Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

Blogger series: Stroller in the City's Brianne Manz on Ballerina Swan

Stroller in the City's Brianne Manz tells us about her family's special day with the cast and crew of Making Books Sing's Ballerina Swan.

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"

Photograph: Luciana Golcman

Time Out Kids blogger series: Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City at Making Books Sing's "Ballerina Swan"


On Saturday, November 9, my family and I had the opportunity to attend the opening of Making Books Sing's Ballerina Swan (the theater company was just awarded the Best of 2013 award from Time Out New York Kids for "Best place to watch a book come to life.") The musical, based on the children’s book Ballerina Swan about former New York City ballerina Allegra Kent, tells the story of a Central Park swan named Sophie, who has dreams of becoming a ballerina, and dancing in Swan Lake. Prior to the start of the show, we enjoyed a light brunch, while mingling with the creative team behind the production, including Making Books Sing's artistic director Barbara Zinn Krieger. Kids attending were also encouraged to read the book and color.

RECOMMENDED: The Sanko-Grindstaff Family of Phantom Limb Company

During the 50-minute show, my kids looked on as Sophie, from her pond in a city park, watched the dancers in Madam Myrtle's Studio. At first, Madam Myrtle bans the swan from working with the other students, but eventually another teacher overlooks her differences, and welcomes her to join. When the school performs Swan Lake, the part of the swan seems perfect for Sophie, but she can only hope she'll make the cast. In the finale, Sophie lands the lead role, which she had strived so hard for. This culmination is personified in Sophie transformation from a swan to a ballerina dancer.

The play features three dancers and dancer/puppeteer. The five-foot dancing swan puppet, created by the wonderful husband-and-wife team at Phantom Limb Company, was so well done—it was easy to forget that it was actually a puppet. At one point, the cast encouraged the audience to participate by having us stand and practice ballet moves—it was another great way to keep the attention of little ones.

After the show, we were invited to meet with entire cast, including the star of the show, Sophie the Swan puppet. My daughter was thrilled to take a picture with her—and she even tried to take her home with us.

While the recommended ages are three to eight, my two-year-old daughter was in awe of the dancing, and her eyes were glued to the stage the entire time. I wasn’t sure what my son would think of the show because, at the moment, he is quite a ninja turtle fan, but even he enjoyed watching the production.

The play truly captures the heart and sole of New York City ballet dancing, and recreated it in such a way that it appeals to children. The underlying message of the story really resonates with children and their parents—despite the obstacles you many encounter in life, and no matter what someone tells you, realize your dreams, pursue your passion and keep on practicing. Most of all, don’t give up!

Ballerina Swan plays at Theater Three through Sunday, November 24. Tickets start at $25.

A fashion showroom owner turned mom and writer, Brianne Manz writes about living in New York City, children's fashion and all things mommy on her blog Stroller In The City. Manz lives in Battery Park City with her husband and their three children, Ryder, 5, Siella, 2 and Gemma, 7 months.


Share your thoughts
  1. * mandatory fields

Events for kids by date

Americangirl.com for Events!

  1. Aladdin

    This adaptation of the Disney classic tops the res...

  2. A-Maze 'N Shabbos

    Kids can explore a life–sized Shabbat–themed maze ...

  3. Blue Man Group

    Three deadpan, blue-skinned men with extraterrestr...

21 more events »