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Superheroes, Princes and Scientists: The New York Children’s Theater Festival

April 12, 2012

We are in the city with some of the best live theater in the world so why not take advantage of it with your children? We started taking our son to the theater at age 2- and yes, though he squirmed some, he learned to settle into the idea that there weren’t quick edits or zoom shots.  At age 5, he is now a jaded theater critic. At a recent production of “Puss in Boots”, he proclaimed, “the story was confusing, the actors didn’t know their lines and the costumes weren’t very exciting.” Gee whiz- and I thought it was pretty passable.

What will be more than passable and tons of fun is the upcoming The New York Children’s Theater Festival that beings April 20th. This Festival showcases original productions, chosen by a judging panel of over 30 industry professionals 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 selected productions are all child-friendly and should be a great opportunity to foster a love of theater in your child!

Here is the lineup:

Go Green! Prince Charming’s Quest for Love and Ecology in NYC
Go Green! is a musical fairy tale about a modern-day Prince Charming who must choose between his passion for saving the earth or completing his quest to preserve true love forevermore.  Festival co-founder Chelsey Shannon says, “Go Green! is an up-beat original story with unexpected twists and turns, making it exciting and fun for kids to follow. It has catchy music which totally hooked me and combines classic fairy tales with the idea of being green. Kids will be thrilled to see what Prince Charming would rather be doing with his free time.” Music by Mary Feinsinger (www.maryfeinsinger.com) / Book and Lyrics by Joan Ross Sorkin (www.joanrosssorkin.com)
Details: Friday April 20 at 5:30 PM; Saturday April 21 at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM

Scheme of the Super Bullies
When mad scientist Countess von Cooties forms the League of Super Bullies, fiercely independent superhero Princess Dodgeball must learn to accept help from her friends (and the audience) to save her school, in this original musical.  Lewis says, “Scheme of the Superbullies has colorful characters and a totally energetic story that caught my eye right off the bat. The show has very relevant themes that are important to address, and the songs are truly hilarious!” Book, Music and Lyrics by Ross Wade
Details: Friday April 27 at 5:30 PM; Saturday April 28 at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM

The Velveteen Rabbit
The classic story comes to life in this new version featuring live actors and puppets. A journey through time, this enchanting production focuses on the power of love and friendship.  Festival co-founder Renee Barnett says, “This is a wonderful approach to a heartfelt classic; a beautifully touching adaptation that children and adults will relate to.” Adapted by Andrew M. Frodahl, based on Margery Williams’ classic story
Details: Friday May 4 at 5:30 PM; Saturday May 5 at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM
The festival will premiere April 20 and run through May 5
The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater
10 West 64th Street at Central Park West.
Tickets are $18 ($15 YMCA members) available through Ovationtix, (866) 811-4111 or at www.newyorkchildrenstheaterfestival.org/tickets.html.