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When mulling over entertainment options, the theatre doesn’t always come to mind when adults are trying to select an activity that both they and the kids will enjoy. Many assume that Broadway and Off-Broadway fail to house shows that are appropriate for children, however this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are a boatload of shows that are not only appropriate for children, but also enjoyable for both kids and kids at heart.
Aladdin is the thrilling story of a poor young man who embarks on an magical journey of adventure and love after uncovering a genie. This exciting romantic comedy features all of the songs from the Academy Award winning score with several more written just for Broadway. Any child who loves the Disney film is sure to enjoy Broadway’s take on the classic film.
The show is currently playing at the New Amsterdam Theatre (214 W 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036). It runs for 2 hours and 30 minutes with one intermission.
Blue Man Group
Blue Man Group is a show that revolves around three blue-headed men who don’t speak during the entire show. The human-like men use high-tech stage effects and tools such as sci-fi drum kits and LED screens to draw the audience in and keep them glued to the edge of their seats. The Off-Broadway show also features old-fashioned comedy and some circus style miming and clowning that kids are sure to love. The show is quite interactive, with the first several rows coming equipped with ponchos and plastic coverings so the audience can protect themselves against food, paint, and other items that periodically are thrown off stage. Kids of all ages will enjoy the show, though children under the age of 5 will not be permitted into the theater.
The show plays at the Astor Place Theatre (434 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003). It runs for 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella is a great show for today’s children. It blends the classic fairytale with a modern script and various new subplots to make things fresh and more exciting. Kids and adults alike will be thrilled by the costumes and musical performances. The show also boasts plenty of laughs for those looking for a good time.
The show is now playing at Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway, New York, NY 10019). It runs for 2 hours and 15 minutes with one intermission, so take that into consideration for young theatregoers.
Matilda the Musical
Matilda the Musical is described by producers as “the story of an extraordinary little girl who decides that despite a bad beginning filled with rotten parents, a terrifying school and a vicious head mistress, her story is going to be an astonishing one. With the help of her teacher, her friends and a little bit of imagination, Matilda proves that even if you’re little, you can do big things.” Children learn the value of education and imagination in this production that features special effects and energetic songs to keep everyone entertained.
The show is playing at the Shubert Theatre (225 W. 44th Street, New York, NY 10036). It runs for 2 hours and 30 minutes; a consideration to be made for young children viewing the show.
Newsies is set in New York City at the turn of the century. It is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right. It is great for kids because it features catchy songs and riveting choreography that will keep your children captivated until the show’s end.
The show is playing at the Nederlander Theatre (208 W. 41st Street, New York, NY 10036). It runs for 2 hours and 20 minutes with one intermission, so keep that in mind when bringing young children.
Peter Pan is an Off-Broadway show that explores the journey of a group of children in turn-of-the-century London who use their imaginations to reenact the story of Peter Pan. This story encourages children to use their imagination while also highlighting the concepts of friendship and family. What better show for kids than a show that is all about being a kid?
The show opens at the Queens Theatre in the Park (14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing, NY 11368) June 1, 2014.
The Gazillion Bubble Show
The Gazillion Bubble Show combines art and science to bring together a spectacular show that dazzles and awes. This interactive stage show will involve your children both mentally and physically. Plus it features lighting effects and lasers that are sure to wow kids of all ages.
The show is currently playing at New World Stages (340 W. 50th Street, New York, NY 10019). It runs for 1 hour and 10 minutes with no intermissions.
The Lion King
The Lion King is probably one of the most loved shows on Broadway. To date, it has been seen by more than 50 million people and is the winner of a Tony Award for Best Musical. The production greatly appeals to children with its artistic take on African wildlife all the while telling the Disney story that many children know and love. It should be noted that Simba’s journey into the elephant graveyard as well as the death of Mufasa may be unsettling to very young viewers, however if your child can handle those scenes in the movie, he/she should do well during the live production.
The show is now playing at the Minskoff Theatre (200 W. 45th Street, New York, NY 10036). It runs for 2 hours and 30 minutes with only one intermission, so make sure your child can handle being in the theatre for that length of time.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the story of four siblings who embark on an adventure through an old wardrobe into a land of talking animals, giants, and dwarves among its other marvels. The children courageously battle evil to find that love is the greatest magic of all. Two actors play all the characters in the show (animal and human) which encourages the children to use their imagination as they enjoy this creative tale.
The show is currently playing at St. Luke’s Theatre (308 W. 46th Street, New York, NY 10036). It runs for 50 minutes with one intermission, making it perfect for kids who can’t sit still for too long.
Wicked is based upon the novel by Gregory Maguire. It tells the story of the two shades of witches that you were first introduced to in The Wizard of Oz. It traces the origins of Elphaba and Glinda in such a unique way that it truly affords the audience the opportunity to get to know them and understand their struggles on a more personal level. The audience follows the budding friendship of the witches and witnesses them step into their destiny as the production progresses.
The show is currently playing at the Gershwin Theatre (222 W. 51st Street, New York, NY 10019). It runs for 2 hours and 45 minutes with one intermission, so take that into consideration when bringing along young children.
Now there are no more excuses not to make a night at the theater a family affair. No matter what show you choose, it is sure to be an experience your children will never forget.
Author: Diamond Grant