As New Yorkers, we're lucky to live in a city that's chock-full of impressive plays for kids, with something for all ages and tastes. You may have already tracked down cheap seats and treated your young theater buffs to some of the best Broadway shows for kids, but don't miss out on the chance to see all-new performances as a family when the FringeNYC Festival comes to town! Each year, the fest includes an affordable lineup of FringeJR shows designed just for kids to enjoy, and there are some hilarious troupes on deck for the 19th anniversary event, running August 14 through 30. Read up on the best family-friendly FringeJR shows and grab tickets for the whole gang!
You've never seen the classic story of Rapunzel told quite like this! The Spaghetti and Meatball Players present a musical, madcap twist on the fairytale, performed in the style of Commedia dell'arte. The ragtag crew of colorful "Italian" actors are sure to get families giggling, keeping everyone on their toes with funny sketches and improvised dialogue. Playing Aug 14, 16, 20, 22 and 26; see website for showtimes. Ages 6–12.
You and the kids can enjoy twice the entertainment in this two-tale performance by Jamey Hood and Open Hydrant Theater Company, first introducing us to 8-year-old Helen Ivy Bunter, a famous ghost hunter, played by a talented young actress. Next up, you'll meet Shadow, a tween ghoul with an affinity for chocolate. Playing Aug 15, 21, 27, 29 and 30; see website for showtimes. Ages 5–10.
Get the kids thinking outside the box during this unique show where the actors make music using unexpected objects. Everything from bicycles to water help tell a story through original tunes, written by Boston-based director Reynaliz Herrera. Playing Aug 15, 16, 21, 23 and 29; see website for showtimes. Ages 6–12.
Youngsters will love this cultural riff on Peter Pan's journey to self-discovery. When Pedro is sent to the U.S. to escape the dangers of Havana, Cuba he struggles to start a new life in this strange place without losing his identity. Playing Aug 16, 19, 22, 25 and 28; see website for showtimes. Ages 6–12.
The princess' famously long hairdo comes to the rescue once again in WhatFun! Theatre's western take on the original story. Rapunzel and her hair lasso may be the Wild West's only hope to stop the sticky fingers of the evil Bandit Queen. Playing Aug 15, 19, 22, 26 and 28; see website for showtimes. Ages 5–10.
Little Did Productions tells the tale of Solina, an 11-year-old who sets out into eternal darkness to find the missing sun. Along with live music, the troupe's beautiful cloth and paper puppets bring light and hope to Solina's dark world. Playing Aug 18, 21, 23, 25 and 27; see website for showtimes. Ages 6–12.
Tickets are $13 for ages 12 and under. Purchase in person at Fringe CENTRAL (City Lore at 56 E 1st St, open from 2–8pm daily) up until 8pm the day before the performance, or at the venue box office 15 minutes prior to the show. All shows take place at Venue #7: The Theater at the 14th Street Y.