It’s a Hard Knock Life – A Family-Friendly Feel-Good Musical

It’s a Hard Knock Life is a musical featuring well-known “orphan” songs. While this description might run the risk of sounding a little depressing, fortunately Edmonton Musical Theatre’s youth cast’s energetic and playful performance proved to be exactly the opposite.

The directors did a great job allowing the children in the play to, well… be children. The choreography’s playfulness, and the fun dialogue between songs, made the play accessible and down-to-earth. The strength of the cast’s bond is particularly apparent throughout the show – the rapport between the actors enhanced the believability of the scenes. A particular standout number was “We Refuse to Fall Asleep” – an absolutely hilarious (and very true) telling of the difficulties of putting children to bed. With pillow fights, complaints about chores, and a strong bond between cast members this musical took me back to my childhood.

In addition to the singing, acting, and choreography, a fantastic live pianist accompanied the play, and in fact, played for the majority of the 50 minute play. Bravo to the pianist! Having the music played live during the musical is a treat in Edmonton’s musical theatre scene – an aspect I’d like to actively search out during our next theatre season. While live music can distract from the “shared illusion” which is theatre, somehow the live musical accompaniment is exactly what the show needed to round out the broad array of talent offered by the Edmonton Musical Theatre.

Overall, you will probably have a great time attending It’s a Hard Knock Life with your children in tow.

It’s a Hard Knock Life runs at BYOV 36: Edmonton Musical Theatre Studio. Showtimes are August 17 at 6:00, August 19 at 6:30, August 20 at 1:00, and August 21 at noon. Tickets are available at the Fringe box office.

– Jenna Marynowski

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