Jun 17 2009

Medora Musical in Medora, North Dakota

A trip to the town of Medora, North Dakota, isn’t complete without seeing the Medora Musical.  This entertaining variety show is performed nightly throughout the summer months, and is the highlight of many North Dakota vacation plans.

The Medora Musical has been running annually since 1965, and I remember attending the musical as a child.  Back then, it had bench seating and lots of stairs.  Several years ago, the outdoor amphitheatre was revamped; now it includes stadium seating for 2852 people, as well as an escalator, concession stand, and welcome center/gift shop.

Since Medora is on Mountain time and the musical doesn’t start until 8:30 p.m., I was a little concerned about how my kids would manage after a day of sight-seeing.  I shouldn’t have worried; the musical’s singing, dancing, and featured Chinese acrobats kept them ooohing and ahhhing throughout the show.  My five-year-old fell asleep on my lap for the end of the show, but the boys were entertained until the end.

Medora Musical cast

The cast of the musical comes from around the country, and the kids were excited that we had seen some of them in downtown Medora during the day, so there were some familiar faces to watch.  They also enjoyed the entrance of Medora’s Cowboy Lyle on his horse.  Cowboy Lyle has been a part of every show for the past 35 years.

Medora Musical Cowboy Lyle_edited-1

During the musical, there’s a song where the children are invited down on the stage, and the kids thought this was great.  Because we attended on a Wednesday, which includes free admission for kids to the musical as part of Medora’s children’s day program, there were quite a number of kids in attendance.

Medora Musical kids

One fixture of the show from year to year is a bit of Theodore Roosevelt woven into the story.  Theodore Roosevelt plays a large part in the area’s history, and is always included in the musical.

After the show, I asked my daughter what her favorite part was.  “Everything!” was her response.  And as we were walking out, my eight-year-old son asked, “Mom, if they do a Medora Musical another time, can we come again?”  Two weeks later, they’re still asking to go back, and my six-year-old recently renamed his souvenir stuffed buffalo from “Buffy” to “Buffalo Dale,” the name of the musical’s host.

Before you go to the Medora Musical, there are some things you should know:  the performance begins at 8:30 p.m. and runs for about two hours, including intermission.  The outdoor air gets cool in the evenings, so dress warmly and bring a blanket.  (Don’t worry, you won’t look silly;  many people bring blankets to the show and they’re the ones who aren’t shivering at the end of the evening.)

If you’re heading to Medora, North Dakota’s #1 tourist destination, the Medora Musical is something you won’t want to miss.  It’s a family-friendly show that your kids will enjoy.  My kids tell everyone it was their favorite part of our North Dakota vacation.

Note: We received complimentary tickets to the Medora Musical.  This does not affect my assessment of the show.
This post has been included in Family Friday at HomemakerBarbi.

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9 comments so far

9 Comments to “Medora Musical in Medora, North Dakota”

  1. Bridget Smith on 18 Jun 2009 at 11:54 am

    Wow! This looks like fun! Wish we could go. History and Musical Theater…what a great combination.

    Bridget Smith’s last blog post..Family Adventure Tip Tuesday:Bring Life Jackets

  2. [...] he sent me a photo of what the Burning Hills Theatre, site of the Medora Musical, looked like when I attended as a kid.  It brought back old memories and made my [...]

  3. wandermom on 18 Jun 2009 at 6:17 pm

    This is such a great story.
    I really love learning about this kind of thing. We live such busy lives these days (at least in my family!) that I’m always on the look out for these slower, but still undeniably entertaining events to enjoy with my children.

    wandermom’s last blog post..Summer Family Fun In Seattle

  4. [...] you’re planning to see the Medora Musical while visiting North Dakota, I recommend going an hour early and attending the Behind the Scenes [...]

  5. [...] you’re going to be in Medora, ND for the Medora Musical, I recommend eating supper before the musical at the Pitchfork Steak [...]

  6. Medora Musical in Medora, ND on 08 Jul 2009 at 3:01 pm

    [...] Medora Musical is a variety show of singing-and-dancing entertainment performed nightly throughout the summer in [...]

  7. jb on 30 Aug 2009 at 1:37 am

    Grew up less than 70 miles from Medora; the musical was part of my childhood. I’m glad you and your children enjoyed it.

  8. Zoos in North Dakota on 28 Apr 2010 at 3:48 pm

    [...] straight roads.  You may think of fishing or hunting in the Devils Lake area.  You may think of Medora and the Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt National [...]

  9. [...] thinking, “The kids would love this!”  They enjoyed the Chinese acrobats we saw at the Medora Musical, and the rope performers were reminiscent of those we saw at Circus World Museum.  I would warn [...]

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