What? Casa Mañana Theatre
Cost? Varies by show. Check for specific shows and times check their website.
Growing up in Fort Worth I often drove by the “big silver dome” that sits on the corner of Lancaster and University, wondering what sort of alien had landed its spaceship in the heart of Fort Worth. As I got older, I realized it is not an alien aircraft but rather a majestic theatre with lots of character and Cowtown spirit.
The history of Casa Mañana is worth reading, especially if you are a Fort Worthian or theatre buff. Once a completely round theatre with water fountains and a moat separating the actors and audience, the mission of this theatre has always been to bring first class performances to Fort Worth. Although the theater’s design has changed dramatically over the decades, Casa Manana is still achieving its goal by delighting audiences with quality shows and actors on a weekly basis.
Kristen and I attended the matinee showing of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Neither of us brought our kids because we were both concerned that our 3.5-year-olds were not able to handle the length, intensity, and content of the show. Though the show is adorable and aimed at a younger audience, we both agreed it was too mature for our young preschoolers. That being said, the show was ideal for kids just a tad older. The audience was loaded with little girls in mermaid outfits, some even with Ariel wigs, and princes with tridents so excited to sing along to “Part of Your World”. Mamas, go ahead and rock your own graphic tee for the occasion too!
The theater has excellent (and free) parking conveniently located on site but it is small and does fill up quickly. If needed, there is overflow parking in the garage directly behind the theatre on Will Rogers’ campus for a small charge. Though many people choose to park in the museum lots nearby, the museums have the right to tow your vehicle. If your tickets are at Will Call, the box is located directly to the right when you enter the building. Once inside you’ll find a small pop-up gift table with merchandise related to the show. In the same open room, there is a concession stand with snacks and drinks for purchase. Tip: Before the show begins, you can pre-order drinks for the second half of the performance to skip the lines at intermission. How awesome is that?!
A helpful and professional usher (I’d guess around 8 years old) handed us our program as we walked into the domed room. In sticking to its roots, the theatre is still intimate with the last row being much closer than in most other theatres. The seats are comfortable with plenty of room for your legs. Even with all of the room, walking through the rows is not an easy task so do your best to be on time and restroom break in advance. One thing to note with younger kids- the seats fold, so if you have smaller kiddos, they can have a hard time sitting still or possibly even falling through the chairs.
The lights dimmed and the performance began. Though this performance is with Casa Mañana Children’s Theatre, the acting is far from amateur. The production was superb and the lovely and incredibly talented Josie Dawn (Ariel) made me feel like a little girl again when she sang those famous lyrics I’ve had memorized since the movie. The show lasted an hour and a half, with a 20-minute intermission.
These pictures were released by Casa Mañana’s Marketing team. Please remember taking pictures during the performances is not allowed.
At intermission, the typical wait at the women’s restroom began. Although the line was long, it moved very quickly because there are a plethora of stalls and sinks. Also, you will be happy to hear there is a family restroom if needed. During intermission, the concessions were opened again as were the fun activities for kids. We also noticed an exciting celebration behind a tented off area: a birthday party for a young girl! What a clever and unique place to hold a party. After intermission, we headed back to our seats to enjoy the second act, which was much shorter but just as incredible as the first.
Since this was a matinee show and aimed at a younger audience, I definitely noticed a lot more squirming by the second act. If you have kids, this is great news because you can rest assured your kid won’t be the only one needing to move by the second act. If however, you’re an adult without a lot of tolerance for patrons still learning theatre etiquette, you might want to consider a show later in the evening.
Your Out and About Friend,
Day and time we visited: Sunday 2 PM
Level of crowds: Almost a full house
Changing Table: Yes
Cleanliness of Bathroom: Excellent
Recommended age: Casa provides recommendations for age appropriateness for shows. Check each individual show page for their recommendation. The website also encourages patrons to call the Box Office with any questions.
Food Options: Yes, concessions available
Allowed to bring in food and beverages: No
Stroller friendly: No
Accessibility: Tickets for handicap-accessible seating can only be purchased through the Box Office, at 817.332.2272 x3.
Safety concerns: No, but again, know your child’s anxiety levels as the theatre gets dark and loud frequently
Recommend going again: Yes
Member discounts or deals: Yes, Season Tickets available
Gift Shop: small shop set up with souvenirs pertaining to each show