black spots. This is a nightmare-free production, I promise! I would familiarize young children with the storyline beforehand, though. Much of the story is told through song, and it may be hard for your child to hear and understand the students singing over the live music. Don’t forget to stick around for the character meet and greet at the end of the show!
We learned at intermission that Lovegood never turns away a student for lack of ability to pay. With tickets starting at only $10, and knowing that you are supporting young people learning to perform, it’s a nice way to spend an evening. My nine-year-old had a blast on our mother-daughter date, from goldfish to curtain call.