NOTE: Tour dates and venue prices vary.
Pros: Entertaining show that captivated my 2-year-old and my 7-year-old — and made Mom and Dad smile, too; catchy, fun songs; running time was long enough to make an afternoon of it, but short enough where the kids didn’t lose interest.
Cons: Seats toward the back made it difficult to see stage details; souvenir prices were steep.
Early on, I became a member of Where the Hell are Max & Ruby’s Parents group on Facebook. It always drove me a bit nuts when I would watch the show about two kids — who are the same ages as my kids — that seemingly had no adult supervision. That’s why my husband and I were so excited when, part of the way through this show, the cast took on the age-old question, filling us in on the whereabouts of Mr. and Mrs. Max & Ruby! And that was only one of many memorable moments watching this show.
The show, which is based on the books by Rosemary Wells and produced by Koba Entertainment, centers around Max and Ruby planning a birthday party for an unnamed “super-duper special birthday guest.” Ever-bossy Ruby drags Max into the process, taking him shopping with her to buy a gift for the mystery person and making him help set up the table. Along the way, they take a bus ride, learn about spending money, and meet up with friends.
For example, at one point Ruby is thinking about buying a jewelry box, which, it turns out, isn’t for sale. Why? Because it’s magic! (We get to watch the box’s lovely ballerina dance and twirl around the stage, which my daughter loved.) During the birthday table set up scene, Max brings out all his friends — a robot, a slug, and a spider — which quickly get into the act as well.
We were provided with complementary mezzanine tickets for the New York City showing of Max & Ruby: Bunny Party! My kids truly had a ball. The show takes into account that its audience is comprised of the under-8 set, so they get the kids up and dancing several times throughout the show. My little one was transfixed. She wanted to run up on the stage at one point. My big girl, who at 7 is closing in on “too old” for Max & Ruby also loved it. I spent the second half of the show with her sitting on my lap tapping along to the music.
Songs were adorable. Aside from the Where are Max & Ruby’s Parents ditty, we really liked the Gorgeous number, which has a fun, surprise ending, and one that all parents will identify with. (Who’s kids haven’t tried to put their makeup on?) We also liked seeing familiar characters like Louise, Ruby’s best friend. And Max’s party guests were a blast! Seeing a dancing slug and spider was a hoot.
My only complaints were that we were a little far from the stage. I’d suggest spending a little more to get seats closer to the action. Also, I was a little disturbed (as I always am) when Max does his annoying toddler thing asking for what he wants over and over again. Granted, Ruby is a sister — not his mom — but I wanted to hear someone tell Max he was going on a time-out if he asked for the teeth one more time. (They were shopping, and Max spotted vampire teeth that he wanted.) I used that as a teachable moment for both girls, reminding them that you don’t always get what you want like Max did, especially when you ask for something more than once. Finally, Little Girl was a teeny bit afraid of the robot, but once we reminded her that it was all pretend (and handed her some pretzels) she calmed down.
Overall, though, this was a delightful way to spend a lazy weekend day. We did skip the souvenirs, which would have set us back $100 if we gave into everything the kids wanted. Instead, we went for the cupcakes and pretzels at the snack bar and hugs at the end of the show, which are always free!