Barney’s Musical Castle Review

Earlier this year, we received a brochure from our Maybank Friends and Family card. In it was an early bird 20% discount for the stage performance, Barney’s Musical Castle. We were quite excited and wanted to bring Baby1 to this show. There were 2 motivations leading up to this decision.

Several months earlier, we were having some trouble with Baby1’s bedtime. She was already sleeping through the night. However, the problem was that she liked to stay up late, say 11pm. Our solution was to buy some DVDs with bedtime stories for Baby1 to watch. It would serve 2 purposes. First, to let her learn about the importance of bedtime. Second, as a trigger for bedtime (i.e. once the video ends, it’s time to sleep).

After a brief search, we found this Barney’s bedtime DVD on a spree on Singapore Motherhood Forum and decided to buy it. That was to be Baby1’s first exposure to that purple dinosaur named Barney. And for some reason, she liked it right away. And the bedtime stories worked. We were able to get her into bed at around 9.30-10pm every night.

That was the first motivation, Baby1 liked Barney.

Since Baby1 liked Barney, we were on a lookout for live performances where we could let her see Barney in real life. It happened that United Square was hosting the Barney and friends show over the Christmas period. And so, we brought Baby1 to that show.

There, I perched Baby1 up on my shoulders for about 20 minutes while Barney sang and dance to about 4-5 songs. Baby1 loved it! For the next few days, she would repeatedly tell us about Barney on stage in her own simple language. Come the weekends, she would asked if we’re going to see “big big Barney” again. She really liked it.

That was the second motivation, Baby1 like seeing “big big Barney” in real life.

So when we knew that a Barney stage performance was coming, we decided to bring Baby1 to see it. We had also considered the Disney on Ice show, but Baby1 wasn’t really interested in Disney characters at that point of time.

We bought 2 adult tickets at the second most expensive zone for $68 each. That works out to be 68 x 0.8 = $54.40 per adult after Maybank discount. We went for the 17 March 2012, 5.30pm show at EXPO.

Over the next 2 months, we prep Baby1 up for the show by letting her watch Barney’s Musical Castle on Youtube. It should be a largely similar production. We wanted to let Baby1 be familiar with the songs and the flow of the show. Partly, this was minimize the chances that Baby1 will throw a tantrum when faced with unfamiliarity on the actual day.

Come actual day, we arrived on time and found our seats. We were quite pleased with our seats as it was near the stage and we had a good view. We also bought a Barney t-shirt for Baby1 which she insisted on wearing right away. :)

Now, about the show. There were several key differences compared to the one we saw on Youtube.

  • The actors were adults, not children.
  • BJ was too tall.
  • Several songs were cut.
  • The Sign was much smaller.
  • The King’s Crown was much too small.
  • The costumes for the bunny, fox and bear looks sloppy.

Nevertheless, Baby1 enjoyed herself and she was able to sing along and also dance along to several of the songs.

Overall, I find the production value of the show to be lackluster. The merchandising booths were also understocked – we couldn’t buy a barney soft toy. However, the important thing was that, as a family outing, it was a resounding success! Baby1 really enjoyed the show and she would talk about it for days to come.

Price wise, it was slightly expensive, 2 adult tickets cost a total of $108.80, and we didn’t even buy a ticket for Baby1. When she grows older, she will need her own ticket and that will make it even more costly. We observed that some children were only accompanied by only 1 parent. That makes economic sense. The other parent can simply visit the other exhibits and event at EXPO while waiting for the show to end.

Seats wise, I was glad we bought the seats nearer to the stage. It makes the entire experience much more immersive, especially for Baby1.

On a side note, we met a friend at the show. She was there with her husband and 2 kids, both younger than Baby1. She would go on to attend the Disney show the next day. She commented that the Disney show was much better and that the Barney show was a waste of money. I wonder. I did not attend the Disney show so I am in no position to compare. But I will say that from an adult’s perspective, I will also think that the Barney show is a waste of money. But from a family’s perspective, we had a great time, and it was worth it.

For many things in life, the people who you share it with is often more significant than the event itself.



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