Children’s theatre is a great way to introduce creativity and the arts to children. One of our favorite places to take our kids is to Symphony Space on the Upper West Side. It may not be in Lower Manhattan, but it is easy to take public transit and the journey is worth the trek. Planning Saturdays with the kids is easy with Just Kidding! Featuring the very best in family-friendly music, theatre, dance and a whole lot more – all the cultural riches and inspiring experiences that affirm why you raise your kids in New York City.
During the 2017-18 “Just Kidding” Series at Symphony Space, NYC families are invited to experience live theater and puppetry, along with the music, dance and physical comedy performances that the series is known for: November brings the uproarious antics of the Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers and their swashbuckling show “Everybody Loves Pirates;” December will see the virtuoso National Marionette Theatre with its acclaimed production of the children’s classic “Pinocchio,” and the New Year brings the inventive “Milo the Magnificent.”
On January 13, Experiential Theater Company will present “Journey to Oz,” an interactive adventure based on the classic tale. In March, performances by Spellbound Theatre and Lightwire Theater will add to the unusual theatrical lineup.
Upcoming “Just Kidding” performances include:
- December 9 at 11 am and 2 pm – National Marionette Theatre’s “Pinocchio”
Founded in 1967, the National Marionette Theatre is one of the oldest continually-running marionette theatres in the United States. And, along with artistic director David A. Syrotiak, the amazing, award-winning troupe brings Carlo Collodi’s classic tale about a puppet that wants to become a real boy to rich life with beautifully crafted marionettes and stunning scenery. Learn more about the National Marionette Theatre’s imaginative productions that have been entertaining audiences around the world for more than 40 years at nmtshow.com.
- January 6 at 11 am and 2 pm – Milo the Magnificent
Using stunningly innovative puppetry, Milo the Magnificent tells the tale of Milo, a hard-working and aspiring entertainer and magician always ready to put on his best show. As he unpacks his latest achievements in science and magic, he finds that the best of plans don’t always go as expected. The puppeteers behind Milo the Magnificent are Alex & Olmsted (Alex Vernon and Sarah Olmsted Thomas), who’ve been making puppets together since 2010. Alex is a silhouettist and automata engineer, and Sarah is a fifth-generation artist and clown. In recent years they have performed at the Kennedy Center, The Puppeteers of America Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry in Connecticut, and Bread and Puppet in Vermont. Discover more about the company here: http://www.saraholmstedthomas.com/puppetry.html
- Saturday, January 13th at 11 AM and 2 PM – Experiential Theater Company: Journey to Oz
Inspired by L. Frank Baum’s original stories, this clever adaptation puts the audience front and center —literally—as we are invited on a journey to Oz with Dorothy. Kids and their adults become part of the cast in this interactive production, singing, dancing and acting alongside professional actors. The audience will help the scarecrow, the tin woodsman, the lion, and all the citizens of the Emerald City on this adventure.
More about Just Kidding at Symphony Space: Since the Just Kidding performance series began 13 years ago, it has attracted families from near and far as one of the most exciting, high-value performing arts options available anywhere. Time Out New York Kids calls the series “a jam-packed bill of family programming,” and in reviewing a recent performance, the New York City Dads Group noted, “As a parent, it’s a big relief to know that whatever show we’re going to see there, whether planned or at the last minute, is going to be of high quality and capable of producing long-lasting happy memories.”
Date(s) and Times: Vary / check website
Location: 2537 Broadway (at 95th Street)
Ages: All ages welcome
Cost: Prices vary depending on show/subscription
To learn more and to purchase tickets, visit their website HERE