New York Magazine

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Mommy’s Had Enough Puppets for Now, Sweetie

The cold-weather bounty of kid-centric plays will certainly keep tots entertained. But which shows are likely to be most tolerable for moms and dads?

ShareThis

THE PLAY
The Festival Of The Vegetables
Metropolitan Playhouse; 212-995-5302
Through February 17

THE THING
A toddler, shopping with Mom in a large supermarket, dozes off and dreams a series of poems and dances. All reveal the secret lives of various vegetables, including a passionate pickle and a fickle stalk of celery.


PARENT TOLERABILITY INDEX
Michael Pollan–Barbara Kingsolver–locavore addicts will be charmed by a satin escarole and a tap-dancing cauliflower. Bonus: Neither composer-librettist Michael Kosch nor the venue is kids-only.

THE PLAY
Little Red
Phoenix Theatre Ensemble at Connelly Theatre; 212-352-3101
February 16 to 23

THE THING
The conceit here includes vegetarian wolves, LRRH as a rock star, and a musical trek through the woods, which are somehow located in Hoboken, New Jersey.


PARENT TOLERABILITY INDEX
The twist is cute, but unless you’re the sort who delights in hearing the same tale over and over, this is mainly the original story in sheep’s clothing, i.e., potentially dull.

THE PLAY
New York Fairytale Festival
The Studio Theatre; 212-279-4200
February 13 to 17

THE THING
Modern, funny adaptations of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales by the German playwright Johannes Galli. Meet, among other characters, Mr. 7-Dwarf, an all-in-one, who rescues Snow White. Expect audience interaction.


PARENT TOLERABILITY INDEX
The plots aren’t new, but actress-mum Cate Blanchett plugs the show in the ads. Galli’s sense of humor is quite adult—his king places newspaper classifieds searching for a wife.

THE PLAY
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia at Symphony Space; 212-864-5400
February 16

THE THING
A glowing-under-black-lights stage production of the Eric Carle favorite. Watch a giant cutout of the tiny, ravenous larva work his way through many food groups before becoming a butterfly.


PARENT TOLERABILITY INDEX
In-the-know parents go nuts for Mermaid Theatre productions. Even if you’re not a Caterpillar fan (but who isn’t, really?), the black-light aspect is nifty.

THE PLAY
The Velveteen Rabbit
The Players Theatre; 212-352-3101
Through May 11

THE THING
Literally Alive brings back its true-to-the-text musical of the 1922 classic. The company, which last staged this production in 2002, is also reprising an interactive workshop before the show.


PARENT TOLERABILITY INDEX
Reviews from 2002 praise the music as adult-friendly, and, anyway, who doesn’t love the story? Definitely worth hopping over for a look.

THE PLAY
Hansel and Gretel
Manhattan Children’s Theatre; 212-352-3101
Through March 30

THE THING
This musical adaptation weaves in some new with the familiar, including bluegrass music and down-home dancing.


PARENT TOLERABILITY INDEX
Banjo notwithstanding, it looks to be very by-the-book. As 99.9 percent of children get nightmares just reading the first page of the eerie tale, this might be one to skip.

THE PLAY
Dream
Downtown Art; 212-479-0885
Through March 2

THE THING
This very original adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream recasts the story as a collection of Celtic folktales full of “mischief and magic.” Stars actors and musicians as young as 12.


PARENT TOLERABILITY INDEX
Exposing the tots to the Bard—even if it’s tweaked—feels noble. But you may want to put off sitting through kiddie actors in classics till your own kids’ school plays.

THE PLAY
Ogden Nash’s The Tales of Custard the Dragon
Algonquin Theater; 212-868-4444
February 16 to March 8

THE THING
Another book adaptation. This time the whimsical characters of The Tales of Custard the Dragon and The Wicked Knight, by Ogden Nash, are brought to life.


PARENT TOLERABILITY INDEX
The show, originally produced at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is an auspicious launch of the Algonquin’s youth division.

THE PLAY
The Paper Bag Players
At Symphony Space; 212-864-5400
February 23 and 24

THE THING
The Players have long been known for their simple yet genius kraft-paper sets, bright music, and ample crowd participation. This latest show includes vanishing cookies, an “extraordinary leak,” and a runaway meatball. An original treat.


PARENT TOLERABILITY INDEX
There’s something about those signature sets that hooks any arts-and-crafty mom or dad. Some will even remember the Players from their childhoods, making the experience all the more special.


Related:

Advertising
Current Issue
Subscribe to New York
Subscribe

Give a Gift

Advertising