Now I know why children end up at musicals that are way long for their attention span and way too mature to hold their interest.
I got an e-mail a few days ago from BosTix, which offers reduced-price tickets to Boston-area arts events, about the national tour of The Color Purple. The show begins its two-week stand at Boston's Citi Performing Arts Center tonight.
I was surprised that BosTix was advertising the musical as "appropriate for ages 10 and up." So I checked out the tour's Web site and found this advisory: "The Color Purple may be inappropriate for children 10 and under."
Maybe I'm out of touch with the maturity level of kids these days but I think 10 or 11 is way too young to see this show. It deals with some pretty somber themes - including child abuse, domestic violence and incest.
I enjoyed The Color Purple when I saw it on Broadway and I think it would be fine for a high school student - but not a 10-year-old. Plus, I just can't see it holding the attention of a child that young for 2 1/2 hours.
There are so many musicals that are much more appropriate for kids in that age range, and they'd enjoy them a whole lot more. I would rather have a child's introduction to the theatre be something that will amaze and enthrall them.
So if you really want to see The Color Purple, my advice is to get a babysitter and leave the 10-year-olds at home. The Lion King is coming to Boston in February. Wait and take them to that instead. I guarantee you they'll have a better time.