This past weekend I went to see the Children’s musical Miss Nelson is Missing at Orlando Shakes. The musical is based on the books Miss Nelson is Missing and Miss Nelson is Back by Harry Allard. I took my 5-year old with me and we both had a great time.
Miss Nelson is the teacher in class 207. Unfortunately, the children in her class are not well behaved. So to teach them a lesson, Miss Nelson takes a break from teaching and sends a “substitute” Viola Swamp to take over her class while she recuperates. The children realize how good they had it with Miss Nelson and wish that she would come back. To that end, they go looking for her to try to convince her to return.
The show itself is about 45 minutes. While you may think 45 minutes is too short, 45 minutes to 60 minutes is the perfect show length for younger kids. It’s long enough to be interesting, but not too long so that their mind starts wandering. If my 5-year old is any indication, they will be enraptured from beginning to end.
The show also features a 5-7 minute pre-show. In the pre-show, 4 of the cast members come out and play some trivia games with the audience. They also teach the audience members one of the songs, aptly titled Miss Nelson is Missing, so they can be a part of the show when that song is sung.
The show features a lot of catchy songs, sung by a tremendous cast. I have been to a lot of kiddie musicals over the past 8 years and typically the actors don’t have the talent of the cast in Miss Nelson is Missing. Amanda Leakey, who plays Miss Nelson and Viola Swamp, has an amazing voice and Ben Cohen who plays the roles of Pop, The Principal and McSmogg, has a great voice and great comedic timing as well.
Tickets are $20 per adult/$15 per child. The theater is not huge, so no matter where you sit, you will have a good view of the show. Also, children are invited to sit on the green mats on the floor right next to the stage, so they can get an even better view.
Tickets can be purchased online at Orlando Shakes.
Orlando Shakes shows multiple shows at one time and they also share the parking lot with the Orlando Museum of Art. Because of this parking can sometimes be a challenge. I advise arriving at least 30 minutes in advance to give yourself a chance to find parking. You also have the option to valet park for $5 per car.
There is a concession stand inside the theater where you can buy drinks and snacks. You are allowed to bring drinks inside the theater, but the snacks must be eaten beforehand.
Miss Nelson is Missing is playing at Orlando Shakes on weekends through November 22. The next children’s show Interstellar Cinderella starts on April 9, 2020 and runs on weekends until May 2.
Go or No Go
This is definitely a go for me. I think kids and adults alike will enjoy the show, which can’t always be said for a Children’s musical. That said, Miss Swamp might be a wee bit scary for younger kids, so I might not bring kids under the age of 4 to the musical.
812 E Rollins St.
Complimentary tickets were provided by Orlando Shakes in order to facilitate this review, but all opinions are my own.