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Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

From FringeJR to a free musical about the Civil War, we pick the best children's theater shows for families this summer

  • Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

    Children's Musical Theatre Festival

  • Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

    TheatreWorks USA Presents The Civil War

  • Photograph: Sanjay Suchak

    Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

    FringeJR

     

     

  • Photograph: Ida Mae Astute

    Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

    iLuminate: Artist of Light

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

    Monkey: Journey to the West at the Lincoln Center Festival

  • Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

    The Harbor Lights Theatre Company Present Oliver

  • Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

    Pirate School: Follow Your Compass

  • Photographer: Jennifer Broski

    Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

    Potted Potter

  • Photograph: Matt Beard

    Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

    Cirque du Soleil's Quidam

  • Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

    TADA! Youth Theatre Presents: Sleepover

  • Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

    Literally Alive presents: Treasure Island

  • Photograph: Courtesty of Wanda's Monster

    Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

    Wanda's Monster

  • Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

    Wobble

Best children's theater shows to see in summer 2013

Children's Musical Theatre Festival

While spring and fall tend to be the big season for children's theater in the city, the summer is also full of new productions the entire family can enjoy (it's also a great way to escape the heat!). This summer, kids and parents can brush up on US history at Theatreworks USA's free annual show, be amazed by the acrobatic feats at Cirque du Solei's Quidam or attend one of the three kids productions at the Fringe Festival.


RECOMMENDED: Children's theater in New York


Children's theater shows this summer

Children's Musical Theatre Festival

  • Price band: 2/4

Broadway Workshop brings 50 tweens and teens from across the country to NYC for nine days of rehearsal, followed by a full weekend of performances. The younger set (ages 9–13) presents We Are Monsters, in which a group of kids enter into a world of quirky creatures like a vegetarian vampire and a rock n' roll werewolf (Sat, 3pm and Sun, 1pm), while the teen crew (ages 13–18) does their version of the true story of a New Jersey man who dreams of soaring into the air with nothing but a chair and 400 balloons in Flight of the Lawnchair Man (Sat, 8pm and Sun, 6pm). Ages 6 to 12.

  1. New York Live Arts 219 W 19th St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
  2. Sat Jul 20 - Sun Jul 21
More info

The Civil War

  • Free

Every summer (this year marks the 25th anniversary!), Theatreworks USA presents one free off-broadway show. The catch? Tickets go quickly and can only be obtained onsite one hour before curtain time. This year's production is a musical that follows the Lincoln zeitgeist, centering around the American Civil War but told through the perspectives of many different characters fighting for opposing sides. Ages 9 and up.

  1. Lucille Lortel Theatre 121 Christopher St, between Bleecker and Hudson Sts
  2. Throug Fri Aug 16
More info

FringeJR

  • Price band: 1/4

This year's FringeJR, part of the popular Fringe Festival debuts three productions for kids: Peter Pan and Stardust Dancers, Sarazad and the Monster-King and the Young Olympians and the Most Amazingly Awesome Adventure Ever. Ages 5 to 12.

  1. The Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 E 14th St, (at First Ave)
  2. Fri Aug 5 - Sun Aug 25
More info

iLuminate: Artist of Light

  • Price band: 3/4

America's Got Talent dance crew iLuminate brings their light-up suits and jaw-dropping dance moves to a new stage with their show, "Artist of Light." Through multimedia projections, light and movement, "Artist of Light" tells the story of Jacob, a young artist whose magical paintbrush is stolen by a bully. Jacob must fight to save his town without the help of his lucky tool. Ages 5 and up.

  1. New World Stages 340 W 50th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Ongoing
More info

Monkey: Journey to the West

  • Price band: 3/4

In this musical theater performance based on the Chinese folktale "Journey to the West," a monk named Tripitaka treks from China to India, led by the Monkey King, in search of Buddhist scriptures. The multimedia show features electronic music and sound effects, animation, martial arts, anime-inspired costumes and performances by the Jiangsu Yancheng Acrobatic Company. Parents should note that Monkey is performed in Mandarin with English subtitles. Ages 8 and up.

  1. David H. Koch Theater (at Lincoln Center) 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, at 63rd St
  2. Through Sun Jul 28
More info

Oliver!

  • Price band: 2/4

This musical production of Charles Dickens' classic novel from the Harbor Lights Theatre Company will feature both Broadway veterans and Staten Island locals, including young emerging performers. Expect to find yourself humming classics like "Consider Yourself," and "I'd Do Anything" long after the show is over. Ages 6 and up.

  1. Snug Harbor Cultural Center 1000 Richmond Terr, between Snug Harbor Rd and Tysen St
  2. Thu Jul 18 - Sun Jul 28
More info

Pirate School! Follow Your Compass

  • Price band: 1/4

Have a swashbuckling time at this one-man vaudeville act. Led by Billy Bones, (a.k.a. David Engel) this interactive performance teaches kids to be a briney buccaneers while combining a zany blend of clowning and magic that is sure to please all young seafarers. Ticket sell out quickly, so grab them at smarttix.com. All ages.

  1. Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge 290 Conover St, at Pier 44
  2. Until Sun Aug 4
More info

Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience

  • Rated as: 2/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Visiting Brits Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner invite parents and kids in for a spell as the condense the Harry Potter saga into a speedy, wacky, family-friendly jaunt that's 70 minutes long. Ages 4 and up.

  1. Little Shubert Theatre 422 W 42nd St, between Ninth and Tenth Aves
  2. Through Sun Sep 1
Buy tickets

Quidam

  • Price band: 3/4

The famed Cirque du Soleil performs its enchanting production of Quidam in Brooklyn for the first time. Families can catch the show–filled with acrobats, musicians and singers–in one of just seven performances this summer. Kids look on as bored Young Zoe drifts off into the magical world of Quidam,meeting whimsical characters along the way. All ages.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
  2. Wed Jul 24 - Sun Jul 28
More info

Sleepover

  • Price band: 2/4

The TADA! Theater's newest summer production tackles all the hilarious and hairy situations in that glorious stage of tween–hood. While Simone frets about not fitting in, Mia worries about whom to invite. As for the boys? They're plotting a way to crash the party. The original musical features songs about sleepwalkers and cute pizza delivery boys as well as local actors ranging from 9– to 18–years–old. Be sure to snag your tickets early; many performances are already sold out. Ages 3 and up.

  1. TADA! Theater 15 W 28th St, between Fifth Ave and Broadway, second floor
  2. Through Sat Aug 3
More info

Treasure Island

  • Price band: 3/4

Swashbuckle through Robert Louis Stevenson's beloved novel with Jim Hawkins as he learns that perhaps the real treasure is the stuff he's made of. Get there early; 20 free tickets will be given away twenty minutes prior to every performance. Ages 5 and up.

  1. Players Theatre 115 MacDougal St, at Minetta Ln
  2. Until Sun Jul 28
More info

Timmy the Great

  • Price band: 2/4

Based on the children's book King Timmy the Great by Sandra Hochman and Tad Danielak, this new musical follows the story of a nine-year-old boy named Timmy, who inherits the throne in his village after the king dies. Kids will be intrigued to see what happens when Timmy and the other children ask to be treated like adults (hint: a revolution starts!) and what demand the adults have in return. All ages.

  1. Theater for the New City 155 First Ave, between 9th and 10th Sts
  2. Until Sun Sep 1
More info

Wanda's Monster

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Offer

Making Books Sing is teaming up with well-known children's musician Laurie Berkner turn turn the book Wanda's Monster into an original musical. Five-year-old Wanda is convinced there's a scary monster in her closet, but Granny convinces her he's actually a kind (but shy) monster. The musical will feature all-new songs by Berkner, as well as her hit, "Monster Boogie." Ages 2 to 10.

  1. Vineyard Theatre 108 E 15th St, between Union Sq East and Irving Pl
  2. Until Sun Sep 8
Buy tickets

Wobble

  • Price band: 2/4

This two-man dance theatre show gives tots exactly what they want: Lots of jumping, falling, sliding and wobbling, naturally. Ages 2 to 4.

  1. Irish Arts Center 553 W 51st St, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves
  2. Fri Jul 19 - Tue Jul 23
More info


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