Jun 17 2009
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.
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.
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.
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.