I took my 11 year old daughter to see Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall this past weekend. The show closes on September 2, so if you’re looking for a show to see soon, go see it. We loved it. (Zarkana heads to Las Vegas next, so you can catch it there. I saw Ka in Las Vegas and loved it. Completely different show and concept).
Zarkana is self-described as an acrobatic rock opera blending circus arts with the surreal. I think that’s a decent description. There are some spoilers in here, so don’t read the review if you want everything to be new and surprising.
They also describe the story this way: “The story follows Zark, a magician who has lost his powers – and the love of his life – in an abandoned theatre populated by a motley collection of off-the-wall characters and incomparable acrobats. He runs into the Mutants, four sirens as sinister as they are fabulous, who are determined to divert him from his quest.” Continue reading “Review: Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall”
If you pay attention to Broadway shows, perhaps even if you don’t, you’ve heard about Spiderman – the most expensive show to produce on Broadway, the injuries from flying during previews, criticism of the script and Bono/The Edge music, firing of director Julie Taymor, etc. Reviews of the new production are mediocre, claiming this version of the show is bland, family entertainment (versus Taymor’s artistic version which was darker and didn’t work). And only one person I talked to who had actually seen, it liked it. In fact, she loved it, and said it was the best show she’d ever seen on Broadway. I assumed she didn’t get out much. So this was my mindset going in. I figured my 8 year old son would like it, and my critical 11 year old daughter and I would say, “meh.”
Once was just nominated for a slew of Tony awards: Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, Best Direction in a Musical, Best Choreography, Best Orchestration, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Best Lighting (and Best Sound Design) of a Musical.
What makes Once different? When you enter the theater, you’ll notice something different from every other Broadway show. The stage is not only lit, it’s populated with the actors and musicians playing music (which started about 15 minutes before the official showtime). You’ll also see other people up there – audience members. Yes, you can go on stage before the show (and during intermission) to listen to the music and buy drinks at the on-stage bar. And you can bring those drinks (wine/beer in plastic cups with lids and straws) back to your seat. I would love to have taken a photo but they were making a lot of announcements prohibiting photography, even before the show started.
I’m not a big Toys R Us fan in general, but I do like the one in Times Square (Broadway at 44th Street). Not that I actually shop there, but it’s a fun place to hang out. Here are five things not to miss when you go!
The Ferris Wheel – You can’t miss this four story Ferris wheel, which is the first thing you see when you walk in. While waiting in line (you buy timed tickets) you can try to figure out which car would be the best for you – the Cabbage Patch Kids? The Scooby Doo car? The Little Tykes car? The Monopoly car? My Little Pony? Mr. Potato Head? The M&M car? The Toy Story car? The Rug Rats? At $4.50 a person per ride, it’s not cheap, but the proceeds do benefit the company’s charity.
In the search for kid-friendly Broadway shows, Billy Elliot was on the list. After all, it centers on a pre-teen boy, with plenty of peers in the cast.
But would my 7 year old son want to watch a boy doing ballet? Would he fall asleep during the three hour production? Would he understand the plot about the British coal-workers’ strike? How would he react to the curse words used during the production?
I needn’t have worried. Both he, and my 9 year old daughter, loved the show, and so did I. Even in nose-bleed seats.
New York City is such a great place to visit in December. If you’re going to New York City with the kids, here are our ideas for what to do to make it festive.
Of course you’ll want to see the tree at Rockefeller Center.
Just outside you’ll find Sak’s Fifth Avenue, with sparkling snowflakes (coordinated to music) and window displays. Also with winter window displays: Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales, Barneys, Macy’s and more.
Rockefeller Center has a tiny rink, but it’s so picturesque. Enter from 5th Avenue, between 49th and 50th. Skating is first-come, first-served and you can skate for as long as you stay there. Expect waits up to 90 minutes, unless you skate in the weekday mornings. They’re open on Christmas Day. Continue reading “NYC Holiday Fun with Kids”
When my 9 year old daughter and I planned a girls’ day in New York City, we wanted to see a show. We’ve already seen Mary Poppins (we loved it), and do want to see Lion King and Wicked (still too expensive). I looked off-Broadwayand found ImaginOcean, which just celebrated its 100th show.
ImaginOcean is created by John Tartaglia, best known as the creator (and Tony nominee) of Rod and Princeton in Avenue Q. I love, love, love that show (and the music), but it is NOT appropriate for kids. Like Avenue Q, ImaginOcean also uses puppets and is a musical (though you can’t actually see the puppeteers during the show). ImaginOcean started as a cruise ship show, and was expanded to the current off-Broadway production.
The show revolves around three fish friends, Tank, Dorsal and Bubbles (with an octopus, seahorse, and jellyfish thrown in as well). With the help of a treasure map, they’re trying to work together to find a treasure (spoiler: they’re rubber bracelets that you can buy in the gift shop after the show) and realize the value of friendship. Dorsal is a neurotic, fearful and annoying fish who is probably channeling children’s fear of failure and the unknown. The plot was a bit boring for adults, but the kids loved the whole thing.