Why you need to try a Baby Gospel concert

Soul. Motown. Clapping. But what exactly is a Baby Gospel family concert?

Baby Gospel aims to uplift sleep-deprived parents, captivate young children and above all entertain both adults and children in equal measure. Born out of a simple connection via Twitter between Baby Broadway and CK Gospel Choir, family concerts now take place around five times a year in venues across London, and there are plans to go to new locations in 2018.

Here are 5 reasons you might want to come along:

1. Awesome vocals

https://youtu.be/eP_mJEan5r8

Click on the video above and you’ll see the full CK Gospel Choir in action. Impressed? They’re even better in real life!

A versatile professional group from London, the singers are united by their love of gospel music and have provided backing for artists such as Beverley Knight, Peter Andre and Alfie Boe.

The group is led by Harlano Weekes, who has performed with some of the biggest names in world music such as Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Leona Lewis, Enrique Iglesias, Lulu and Phil Collins as well as being an established solo artist.

Each Baby Gospel concert sees at least four members of the choir performing alongside one of their regular keys players.

2. Just as enjoyable for adults as for kids

Wouldn’t it be nice to sing along to some great music with your little ones for a change, rather than music that’s aimed at kids? Set lists change regularly, but you can expect to hear some of the following at a Baby Gospel concert:

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye / One Love – Bob Marley / This Little Light of Mine – trad. gospel / Angel of Mine – Eternal / Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder / Happy – Pharrell Williams / Oh Happy Day – trad. gospel / Make You Feel My Love – Adele / Lean On Me – Bill Withers / My Love is Your Love – Whitney Houston / You’ve Got the Love – Candi Staton

Of course, your children may not be into soul, gospel, motown or pop yet. Well firstly: you’re never too young to start. Secondly: the music lends itself really well to dancing, clapping and jumping around, which most small children are excellent at. Plus, there are bubbles at every concert, as well as…..

3. Nursery rhymes as you’ve never heard them before

Ever wondered what ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ sounds like in a gospel-jazz style? Or heard ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ sung in 4-part harmony? Every concert offer the opportunity to experience specially-arranged versions of popular nursery rhymes, in what Harlano likes to call: “Baby Gospel Nursery Rhyme Time” (ok, the name might need a bit of work!)

It’s probably why TheSecretLifeOfMum described Baby Gospel as “like baby rhyme time but FAR cooler”!

4. Harlano’s jokes

Well….maybe not (sorry Harlano), but you can guarantee the choir’s front man will get the audience uplifted with his super-smiley demeanor and boundless energy. This picture says it all – you can’t fail to be cheered up with these guys around!

5. Benefits both you and your little one

Music has a direct link to our emotions, and different patterns of brain development are stimulated when we hear music.  Even better, if you sing along at a Baby Gospel concert, structural changes take place in the brain giving better overall aural memory!

Many of the songs selected for Baby Gospel concerts are uplifting, joyful and familiar which – hopefully – means you will feel better for hearing them.

Traditional gospel music typically has lots of repetition and uses hand-clapping or foot-stomping as rhythmic accompaniment – all of which is really accessible for young children to respond to, developing gross motor skills and promoting social bonding as they join in.

When The Curious Mummy reviewed Baby Gospel she said “as we left, we had a kick in our step, music in our ears and the biggest smiles on our faces.” What more could you ask for?


Baby Gospel Christmas family concerts are taking place this December in 5 venues across London. Visit our Events page for more information

Eight of London’s best Christmas shows and experiences for under 5s in 2017

… aside from Baby Broadway and Baby Gospel Christmas concerts, of course!

It’s December, which means that – along with the promise of Christmas cheer and lots of festive treats – there’s a pretty long stretch of time coming up, during which the children will need entertaining. Yikes.

Luckily you don’t have to rely on Advent Calendars, presents, TV or even your own Baby Broadway-esque singing skills to keep them sweet, because there are plenty of fun ways to get out and about in London this festive season AND introduce your young ones to the joys of live and big-screen entertainment.

Here’s the Baby Broadway pick of the most Christmassy shows (and other things) to do with your under 5s.

Sleepyhead at the Little Angel Theatre

The Little Angel Theatre, located in Islington, is a gem of a place. All of its shows feature incredible puppets and many are aimed at children and young people. There’s quite a lot going on this Christmas – including a fun workshop (we did it last year) where your child can make their own puppet – but this year’s show Sleepyhead is a real treat. We went this week and, although it’s aimed at 2-5 year olds, the grown ups’ faces ached from smiling.

It tells the story of a tired dad, a baby that won’t sleep, a circus, a magical rabbit and much more. If you love the silliness of The Muppets, you’ll enjoy this and at 45 minutes it’s a good length for toddlers. Ticket prices start at £11 for children.

For more information, visit the Little Angel website.

 

Boing at the Unicorn Theatre

While older children will enjoy the Unicorn Theatre’s adaptation of Christmas classic The Velveteen Rabbit, Boing is a spectacularly magical danceathon of a show designed to enchant those aged 2-6. It’s all about the excitement of going to bed on Christmas Eve, when there are beds to be jumped on, pillows to be fought with, seas to be sailed and incredible things to imagine. The Unicorn Theatre can be found near London Bridge station and tickets for Boing start at £12. The show lasts for 50 minutes.

Visit the Unicorn Theatre website for more.

 

Sponge at the Battersea Arts Centre

This is a Christmas show with a difference. Created entirely for babies and toddlers, Sponge takes  its young audience on a soft, bouncy adventure through lots of different sensory environments. Two friendly dancers and a leggy character called Splegs will be on hand to guide them through, giving children the opportunity to explore textures, shapes and sounds. The show is designed for those aged 4 months to 4 years and lasts 50 minutes. There are also gentler baby-only performances for those aged 4-18 months. Prices start at £10.

For more information, visit the Battersea Arts Centre website.

 

Underneath a Magical Moon at Jackson’s Lane

Jackson’s Lane in Haringey is the area’s flagship arts and cultural centre, and their Christmas show this year shows why. Underneath a Magical Moon retells the traditional story of Peter Pan through the eyes of Wendy Darling, using music, movement and more than a sprinkling of magic. Suitable for children aged 3+, the show lasts 60 minutes and tickets start at £14.95.

See the Jackson’s Lane website for more information.

 

Picturehouse Cinemas Toddler Time

This year, Picturehouse Cinemas – which has branches in Clapham, Greenwich, Hackney, Dulwich, Stratford and slap bang in the middle of the great West End – is showing a range of toddler-friendly Christmassy animations on the big screen. From The Snowman and The Snowdog to The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child (approx. running time for each 25-30 minutes) and longer big-screen classics including Frozen and The Princess and the Frog, there’s something for even the most wriggly toddler. And, as adults go free and children’s tickets start at just £3, it’s probably the most affordable cinema trip you’ll ever have in London.

For a full list of Picturehouse Cinemas and listings, visit the Picturehouse website.

 

Stick Man at the Leicester Square Theatre

If your kids love the Julia Donaldson iconic book, then Scamp Theatre’s adaptation of Stick Man would be a great alternative to a traditional pantomine if your kids are still a bit too young for all that. Featuring puppets, songs, live music, dancing and 55 minutes of top-notch entertainment, what’s not to love? It’s suitable for all ages and although prices are a little steep (starting at £16.50 for a child, although restricted view seats are available for £14) there are discounted family tickets on offer and those under 18 months are free.

For more information, visit the Leicester Square website.

 

The Ugly Duckling at The Albany

Who doesn’t love a traditional fairytale at Christmas? Even better when it comes with some magical, musical twists, like tutti frutti and York Theatre Royal’s adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic The Ugly Duckling, which comes to the Albany in Deptford this year. Suitable for those aged 3 and up, it uses live music and inventive physicality to tell this familiar tale of identity and self-worth. The show lasts approx. 50 minutes and tickets start at £8.

Visit the Albany Theatre website for more information.

 

The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre

Raymond Briggs’ much-loved story of a little boy’s wintery adventure with a magical snowman has been enchanting children for years, and The Peacock Theatre’s hit show is no exception. The stage production of The Snowman has become a festive classic, using dance, live music, storytelling and spectacular effects to bring this classic story to life. Suitable for all ages, at 1 hour 15 minutes the show lasts longer than many others on this list but there is an interval.

For more information, visit the Peacock Theatre website.

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List compiled by freelance writer Nicola Slavin. Baby Broadway did not receive any free tickets in return for promoting these shows.

10 Showtunes for Surviving School

You made it to the end of the holidays! Here are our top ten songs from musical theatre to help you and your little ones survive the school rollercoaster again.

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1. ‘Do-Re-Mi’ from The Sound of Music

Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with “A-B-C”
When you sing you begin with “Do-Re-Mi”

Always a popular number at our concerts, there’s no better mantra for a little one who is new to school. Why can’t all teachers be like Maria von Trapp?

https://youtu.be/pLm07s8fnzM

2. ‘When I Grow Up’ from Matilda

And when I grow up
I will eat sweets everyday on the way to work and I will go to bed late every night
And I will wake up when the sun comes up and I will watch cartoons until my eyes go square
And I won’t care because I’ll be all grown up
When I grow up

Matilda has now been running in the West End for almost 6 years, and looks set to stay for much longer. Tim Minchin’s show is full to the brim of catchy tunes and witty lyrics – this song stands out for it’s beautiful simplicity. What do you want to be when you grow up?

https://youtu.be/e0tRDhEmdO4

3. ‘Back To School’ from Grease 2

Woe, is me, all summer long, I was happy and free
Save my soul, the board of education took away my parole
I gotta go back, back, back to school again
You won’t find me ’til the clock strikes three

Because Grease 2 doesn’t get enough love. One for the parents who grew up in the 80s – the ultimate song for a new term!

https://youtu.be/1bbTEJCoNxw

4. ‘Mamma I’m A Big Girl Now’ from Hairspray

Once upon a time I was a shy young thing
Could barely walk and talk so much as dance and sing
But let me hit that stage, I wanna take my bow
‘Cause mama, I’m a big girl now

Do you have a three-nager who keeps yelling ‘I want to do it MYSELF!!’? This is the song for them.

https://youtu.be/DmouCzLoGI4

5. ‘My Shot’ from Hamilton

I am not throwing away my shot!
I am not throwing away my shot!
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot!

No current list could be complete without a track from Broadway and-soon-to-be-West End-hit Hamilton – it’s the musical of the moment. Want your little one to seize every moment at school and in the big wide world? This one will rev them up to never miss an opportunity.

https://youtu.be/NwlBxYyjrqM

6. ‘Getting To Know You’ from The King and I

It’s a very ancient saying 
But a true and honest thought 
That if you become a teacher 
By your pupils you’ll be taught

Going to school means lots of new faces, new friends and lots of ‘getting to know you’. This King and I classic reminds us that however much there is for our little ones to learn once they go back to school – we can usually learn an important thing or two from them too.

You can hear this performed live at our October and November concerts!

https://youtu.be/Vlx6gQWfjp0

7. ‘Heigh-Ho’ from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho
It’s off to work we go
[Whistle]
Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho

On a wet, grey British day it’s easy to feel a little sluggish on the nursery/school run. With a chorus that even the littlest children can join in on, this classic from Disney’s Snow White will perk you up and get you there in no time.

https://youtu.be/HI0x0KYChq4

8. ‘You’re In The Band’ from School of Rock

If you play the piano, you can play the keys
So just loosen it up and strut your expertise
Take a look at this music and let your mind expand – you’re in the band

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest hit (currently playing at the New London Theatre) shows us that no education is complete without the teaching of music and the arts – and who said it had to be all recorders, clarinets and flutes?

https://youtu.be/kWjNXJNemmI

9. ‘A Little More Homework’ from 13

I’m trying to follow
I’m trying to lead
I’m trying to find what is true
But if you’re going to stand with me
Then you have to concede
That we all have a little more homework to do

13 thirteen-year olds take to the stage in Jason Robert Brown’s musical 13. After learning a tough lesson or two about growing up they realise they’ve got a little bit more life homework to do! Extra bonus points if you can spot a 12-year-old Arianna Grande, making her professional Broadway debut, giving some fierce backing vocals.

https://youtu.be/rrH6AgdySEU

10. ‘Naughty’ from Matilda

But nobody else is gonna put it right for me
Nobody but me is gonna change my story
Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty

School rules are great…. but sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty! No-one does naughty better than the kids in Matilda.

https://youtu.be/oewVISY1Yhs

 

 – with thanks to Richard Jones for this post @richtomjones

“My Favourite Things” #4

My Favourite Things

with Claire Parrish

We have a wonderful roster of performers at Baby Broadway, all with West End experience.  To find out a little more about them, we asked some nosy questions whilst shoe-horning in a musical theatre lyric

West End professional Claire Parrish

Biography

Claire trained at Millennium Performing Arts. Her West End credits include Miss Saigon (Prince Edward Theatre), Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre), The Rocky Horror Show and Scrooge the Musical (London Palladium).

She has also performed in UK Tours of Oliver, Cats, Half a Sixpence, Blood Brothers and most recently Mary Poppins.

Favourite Things

Do you have a favourite song from a musical?

Such a hard question to answer as there are so many amazing musical theatre songs! I suppose at the moment I am still loving the Hamilton soundtrack!

https://youtu.be/Hjgn7DELmGM

What has been your favourite job in entertainment so far?

I’ve been lucky enough to do all my dream shows and every job has had its highlights, Rocky Horror Show was immense fun, Cats was my dream show at college and the first job I had! It was incredibly physically hard work but so so rewarding. Oliver, Les Mis, Miss Saigon, and Mary Poppins were also dream shows and I loved them all too! I’ve been very lucky that all the jobs I’ve had have been wonderful.

https://youtu.be/Kf0SaPLaOdQ

As a child, what was your favourite musical film to watch?

Mary Poppins and Oliver. Even now, if either are on the TV, I’ll watch it. Doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen it!

https://youtu.be/p2IYdmWuItE

What’s your favourite thing to do on your day off?

If my husband isn’t working I’ll spend it with him, otherwise I love seeing friends!

Tell us about one of your favourite characters in musical theatre.

Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady is a brilliant character. The journey she goes on is huge. It’s the only show left on my ‘dream job’ list!

https://youtu.be/MJr9SSJKkII

What is your favourite thing about Baby Broadway?

I love watching the little one’s reactions, particularly when we start singing Frozen! It’s always a favourite. If I were to forget the words I wouldn’t be worried as there’s plenty of little people always willing to step up and help me out!

Claire will be performing for Baby Broadway throughout May. Buy tickets HERE

“My Favourite Things” #3

My Favourite Things

with Alex Hammond

We have a wonderful roster of performers at Baby Broadway, all with West End experience.  To find out a little more about them, so we asked some nosy questions (whilst shoe-horning in a musical theatre pun)!

Actor & Singer Alex Hammond

Biography

Alex trained at Leeds University, gaining a First in Theatre and Performance before completing a PGDip in Musical Theatre at the The Royal Academy of Music. His credits include Motown the Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre) as well Calamity Jane, and tours of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Save the Last Dance for Me.

Alex has also appeared in a short film Credence and is a qualified vocal coach and a musician – he plays saxophone, clarinet and guitar.

Favourite Things

Do you have a favourite song from a musical?

My favourite song from a musical is ‘Something’s Coming’ from West Side Story. I love the fizzing excitement and expectation of it.

https://youtu.be/xu7sRdRrm_w

What has been your favourite job in entertainment so far?

Motown the Musical – my first job in the West End so it was very special

https://youtu.be/7VdD2l73QYo

As a child, what was your favourite musical film to watch?

Calamity Jane – I used to watch it religiously and knew it word for word

https://youtu.be/5MnUrhptPSo

What’s your favourite thing to do on your day off?

I like to get out in the countryside and get out on my bike or go for a run.

Tell us about one of your favourite characters in musical theatre.

One of my favourite characters in Musical Theatre is ‘Curly’ in Oklahoma! – he is one of the first examples of a leading man in a musical and the character is written beautifully to include romance, humour, anger, hope. This makes him truly real and exciting for the audience.

Alex will be performing for Baby Broadway at our March and April shows. www.alexhammond.org

“My Favourite Things” #2

My Favourite Things

with Richard Munday

We have wonderful performers at Baby Broadway, all with West End experience.  To find out a little more about them, we asked some nosy questions (whilst shoe-horning in a musical theatre pun)!

 

Actor & Singer Richard Munday

Biography

Richard comes from South Wales, and trained at Mountview Theatre School in London.  His West End credits include The Phantom of the Opera, Blood Brothers and Showboat.  He has also toured in Macbeth, Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest and appeared in A Tribute To Dirty Dancing.

Richard is also an Associate Artist of The Wales Theatre Company, where his credits include Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet, Tony in West Side Story and much more. He has been the Artistic Director and soloist on the 12 Tenors International tour and he is also the co creator of The 3 Swing Tenors.

Last year Richard had his first daughter, Ava.

 

Favourite Things

Find out Richard’s favourite song from a musical and what he loves about Baby Broadway, by clicking on the video below!

 

Richard will be performing with Baby Broadway at our January shows.

Songs To Get You Going In The Morning

Your little darling has been up 4 or 5 times in the night. You’ve had minimal sleep. The only solution is coffee and / or CBeebies….

…OR blasting out some of these showtunes to get you up and going in the morning!

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I Have Confidence (From The Sound of Music)

Let them bring on all their problems

I’ll do better than my best!

As our favourite singing Nun nervously travels to the von Trapp household for the first time, this Rodgers and Hammerstein anthem of confidence propels Maria towards Captain Von Trapp seduction and transformation to Supernanny (not to mention escaping the Nazis).

This will get the walk to nursery done in half the normal speed. Swinging of old school suitcase and guitar is optional.

Defying Gravity (From Wicked)

Too late for second-guessing

Too late to go back to sleep

It’s time to trust my instincts

Close my eyes and leap!

Empowering teenage girls since its opening night, Wicked is our go to feminist musical. If you’ve had a sleepless night and the coffee’s run out, the high note as Elphaba takes to the sky is as good as any caffeine hit.

Beautiful (From Beautiful: The Carole King Musical)

You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face

And the show the world the love in your heart

The great and wise Carole King says it all. Smiling releases endorphins and seretonin, the body’s natural painkillers and anti-depressants.

Yes, you may have baby puke on your jumper and be living off the remains of your toddler’s lunch but remember – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

One Day More (From Les Miserables)

One more dawn

One more day

One day more!

Ok, ok – so we realise there is probably more than one day left of sleepless nights, but it’s a nice sentiment to get you through the day. Just one day at a time.

This is probably the most epic and uplifting Act One closer ever written. Look out for a young Michael Ball and also Lea Salonge (the voice of Disney’s Mulan and Princess Jasmine). Oh and bonus points if you manage to sing all the parts.

So Much Better (From Legally Blonde)

I’ve gone on to better things

Better jobs or bigger rings

I don’t have the time to cry

I’m too busy loving my name up on that list

Kind of a cool, ironic twist

Elle Woods proves you can have beauty AND brains in this musical version of the novel and film. So you might not have had time to wash your hair for over a week? Who cares when there are show tunes out there as good as this to perk you up?

We think you’ll feel So Much Better after listening to this!

96,000 (From In The Heights)

We could pay off the debts we owe!

We could tell every one we know!

I could get on a plane and go

We’d be swimmin in dough, yo

Remove yourself from the challenges of parenting for a moment and imagine winning big time on the lottery alongside the characters in this song from latin/rap/hip-hop musical ‘In The Heights’ by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Not heard of him yet? You will have soon: since the mid 00’s he’s been steadily making a name for himself on Broadway as the saviour of the modern musical, and last year his newest show ‘Hamilton’ hit the big time. Championed by Michelle and Barack Obama, it won 11 Tony Awards and recently had the biggest single week of ticket sales ever recorded for a Broadway show.

The show is due to open in London in late 2017 and is set to be massive here. Miranda has also contributed songs to the newest Disney film ‘Moana’.

You Can’t Stop The Beat (From Hairspray)

You can’t stop

The motion of the ocean or the rain from above

You can try to stop the paradise we’re dreaming of

But you cannot stop the rhythm of two hearts in love to stay

‘Cause you can’t stop the beat!

You also can’t stop sleep deprivation, fussy eaters, tantrums or toddler defiance (today, anyway). So give in and dance! What a song to lift the spirits.

Sugar Daddy (From Hedwig and the Angry Inch)

If you’ve got some sugar for me

Sugar Daddy, bring it home!

You thought we’d forgotten the tired Dads didn’t you? Turn up the volume daddies, grab another bag of Haribo and let the sugar do the work to get you through!

Here’s Neil Patrick Harris as post-op transgender German songstress, Hedwig, rocking out at the Tony Awards.  Who knew Doogie Howser MD / Barney Stinson looked so good in heels while belting B flats!?

Don’t Rain On My Parade (From Funny Girl)

Nobody, no, nobody

Is gonna rain on my parade!

We’ve saved the best for last: it’s Funny Girl. It’s Babs. It’s possibly the most empowering musical theatre song ever!

In one of the most iconic movie musical sequences ever written, Fanny Brice belts her way through this showstopper in defiance of everyone around her as she sails away from New York. Nothing beats Streisand’s version of Jule Styne’s ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ to make you feel like you can take on the world.

 

You are all SuperMums and SuperDads! Now it’s your turn to take on the world for another day.

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Dedicated to Rhian Panayi. Written by Richard Jones, professional Musical Theatre egghead.

To enjoy showtunes performed by West End singers, bring your little ones to a Baby Broadway concert near you. 

6 Alternative Festive Songs for Kids

bbxmas

We’ve been scouring the world of musicals and Christmas films whilst planning our Christmas concerts set list.  Here are six, that adults and children alike will enjoy, to add to your playlist this year:

When Christmas Comes to Town – The Polar Express

A heart warming duet sung by the young passengers as they speed towards the North Pole on a magical train ride. A young girl sings in sympathy with a little boy who has never seen Santa, explaining to him what is all about:

No one will be sleeping on the night of Christmas Eve, hoping Santa’s on his way

Finger’s crossed she’s wrong about that one though…

Walking in the Air – The Snowman

You only have to hear the opening piano phrase and snowmen, flying children and a small Aled Jones immediately come to mind. A simple song, but a classic, from the film about a boy’s snowman coming to life for a Christmas Eve adventure.

The ever-popular theatrical version of The Snowman is now in its 19th year at The Peacock Theatre at Sadler’s Wells in London. Suitable for all ages, performances take place at 11am, 2.30pm and 7pm. Tickets here.

On 11th December Foyles on Charing Cross Road in London will be holding a special Snowman and The Snowdog event with gingerbread, face painting and a visit from a very special friend….2-4pm, £5 ticket, under 3s free, tickets here.

On 17th December you can join the Orchestra of St Pauls at Cadogan Hall in London as they play the score live alongside a screening of the film. Performances at 1.30 and 4pm, tickets available here.

Snow – White Christmas

“What is Christmas with no snow?” Pretty normal these days – but let’s forget that for the moment and go back to the 1950s: where people drink snowball cocktails, enjoy clearing pathways with a shovel, wash their hair in snow and ski with perfect makeup!

Written by Irving Berlin (possibly the greatest American songwriter in history), ‘Snow’ takes place on a post-war train journey to Vermont in the film “White Christmas” and is performed by none other than Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen.

You’ll have the family trained up in the four-part harmony “snow….snow…snow…snow” in no time.

It Feels like Christmas – The Muppet’s Christmas Carol

This song is taken from the enduringly popular Disney version of the Dickens tale synonymous with Christmas. With lots of humour and music from Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and the other Muppets throughout the film, this particular song – sung by the Ghost of Christmas Present – sends a strong message that it’s the season for caring, giving and love.

A cup of kindness we share with another
A sweet reunion with a friend or a brother
In all the places you find love it feels like Christmas

Sparklyjollytwinklejingley – Elf the Musical

‘Elf’ (the film) has been cemented as a Christmas classic around the world since its release in 2003. In the stage musical version, Buddy the human Elf explains how they deck the halls in the North Pole: by making them “Sparklyjollytwinklejingley” (try saying that after a few glasses of port).

Kids will love the silly words and the suggestion that “while you’re busy decorating why not decorate yourself?”. This big band swing number is a great one to listen to while you decorate the tree!

Tinsel up each corner til it’s Christmas everywhere you look
Give the world a holiday that’s bright as can be
Make it SparkleJollyTwinkleJingley

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Meet Me In St Louis

Although not strictly a festive film, this 1944 MGM musical film features one of the most performed Christmas songs ever, most famously covered by Frank Sinatra.

Here it is sung by the legendary Judy Garland, who was only 21 at the time and ended up marrying the director of the film, Vincente Minnelli (father to Liza).

Garland’s character sings this beautiful song to soothe her little sister when upset at the prospect of moving home.

We will be doing our own Baby Broadway version at our Christmas shows this month to wish you all a Merry Little Christmas!

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on, our troubles will be out of sight

You can join us for more Christmas music from these musicals and movies – and others – performed by our West End singers at a Baby Broadway concert near you, 10th – 20th December.  Details and tickets here.

“My Favourite Things” #1

My Favourite Things

with Ellie Kirk

We have a wonderful roster of performers at Baby Broadway, all with West End experience.  To find out a little more about them, so we asked some nosy questions (whilst shoe-horning in a musical theatre pun)!

Actress & Singer Ellie Kirk

Biography

Ellie trained at the Guildford School of Acting and gained a First in BA Hons Acting. Her West End credits include Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre), As You Like It (National Theatre), Lift (Soho Theatre), Therese Raquin (Park Theatre) but she has also worked in children’s theatre incuding Spongebob Squarepants UK Tour, and The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe (Creation Theatre).

Ellie has also appeared in television programmes such as Gigglebiz and Dick and Dom (CBBC), Genie In the House (Nickelodeon), Doctors (BBC1) and Cardinal Burns (E4).

You can book Ellie for children’s parties through her company www.dinkyparties.com, with Princess, Superhero and various other themes available!

Favourite Things

Do you have a favourite song from a musical?

‘Loose Ends’ from The Witches Of Eastwick

What has been your favourite job in entertainment so far?

Performing in Legally Blonde the Musical in the West End

legally-blonde

As a child, what was your favourite musical film to watch?

‘Meet Me in St Louis’ starring Judy Garland

What’s your favourite thing to do on your day off?

Lunch in Crystal palace, see a show and go to the pub!

Tell us about one of your favourite characters in musical theatre.

Kim from Miss Saigon – one of the bravest characters in musical theatre. So selfless and innocent, yet has this incredible strength which is wonderful and refreshing. She also gets to sing lots of beautiful songs!

What do you think is the best thing about Baby Broadway?

Such a lovely kind team to work with. You get to stretch and practice your vocals as well as stretch your vocal repertoire.  Always such a laugh…I genuinely look forward to each concert!

 

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Ellie enjoys the bubbles along with the audience

Ellie will be performing with Baby Broadway at our November shows and for our Christmas concerts.

A Musical Guide to Parenting

When life gets tough as a parent (approximately 89.8% of the time*) there’s a Musical Theatre song for almost every situation from tantrums to homework. Forget Supernanny, just whack on one of these songs and see what happens!

*this may not be statistically correct as we made it up

Encouraging Fussy Eaters

“Food, Glorious Food” from Oliver!

Sometimes it feels like it would be easier to get a date with Ryan Reynolds than to coax your child to eat.  Well, if they don’t like what you’re serving, encourage them to use their imagination to conjure up something tastier – there’s no chance you’re caving in to make something else!

Food, glorious food,
Hot sausage and mustard!
While we’re in the mood —
Cold jelly and custard!

Toddler Tantrums

“Let It Go” from Frozen

During the next meltdown over the fact that you – stupidly – cut up a pear instead of presenting it whole, carefully step over the offending toddler, reach for your music device and crank this one up to 11.

For extra effect, skip forward to 2’59” and scream back at them “I’M NEVER GOING BACK, THE PAST IS IN THE PAAAAAAAST!”.  It’ll teach them a lesson in moving on, and it will make you feel a whole lot better too. Win-win!

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door!

Rainy Days

“Tomorrow” from Annie

Yes, it’s rubbish to be stuck inside with a child when it’s grey and wet outdoors.  But – hey – just stick out your chin, and grin, and say….”yes, you can watch another Paw Patrol but this is the LAST ONE”.  For the 17th time.

Or sing this:

The sun will come out tomorrow
So you gotta hang on
’til tomorrow, come what may!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow
You’re only a day away!

When They Won’t Go To Sleep

“Stay Awake” from Mary Poppins

You’ve tried every trick under the sun and furiously googled ‘why won’t my 4 month old go to sleep’ whilst attempting to hold the offending child in the Tiger in the Tree position – but nothing has worked.  Sleep is elusive for all parties.

BUT have you tried reverse psychology……? If it worked for Poppins, it’s worth a shot (and if you can darn a sock whilst you sing it, you’re officially amazing).

Stay awake don’t rest your head
Don’t lie down upon your bed
While the moon drifts in the skies
Stay awake don’t close your eyes
 Though the world is fast asleep
Though your pillow’s soft and deep
You’re not sleepy as you seem
Stay awake, don’t nod and dream
Stay awake, don’t nod and dream

Teaching Them How To Sing

“Do-Re-Mi” from The Sound of Music

This one’s easy.  If you’re keen on your child being able to hold a tune, just sit back and let Maria do the teaching!  You don’t even have to go on a jaunty bicycle ride, sit in a horse-drawn carriage or skip round the grounds of a mansion house, she’ll do it all for you.

Doe, a deer, a female deer
Ray, a drop of golden sun
Me, a name, I call myself
Far, a long, long way to run
Sew, a needle pulling thread
La, a note to follow ‘So’
Tea, a drink with jam and bread
That will lead us back to Do
Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do, So–Do!

Refusing To Do Homework

“The Smell of Rebellion” from Matilda

Not that we condone threats, but next time your son or daughter isn’t knuckling down you could tell them Miss Trunchbull is going to be the new Head at their school….

charles-brunton-as-trunchbull1

There is no mystery to mastering
The art of classroom mistressing.
It’s discipline, discipline, discipline!

Baby Broadway concerts take place across London, Hertfordshire & Kent every month and are suitable for the whole family from newborns to grandparents.  Visit our Events page to find a show near you.