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14 Aug, Sunday
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Montreal Families

Should You Take the Kids to: Sons et Brioches

On a rainy Sunday morning with no plans or organized playdates, we decided to try a Sons et Brioches show at Place des Arts. These are musical/theatrical shows for children (usually age 3 to 12) held about once a month from 11 a.m. to noon.

It was well worth it, and we would definitely take the kids (one is almost 2.5 years old and the other is 5) again. Doors open for the 11 a.m. show at 10:20 a.m. When we arrived around 10 a.m., there was already a long, daunting lineup snaking through the building. But as soon as the main doors opened, the line moved fast and we found the whole event to be well organized and easy to navigate.

Once you get into Place Des Arts, there’s a huge spread of muffins (there are about five different kinds), plus juice and coffee. Take note, though, that supplies are for the first 500 attendees. Refreshments in hand, we joined the rest of the high-culture parents in sitting on the floor to eat. There are no worries about killing time before the show; children remain remarkably still and agreeable when they have a fresh muffin in front of them.

Try to get a good spot for the show
As we were eating, a lineup began to form to go up to the piano nobile area, an open space where the concert is held. If you want to make sure your kids can see the show well, it’s a good idea to have one parent wait in the line so that you’re close to the performance area. Everyone sits on the floor to watch the show, and there are cushions to make it a bit more comfy for kids.

The show we saw (there’s a different one each month) was Coucou Musique, which features a character called Julie Sa Muse. She likes listening to bird calls, but finds out that General Uniforme wants to limit all birds to singing only the cuckoo’s song. Using all kinds of instruments, she shows him the beauty of hearing many different sounds.

Kids stay interested throughout
The show catered to kids well (but mom and dad had fun, too), with a simple storyline and lots of shifting gears in terms of speed, volume and action.  Plus, it incorporated many different percussion instruments, including drums, xylophone, bells, bowls and even garbage cans. What kid doesn’t like the idea of making music with a garbage can?

Our children and most of those around us stayed interested throughout the 45-minute show. Bravo! Since the event ends around lunch time, it may be helpful to know that there is an A.L. Van Houtte that sells lunch fare in the basement of Place des Arts. There is also a huge food court in the Complexe Desjardins shopping centre across the street, and Chinatown is a few blocks away.

Here’s the Sons et Brioches lineup for the 2009/2010 season and information on how to get tickets:

Oct. 25: Le monde merveilleux du Dixie, for age 5 to 12
Nov 29: Fiestango
Dec. 27, 29 and 30: Ah la Vache (Holy Cow!), a christmas show for age 5 to 12, held at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Feb. 7: Les aventures fantastiques de Flonflon
Feb. 28: Pierre et le loup
March 14: Orfea et la harpe dorée
March 28: La grande tortue

Sons et Brioches shows are different each month, but are usually targeted at age 3 to 12.
Time: 11 a.m., usually held once a month during Place des Arts season (fall through spring).
Price: $8 per person or $25 per family (four people)
Address: Place des Arts, 175 Ste. Catherine St. W. (Place des Arts metro) (view map)
Parking: There is metered parking on the surrounding streets and there are various parking lots (underground and above ground) nearby.
Call for tickets: 514-842-2112
Or go to the website: http://jeunesse.laplacedesarts.com/Default.aspx

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