I know it sounds a little idealistic and perhaps trite - but my 8 year-old daughter was spell-bound through out the entire 90-minute musical, hanging on every word that was spoken and every song that was sung. And after it was over, she couldn't and wouldn't let go of the message.
I'll admit that the casting was excellent - the girls for the most part, looked like their American Girl namesake. Acting was professional and their voices were melodious. I was really impressed with the young girl that played Addy - not for her acting so much, but for her singing. She was able to belt out tunes with a soulful refrain that could easily compete for top billing on contemporary music charts.
No photography is permitted during the performance - a common and courteous request for any theatrical production. However, cast members graciously entertain requests for autographs after the last evening performance. My daughter, with pen and book in hand, was leading the line and was able to get autographs and several photographs with the stars of the show. Her absolute favorite was the girl who played Josephina. We share those photos with you in the gallery below.
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August 25, 2006
From journal Shopping in Chicago!
los angeles, California
February 25, 2003
My claim to fame is I went through the place twice with two spoiled little girls and only spent $20. How?
First I went only on Saturdays (two in a row). The girls were delighted just to be on the same block as the store (believe it or not) and the velvet rope/doorman out front was worth ten minutes of picture taking both times we went.
Inside, the place was packed wall to wall with moms and dads carrying boxes bigger than their children, we could hardly hear each other speak let alone get close to the merchandise. The girls enjoyed the crowds and the glamour of the place (yes, doorman + the aforementioned velvet rope + 8 years old = glamour) and I tried to make them think of the place as a museum of dolls rather than a store where we could actually buy things.
Secondly, each time we were there I tried to spend as much time as possible on the first (below ground level) floor. There are cases containing each doll and every bit of the dolls accompanying stuff - desks, beds, outfits, etc, plus little cards that describe the item along with its price. We collected each of the little cards and played American Girl 'Go Fish' with them at the hotel later. We took catalogs back to the hotel too for making wish lists.
Finally, there was a book signing the second time we were there, happens often I understand. The girls were completely thrilled to get an American Girl book signed by the author (extra thrill for the girls - she was in period costume), and the author was kind enough to chat them up for close to half an hour since no one else was buying books.
Next time I take them I've promised one thing -- they can bring their dolls to the hair salon. Yes, there is a full service hair salon complete with tiny chairs, curlers, wee pink robes and real human stylists. There are about a dozen different hairstyle options and of course there is a charge for the new hairdo. A ridiculous waste of money and yet I found it oddly irresistible.
From journal Chicago on a Budget with Children
by Karin Leperi
April 14, 2002
From journal An American Girl's Day in Chicago
The American Girl Place includes a cafe and a live musical theater, along with a photo studio where girls and their dolls can be photographed for magazine covers bearing their likeness. Girls may also bring their dolls to the hair salon for styling and tips on maintaining their doll's hair-do.
The best way to spend a day at the American Girl Place is to prepurchase the package for a price of $250 that includes sales tax, postage, handling, and gratuities. The "Day at American Girl Place" in Chicago arrives in a beautifully wrapped box containing planning information, vouchers, travel suggestions, and instructions on how to make her dream come true.
The package price includes lunch for two in the Cafe, two tickets to Circle of Friends: An American Girls Musical, Musical souvenir pack with program, CD, and lapel pin, $120 to spend in the boutiques, and studio time for your American girl to get her photo on a souvenir copy of American Girl magazine. The Theater and Cafe require advance reservations. Note that children must be 6 years and older to attend the Circle of Friends musical show.
My 8 year-old daughter declares that her day at American Girl Place was absolutely the best day of her life - she is already planning on coming back for her next year's birthday. The fact that I was able to share in making her memories, was indeed the most "priceless" part of the package.
December 10, 2001
If you haven't heard of the American Girl Dolls, you've gotta check them out (www.americangirl.com). These are dolls created by the Pleasant Company that are set in history. There are eight different dolls, each from a different time period. These are great because not only do they teach history, but they are dolls that little girls love.
The American Girls Place has everything a little girl could want. Beautiful dolls, lots of clothes, a cafe to have brunch/breakfast/lunch/dinner with her doll, a beauty salon for her doll and even a Broadway style production show.
The dolls are a bit pricy, but worth the $84-90 each. Outfits for the dolls run $20 -$25 and there are so many different accessories to go along with it.
This place can be a dream come true for a little girl, but can break the bank in no time, but the look of joy on your little girl's face is worth it (especially if she's not a spoiled brat indulgling in a whim).
It was packed on the Saturday morning we were there, but still navigable. Parents looked like they were having about as much fun as the kids were!
From journal Chicago - A Great Destination