Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Grab your Dick & Jane and doubleclick?

Posted By on Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 2:53 PM

Having just extolled the virtues of Slut in print – after diligently documenting the parental potholes to be found along Avenue Q – I claim a special credibility as I turn with alarm toward the wretched efforts of local arts organizations to publicize events that offer clean wholesome entertainment to parents who still care. You can easily rely on Children’s Theatre of Charlotte to provide a consistently clean slate of family-friendly fare – their web site helps you to steer clear of programming that’s too juvenile for full family enjoyment. Parents can also navigate past programming targeted toward high schoolers where issues and subjects may be too advanced.

Otherwise, only Charlotte Symphony offers a convenient gateway – if you’re already hip to their fine LolliPops series. Try hooking up with NC Dance Theatre’s Matinee Magic series and your surfing isn’t nearly as easy. You basically need to sift through the complete 2008-2009 Season to find the kid-friendly fare because none of these are on the Matinee Magic page, which confines itself strictly to subscriber benefits. Want to know when the matinees begin? Scroll to another page, please.

Jungle is densest at the NC Blumenthal PAC site. You need to scroll through all upcoming events and make your own parental judgments, a daunting task when you consider how much is happening at their seven venues in coming months.

True, PAC webmasters have thought about simplifying navigation. You can easily find an EVENTS tab on the home page. Yes, when you point your mouse there, a menu opens and behold, FAMILY FRIENDLY appears among the choices. Trouble is, you get a “No Results Found” message when you click on it. Although you will find kid-friendly NCDT events among the 14 on the DANCE page, none have migrated to the PG page. Parents who can’t discriminate between Chicago and Mamma Mia are treading through a minefield on the BROADWAY page.

Two words to all of our sleepwalking big presenters: Fix it!

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