Michelle Matlock, Jordan Kamp,
Max Friedlich, and Maxine Dannatt
in Once Upon a Pandora's Box
(© Stephen Michael Rondel)
Michelle Matlock, Jordan Kamp,
Max Friedlich, and Maxine Dannatt
in Once Upon a Pandora's Box
(© Stephen Michael Rondel)
Five villains from classic fairy tales -- including the Big Bad Wolf and the evil queen from Snow White -- are loosed upon the world in Monica Flory's Once Upon a Pandora's Box. Can the bright and precocious Tabitha and her brother Louis possibly stand a chance against them? Find out in The New Acting Company's latest production at the Philip Coltoff Center (April 13-May 6).

Two popular musicals by Paul Armento return to the York Theatre Company (April 7-May 19). The New Kid follows Zach, who's just moved to a new school and who struggles to find the strength to stand up for his beliefs, while in The People Garden, lessons taught in an elementary school classroom turn out to be the ones adults need to learn.

TADA! Youth Theater revives its successful musical Everything About School (Almost) (April 13-May 13), with songs and sketches about lunch, first loves, and the SATs. Conceived by Eric Rockwell, the show follows a large cast of young actors through every stage of their education until their high school graduation, starting in elementary school.

Manhattan Children's Theatre introduces the third segment of its "Little Tales" series with Danish Tales (April 24-May 24), filled with eclectic performances of Hans Christian Andersen favorites such as The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor's New Suit, and The Red Shoes told through puppetry, audience participation, and constant surprise. The theater also presents a musical adaptation of Miss Nelson Has a Field Day (April 14-May 20), in which a tough minded teacher turns a ragtag football team into champions.

The children's theater scene this April is filled with shows with short runs, but you'd be foolish to use that as an excuse to miss them. The always reliable TheatreWorks USA is putting out five one-day-only children's events this month as part of the company's "Special Presentation Series" at the Lucille Lortel: Birds & Butterflies (Stories and Songs with Chris & Frank) (April 7) is live acoustic guitar music and storytelling by a seasoned duo. Jim West's Aesop's Fables (April 14) and Jim West's Dinosaurs (April 15) feature puppetry and storytelling. Bubblemania (April 21) makes an art of the activities children throughout America do every spring with soap and a wand, and Rebecca Frezza in Big Truck Music (April 22) advertises itself as rock-and-roll "for the little ones."

Crabgrass Puppet Theatre's The Last Dragon on Earth tells a fairy tale of an endangered mythical creature, who will vanish along with the production after April 14; Bindlestiff Cirkus's Cavalcade of Youth, appears briefly at Abrons Arts Center in the Lower East Side (April 15); Dicapo Opera is presenting a shortened, family-friendly version of Puccini's Manon Lescaut (April 16), and you can visit the Queens Theatre in the Park for a performance of Beauty and the Beast -- which is different from the Broadway musical -- on April 28.

In Long Island, Theatre Three showcases a famous bunny in The Adventures of Peter Rabbit (April 4-7). Broadhollow Theatre Company retells the story of Aladdin as a comedy at the Studio Theater (April 14-May 19), and presents its own production of Beauty and the Beast at the BayWay Arts Center (April 14-May 15).