BROADWAYWORLD Jr PRESENTS: SUMMER FLASH!
The Best Bets for Kids and Family Theatre this Summer
Is it just me, or is everyone a bit on edge? School is ending, schedules are changing, nannies are quitting and those of us who aren't spending the summer on the beach are wondering what in the world we are going to do with the kids and if it will be air-conditioned. Here are a few suggestions to keep everyone cool and entertained.
1. Relax into Summer with.....The Ohmies: Morning Wish Garden!
Last January I wrote about one of my favorite family-friendly theatrical experiences to date: THE OHMIES. Part concert, part dance party, part yoga class, part musical theatre, part preschool and part adventure. After rave reviews that followed a limited winter engagement at the Daryl Roth theatre, the colorful and engaging Ohmies are back to get kids up and dancing and to deliver a purely positive message about health and well being. Important: You have to take your shoes off so make sure everyone wears cute socks.
What: The Ohmies: Morning Wish Garden
When: June 16-August 7
Where: The Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, 412 W 42nd St.
Who: Best for preschoolers but good for kids as young as two and as old as eight. How: Visit the show's web site or www.TicketCentral.com for tickets.
(The Ohmies: Morning Wish Garden)
2. She's Baaa-aaaack...Angelina Ballerina the Musical!
Last winter I wrote about this engaging show based on the series of children's books created by Katharine Holabird, illustrated by Helen Craig and inspired by the PBS Kids television series by the same name. "Angelina Ballerina" is an adorable, child-centered show that features different styles of dance, a simple yet engaging story and a nice message about "Finding your own dance" or, as I take it to mean, celebrating what makes you unique and being your own person.
What: Angelina Ballerina the Musical
When: Starting June 18th.
Where: Diacopa Opera Theatre, 184 E 76th St.
Who: Best for ages two to six, but older sibs up to age twelve won't be bored.
How: For Tickets call 212-579-0528 or visit www.vitaltheatre.org
3. Something Different.......Listen to the Sounds of Patty Shukla
My first child, now seven years old, had Laurie Berkner singing the soundtrack to her early childhood. Now my two year old is enjoying a new star on the children's music scene: Patty Shukla. Using different styles of music like pop, reggae and Motown, Patty resonates with kids who are bored with nursery rhymes but not yet ready for top 40. Her music keeps kids moving and entertained while teaching about everything from rhyming and counting to how we can move our bodies like the animals do. Her first two albums, "Play With Me, Sing Along" and "Roar Like a Lion" are available on Amazon and iTunes.
What: The music of Patty Shukla, National Kids Music Entertainer
When: Whenever the mood strikes you.
Where: Available on Amazon and iTunes.
Who: Best for kids ages two through six. How: Visit Patty's web site for more information including live performance dates: www.PattyShukla.com
4. Time to See Your First Broadway Show!
Sometimes even I grow weary of seeing shows written exclusively for children, and it's time to go where the grown-up theatre fans go: Broadway! Here are four hit shows currently running on Broadway that you might consider for anyone in your household who is too young to see The Motherf**ker With the Hat.
5. And Coming this Fall....Yo Gabba Gabba Live!
Last Halloween I had this great idea that my entire family of four should all dress up like DJ Lance. Fuzzy orange hats and all. I normally ignore whatever my kids are watching on Nick Jr. (nice parenting) but the guest appearances by stars like Jack Black and Elijah Wood grab my attention. Nobody else in my family went for it and we ended up dressing as butterflies and bumblebees but come on, wouldn't that have been cool?
Anyway, the bottom line is that preschoolers love Yo Gabba Gabba and Hollywood has deemed it cool. Round out your summer with all of your favorites like DJ Lance Rock, Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex and Toodee with special guesets Hip Hop Legend Biz Markie and Razzle Dazzle Superstar Leslie Hall. Do I know who all those people are? No I do not. But my kid does.
The tour kicks off September 15 in Minneapolis and will be hitting NYC in October. Something to look forward to during the dog days of summer.
What: Yo Gabba Gabba Live
When: Friday, October 14 through Sunday, October 16.
Where: Beacon Theatre, New York NY.*
Who: Perfect for the preschool set.
How: Tickets can be purchased at www.yogabbagabbalive.com.
* This is a nation-wide tour so non-New Yorkers should check the web site for tour dates.