BWW JR- Guide to Kid-Friendly, Family Broadway Shows
|BWW JR: Dear Albert Einstein|
by Erin Leigh Peck - February 17, 2014
Set in 1954, DEAR ALBERT EINSTEIN tells the story of Susan, a 12-year-old star math student who, when starting junior high, struggles between the desire to be herself and the pressure to be like all of the other girls in her class. Her admiration for Einstein, who periodically pops up in her imagination, complicates and eventually helps her along her journey. The musical combines early rock-n-roll, swing, and classical music.
|BWW JR: Wally Watthead and His Lost Glow|
by Erin Leigh Peck - January 07, 2014
Wally Watthead and His Lost Glow is magician Janne Raudaskoski's experiential magic theatre performance for the entire family. The play takes place on the night desk of a girl called Polly - the home to a mobile phone, a night lamp and a picture of Polly. Everything is fine until one day Wally Watthead, the night lamp, loses his glow. Simon Simcard, a smartphone, helps Wally regain his glow, and the magic of the play is based on their adventures together. Among a variety of other tricks, Wally Watthead is seen levitating in the air and shrinking himself to miniature size. The chemistry between the two buddies is, however, put to test when Polly Picture - whom Wally is rather fond of - comes to life.
|BWW JR: Cirkopolis!|
by Erin Leigh Peck - December 28, 2013
Right now at the NYU Skirball Center, a new Cirque-style acrobatics show is waiting to make your holiday week special. The choreographer of the 2006 Olympic Games closing ceremonies has joined forces with Cirque du Soleil's Zumanity choreographer to create a new circus spectacle 'that lives between dream and reality, underscored by a continuous stream of original music, and brought to vivid life by 3-D projections'. CIRKOPOLIS, the new show by Montreal-based Circus Arts company Cirque Eloize, is a mind-blowing spectacle for kids of all ages. I was lucky enough to bring my ten and five year olds, and both had a memorable theatrical experience not easily replicated!
|A Christmas Carol the Musical at the Players Theatre for Families|
by Erin Leigh Peck - December 14, 2013
A lively musical adaptation of the classic Dickens tale. Follow along with Ebenezer Scrooge as he is visited by four ghosts; his old business partner Marley, the ghost of Christmas past, present and future. See what happens when he gets a glimpse of his own future if he doesn't change his life. Will Scrooge catch the holiday spirit and save himself in the process? Find out by joining us for this special holiday show with a story so warm it will melt the cold heart of even the grumpiest Scrooge!
|BWW JR: Can I Take My Kids to See ONCE?|
by Erin Leigh Peck - December 03, 2013
Clearly, Once is a perfect show for a family with teenage children. It doesn't pander in any way, yet it's message is so pure and beautiful, it becomes holistically wholesome by the end of the show. It's a love story. There is no violence. Women are not exploited. Children are not harmed. But there is pain and heartbreak and loss and when those things are filtered through the minds and mouths of working class Irish folk, the F word shows up. A lot.
|BWW JR: The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told!|
by Erin Leigh Peck - November 18, 2013
THE GREATEST PIRATE STORY NEVER TOLD! is a madcap, musical adventure that revolves around Captain Henry Martin and his stalwart crew, who have been flung in to the future by a befuddled sea witch to perform the greatest pirate epic ever seen on stage. But with their script torn asunder, these pirates-turned-players are forced to improvise their show as it unfolds, based upon the audience's suggestions.'
|BWW JR: Catch BIG FISH While You Can|
by Erin Leigh Peck - November 12, 2013
Based on the 2003 Tim Burton Film, the show deals with a man's journey to sort out the truth from the fiction of his dying father's life. The stories, told through musical numbers, are larger than life and there is enough color and character to entrance any kid. The subject matter however, is a bit more sensitive a topic. Death is dealt with in a very emotional way, and just as no adult in the audience escaped without a tear, kids will also find the show as sad as it is often uplifting. A mature eight year old will be able to handle the themes, although my sensitive ten year old held my hand tight during the sad parts.
|BWW JR: 2014 NY Children's Theater Festival: Productions Announced!|
by Erin Leigh Peck - October 29, 2013
Four original productions have been announced for the 2014 New York Children's Theater Festival. Now in it's third year, the festival 'serves family audiences by supporting upcoming artists and industry professionals who are passionate about creating theatrical experiences and productions for children'. The following productions will be showcased in April of 2014:
|BWW JR: Trapped But Happy At PIPPIN|
by Erin Leigh Peck - October 17, 2013
If I didn't know that Pippin was written by two men in the 1970's, I might think it was a message from a 2013 mother to her child about finding happiness. I personally missed the original Broadway production which closed when I was four years old (stop doing math!), but enough high school productions (featuring a different version of the book) made me miss what makes this show so universally appealing and meaningful: What began as an allegory of a young man in search of himself presents, for people my age, as a reflection of our sacrifices and triumphs as parents who may have given up loftier dreams for the deeper sense of satisfaction that comes from raising children. Meanwhile, for kids, the show may be about the constant hunger young people feel when they are chasing ambitions and deciding who they will be. Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson were writing about a young man aspiring to find his purpose, while I felt the show was a perfect documentation of my current midlife crisis. Universally appealing.
|BWW JR: Fall Flash 2013|
by Erin Leigh Peck - October 03, 2013
Between this year's early Jewish holidays and that darned phase-in at my son's pre-K (didn't he just go to camp ALL DAY LONG this summer?), it took until this week for my house to actually be empty between the hours of nine and three. It's finally time to start picking some shows for my kids and here's what I'm interested in for the fall:
|BWW JR: Tilly the Trickster|
by Erin Leigh Peck - September 06, 2013
ATLANTIC FOR KIDS announces the World Premiere of Molly Shannon's Tilly the Trickster, based on the book Tilly the Trickster by Molly Shannon.
An exuberant and riotous musical adaptation of Molly Shannon's children's book, Tilly theTrickster encourages audiences to embrace the silliness and fun of life! This high spirited tale follows a feisty, mischievous youngster named Tilly, who loves nothing more than playing pranks and causing a little trouble. From leaking cups to toothpaste-flavored cookies, this saucy heroine has more than one inventive and relentless trick up her sleeve.
|BWW JR: Ballerina Swan|
by Erin Leigh Peck - August 15, 2013
BALLERINA SWAN, a 50-minute family show blending dance, theater and puppetry, tells the story of Sophie, a Central Park swan with dreams of becoming a ballerina and dancing in Swan Lake. Based on the critically-acclaimed by The New York Times children's book BALLERINA SWAN by former NYC Ballet prima ballerina Allegra Kent, the show features three dancers and a dancer/puppeteer who operates a five-foot dancing swan puppet!
|BWW JR: The Sound of Music|
by Erin Leigh Peck - August 05, 2013
Westchester Broadway is a dinner theatre. It's a strange feeling to be eating a dinner roll while watching the Von Trapp family sing, but it's also a cool and unique way to see a show and worth trying with your child. Plus, if you're a Soap Dish buff, you can say things like, "Five minutes, Mr. Loman!" and have it really resonate.
|BWW JR: Wanda's Monster|
by Erin Leigh Peck - July 26, 2013
Based on the award-winning children's book by Eileen Spinelli, featuring music and lyrics by singer, songwriter and superstar children's recording artist Laurie Berkner, WANDA'S MONSTER runs July 13th through September 8th at the Vineyard Theatre. The 50-minute production is best for families with kids ages 2-10.
|BWW JR: EVER HAPPILY AFTER at NYMF|
by Erin Leigh Peck - July 18, 2013
As Cinderella is forced to endure the bullying ways of her step-sisters, she waits to be saved by her zany fairy godmother who is nowhere in sight. Unfortunately, her wand has run low on power and she can't seem to find her charger anywhere. With just enough power left to call her best bird friend Perez (inspired by Perez Hilton), the Fairy Godmother persuades Perez to take Cinderella under his wing and get her ready for the ball. Perez knows that if he makes this CinderCharming match, he'll be the hot tweet on the street and be 'in' with the prestigious royal family. ??Will Cinderella make it to the ball? Will Prince Charming live up to his name? The truth is surprising and the match is enlightening.
|BWW JR: NYMF For Kids|
by Erin Leigh Peck - July 08, 2013
This month, New York celebrates musical theatre as the New York Musical Theatre Festival debuts thirty new productions. Three of the shows are perfect for family audiences. This is a great (and rare) opportunity for you to introduce your child to a brand new show in development. Today's festival presentations could be tomorrow's Off-Broadway hits.
|BWW JR: REALLY ROSIE with a REAL Broadway Director!|
by Erin Leigh Peck - July 01, 2013
I remember doing this show in middle school. Really Rosie, based on series of books by famed children's author Maurice Sendak and with music by the legendary Carole King, has always been a perfect choice for school plays. Now Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania has brought in Broadway director and a cast of talented local kids to take Really Rosie out of the classroom. Tony Award- nominee Marcia Milgrom Dodge (Ragtime, High Society) is directing a cast made up entirely of Pennsylvania and New Jersey kids, most of whom come with impressive Broadway and Regional credits, as part of the 2013 Playhouse Productions Summer Season. Performances begin July 5th and run through July 21st at the Bucks County Playhouse
|BWW JR: POTTED POTTER|
by Erin Leigh Peck - June 21, 2013
If your child is a fan of Potter, run don't walk to the Little Shubert to catch Potted Potter before the end of this summers NYC run on September 1st. And don't worry about being bored. This show does what I always hope children's theatre will do: It makes for great kid's theatre without boring the parents. Not even a little bit. If your child hasn't read J.K. Rowling's fantastical trilogy about a boy who discovers he is a wizard, this might be the inspiration he or she needs to pick up what I am told is an addictive piece of literature.
|Kef Kids Cabaret to be Featured On Dance Moms|
by Erin Leigh Peck - June 12, 2013
Kef theatrical productions has announced the upcoming event KEF KIDS CABARET, an evening of songs featuring some of Broadway, TV and Film's biggest little stars, performing numbers of their own choice. The evening of music will be presented on Monday, July 1st at The Cutting Room (44 East 32nd St. btw 5th and Madison) at 7:00 PM. Tickets for the one-night-only event are $20 in advance or $25 at the door (food/beverage minimum not included) and are available at www.thecuttingroomnyc.com or by calling 212.691.1900.
|BWW JR: THE 2013 TONY AWARDS FOR KIDS|
by Erin Leigh Peck - June 04, 2013
Watching the Tony awards every year has become a tradition for my daughter and I. She enjoys watching performances from all the shows, even those she is too young to see in theatres. What's really special this year is that every single Best Musical nominee is appropriate for kids, keeping in mind that some might be better for older kids. Here's a run down of the family-friendly nominees for this 2013 Tony Awards:
|BWW JR: Magical World of Wink|
by Erin Leigh Peck - June 03, 2013
This imaginative and beautiful world is seen through the eyes of a young girl and her beloved bear as she experiences the magical moments of what we all experience in our minds and our hearts when we sleep. My daughters were front and center, and completely mesmerized through this moving entire non-verbal show.
|BWW JR: MY CITY PARK|
by Erin Leigh Peck - May 28, 2013
When Milo finds out that his favorite city park is going to be torn down and replaced with a shopping mall, he seeks out the help of his two best friends, Odessa the Owl and Bucky the Squirrel. This 45-minute educational performance features puppetry, original songs, and audience participation.
|BWW JR: POTTED POTTER|
by Erin Leigh Peck - May 13, 2013
This summer, the perfect show for Harry Potter fans returns: Potted Potter, starting previews May 30th at the Little Shubert Theatre, takes on the challenge of condensing, or 'potting' all seven Harry Potter books into 70 minutes, aided only by multiple costume changes, songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic. The show also invites audiences to engage with a real life game of Quidditch, featuring a unique set of rules.
|BWW JR: Rudetsky and More Benefit Computer School at NIGHT OF STARS Concert|
by Erin Leigh Peck - May 02, 2013
This Monday, the Computer School brings Broadway to the Upper West Side! The school's annual Night of Stars concert raises money for the Computer School After School Music Program, helping to provide scholarships, keep fees low, and purchase new instruments.
|BWW JR: ADVENTURES FROM EZRA JACK KEATS AT TADA! YOUTH|
by Erin Leigh Peck - April 24, 2013
Set in a big apartment building, Apt. 3 is the simple tale of two young brothers who hear saxophone music (in the book it's harmonica) coming from one of their neighbors. While searching for the source, they go on an aural journey, hearing diverse voices and sounds behind every door. Since there's not a lot of plot, director/choreographer Joanna Greer cleverly incorporates dance interludes that are meant to communicate what the boys are feeling: fear, adventure and excitement all rolled into one. It's a bit Dance Moms at times but it gives the ensemble a chance to show off their moves and enhances the slight story. The lighting design, full of dark blues, greens and black, is reminiscent of the book's rich illustrations.
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Erin Leigh Peck is a New York based actor, writer and mother. She has performed on and off Broadway, in regional theatre and on tour, in films and on television. She most recently appeared Off-Broadway in The Toxic Avenger Musical and can often be seen on television in various commercials. Erin's play Marjorie Gold is a contemporary 'dramedy' about pregnancy, parenthood and postpartum. She is the proud and busy mother of two extremely awesome kids. Please visit her web site, www.ErinLeighPeck.com.