BWW JR: Spring Flash
Now that the warm weather is setting in...I mean continuing…it might seem counter-intuitive to sit your kids down in a dark theatre in the middle of the afternoon. But trust me, by the time Spring break rolls around, you’ll have seen one playground too many and both you and your kids will be hungry for something more. That’s when it’s time to take advantage of being in (or close to) New York City and take in some awesome family theatre. Here are my top picks for Spring 2012. I’ve carefully selected shows that are geared towards younger kids but not 100% annoying to parents. I’ll be posting reviews on many of these productions as I catch them over the next few months, so watch this space for the low down on BroadwayWorld Jr.’s 2012 SPRING FLASH!
It’s no secret to readers of this column that I’m a huge fan of everything Vital Theatre Company has to offer. I’m especially excited about this one because of it’s awesome book writer and lyricist Sammy Buck, who’s clever, modern, hilarious style is sure to make STINKY KIDS something parents and kids can enjoy together.
The show is geared towards kids ages 3-12, and tells the story of StinkyKid Britt who never gets in trouble and loves making everyone happy. She’s convinced her parents to take her friends to the opening of the new MegaJumper 3000. But when Britt gets a massive wad of gum stuck in her hair, she must rely on her friends to help her get out of the sticky situation before her parents find out and cancel the trip! STINKYKIDS, THE MUSICAL is based on the award winning StinkyKids® books and StinkyKids® characters.
TheatreWorks Tour MARTHA SPEAKS
This is another show I’m psyched for mainly because of the brilliantly cool folks behind it. Actress and funny lady Jill Abramovitz wrote the lyrics to her husband Brad Alexander’s compositions. The two of them make up one of the most talented song-writing duos I know, and add to that bookwriter Kevin Del Aguila (He wrote Alter Boyz).
Martha was an ordinary dog until the day she ate a bowl full of alphabet soup. Something unusual happened: all those letters went up to Martha’s brain instead of down to her stomach. And she became literally outspoken! When she correctly answers a trivia question on a radio call-in show, she wins an all-expense-paid family vacation. But when the official award notice arrives in the mail, it contains Martha’s least favorite words: “no dogs allowed!” Will her family go on vacation without her?
The show is based on the books by Susan Meddaugh and the popular animated PBS television series, and the tour schedule is as follows:
• March 21, 2012: Montclair NJ – Memorial Auditorium, Montclair State University at 10am and 12:30pm
• March 23, 2012: Queens NY – Kupferberg Auditorium, Queens College at 10am
• March 26, 2012: Hempstead, NY – Adams Playhouse, Hofstra University at 10:30am
• March 27, 2012: New York, NY – Town Hall at 10:30am
• March 29, 2012: Tarrytown, NY – The Music Hall at 10am
The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater
It's finally here! The first festival created for the development of children's theatre in New York is happening next month, and they've just announced their fab lineup of original, family-friendly shows!
It took a panel of over 30 industry professionals to make the picks, including Kevin ("Elmo") Clash, Cheryl Henson (President, The Henson Foundation), John Tartaglia (Emmy, Tony, and Drama Desk Award nominated actor, producer, puppeteer), Thomas Schumacher (President, Disney Theatrical Productions), and Michael Jung, (Vice President, Theatrical Development, Walt Disney Imagineering).
The festival will premiere April 20 and run through May 5. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.newyorkchildrenstheaterfestival.org/tickets.html. To read my BWW Jr article on this Fab Festival, click HERE.
Manhattan Children’s Theatre
My Little Guy and I took in our first Manhattan Children’s Theatre production last month when we saw Knuffle Bunny. It was clear to us that this is a company dedicated to producing quality family theatre that entertains kids without annoying adults. This new production is inspired by one of the last remaining, fully enclosed phone booths in Manhattan (at 100th and West End Avenue). The fantasy explores the story of an old friend who is forgotten then rediscovered.
Once, everyone used the phone booth and it loved all the attention it got. Then one day it noticed people talking into little boxes in their hands, and soon no one came to the phone booth any more. Everyone was using cell phones! No one needed the phone booth and it became lonely. It watched other phone booths being hauled away to the dump, and feared it might be next. Can anything save the faithful phone booth?
The show runs April 7 – April 29, Saturdays & Sundays @ 12:00 & 2:00pm. For tickets, call (212) 352-3101