As a little girl, I remember reading the American Girl books while lounging by the pool on vacations. I would save them until it was perfectly quiet, then lose myself in the characters and their individual worlds, learning lessons along the way. I am thrilled to share this with my 5-year-old daughter, and I can’t imagine a more perfect way to introduce her to the American Girl world than to experience American Girl Live along with her. The world premiere of this musical is happening this weekend at the North Shore Center of the Performing Arts in Skokie this weekend, December 21st-23rd. I am honored to provide an American Girl Live Review- this is definitely one show you don’t want to miss!
The story is set at American Girl summer camp with one counselor in charge of 5 girls, each bringing their American Girl dolls with them for the week of traditional camp activities. The campers are faced with numerous challenges, but learn to overcome obstacles with the help of their friends and the courage inside that it takes to face your fears. There are a number of lessons that girls, in particular, can learn from the show and I loved discussing them with my little gal throughout!
Each person has their own strengths and challenges.
The 5 campers have their own set of skills- one is particularly athletic, another is musical, a third has artistic abilities, and the fourth and fifth exhibit courage and intelligence. These traits come in handy in different situations, and the girls are able to use their strengths to support each other when challenges arise.
Being yourself can be brave.
All of the campers have been to Camp American Girl except for one. She is shy at first, but the other campers eventually recognize what unique talents she possesses. The more she shows her true self, the more her friendships grow.
We can learn lessons from the past.
Each American Girl Doll that the campers bring comes to “life” during the show to help their owner with a struggle (and no, it wasn’t cheesy, it was actually impressive because the actresses took turns playing different roles). For example, Melody teaches a lesson about standing up for yourself when the camper Nia is discouraged.
Supporting others leads to accomplishing your goals.
The campers each need to earn an individual badge in order to be awarded a camping trip at the end of their stay. They all cheer each other on and help find ways to support their friends in pursuit of their own goals.
Girl power is alive and well.
It is incredibly rare to see an all-female cast in a professional production. In addition to the all-gal stage presence, the creative crew is purely female as well! The girl power theme continues throughout the script and songs, and the campers discuss their hopes and dreams without fear of gender bias.
I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of American Girl Live, and I am positive my daughter did as well. At the intermission, her face fell because she thought the show was over. During the finale, she cheered and told me it was the “best show ever.” I can’t think of a better critic than a 5-year-old up past her bedtime! She was thrilled to see her own doll, Maryellen, appear on stage. The other dolls involved in the show were Rebecca, Nanea, Melody, Julie and Luciana.
The show runs on Saturday, December 22nd at 1 pm and 5 pm Sunday, December 23rd at 1 pm. Tickets range from $37-$47 with special VIP opportunities available. For tickets, visit NorthShoreCenter.org or call 847-673-6300.
Cheers to incorporating life lessons into girl power-filled entertainment!
Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own as always.