This is probably the only show in town where your kids get to crow like a Russian rooster.
Actors in SecondStory Repertory's The Dancing Princess encourage the kids to do just that in order to wake the dragon-slaying hero, Anatoly, so he can discover the secret to why Princess Yulia wears out her shoes each night. Yulia's mother, the queen, has created a contest where whoever figures out this puzzle will get half the kingdom and Yulia's hand in marriage. Suffice to say, Anatoly prevails (thanks to the kids' rooster crowing) and discovers that Yulia each night passes through a magic door into an enchanted cave where she dances the night away on the rough rock floor (hence the worn-out shoes).
This hour-long production is billed as appropriate for grade school-aged children, with all-ages Sunday shows and discounted ticket prices for little ones. But at the 4 p.m. Saturday show we attended, most of the kids were far younger than school age; my third-grade daughter was underwhelmed. That said, the younger set seemed to enjoy the show thoroughly and actively participated whenever the actors invited them to call out (which they do on several occasions during the show). Kids have the option to sit on the carpeted floor that's flush with the stage, granting them an up-close view (especially neat when the bookcase-cum-magic door opens). After the show, the audience is invited to meet the cast in the small lobby and ask questions.
Snacks are available in the lobby (goldfish crackers, candy, coffee, tea and water) with loads of restaurants and snack possibilities throughout the Redmond Town Center shopping complex. Check out the "sensory garden" play area while you're there.
A word about logistics: finding the theater in the complex can be tricky. We followed small signs to "theater" only to wind up at the movie theater. SecondStory Repertory is, aptly enough, on the second story by the Center Court (you can't see the tiny theater sign from street level). It's easiest to park in the Central Parking Garage on the upper level and stay left when you cross the breezeway (passing Iguana Mexican grill). The theater is next to the Aéropostale store.
IF YOU GO
Where: SecondStory Repertory, Redmond Town Center, 16587 N.E. 74th St., Redmond.
When: Through March 25. Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The theater recommends this play for grade school-age children. Families with younger children can attend the “all ages” performances every Sunday at 1 p.m.
Admission: $10; the Sunday performances are $5 for children ages 1 to 3 and free for children younger than 1.
Contact: 425-881-6777; www.secondstoryrep.org.
Lynn Schnaiberg is a Seattle freelance writer, mother of two, and author of Outside magazine's "Chicago Urban Adventure Guide."