Jimmy Dieffenbach in Captain Louie
(Photo © Jonathan Slaff)
Jimmy Dieffenbach in Captain Louie
(Photo © Jonathan Slaff)
Honor your mother this year by taking it easy on her finances: The Two-Fer Two Weeks festival offers half-price tickets to music, dance, and theater events, as well as other cultural gatherings from May 4 to 25. Family-approved shows include Footloose, a theatrical adaptation of a movie by the same name; a performance of The Prince and the Moon, a poetic and interactive fairy tale that gives children a taste of Latin America; and a musical version of Shakespeare's As You Like It, which opened in April and was profiled in last month's column.

(When your children have finished seeing all of that discounted theater, take them to the New York Botanical Garden, where they're holding a month-long Mother's Day Celebration as part of the Two-Fer festival; your little ones can show their appreciation by making potted plants, paper flowers, and greeting cards.)

Also beginning on Mother's Day, York Theater Company debuts Captain Louie, a musical by renowned composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz about a boy whose parents have moved to a new town. On Halloween Eve, little Louie isn't afraid of ghosts, goblins, or monsters under the bed. He's worried about making friends in his new town and losing others back home. So he takes an imaginary ride on his red toy plane, and learns about the inevitability of change and the importance of friendship. This touching tuner begins previews on May 4, opens May 8, and runs until June 14.

We then parachute off the red plane onto solid ground with a hip-hop musical called The Red Sneaks. Based on a story called The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Anderson, the play's a Faustus-style tale of a girl that sells her soul to the devil to become the best dancer on earth. It plays at Henry Street Settlement from May 13 to 22.

Chantecler, by Cyrano scribe Edmond Rostand, tells the story of a rooster that believes that his crooning makes the sun rise. This isn't just a play: It's a circus of 11 actors playing over 100 characters, wearing masks, maneuvering puppets, and dancing to the original score of a three-piece band, while a visual artist draws a picture of the play as it happens. The show, which is being revived for the first time since its Broadway opening in 1911, plays at Teatro La Tea from May 1-27, 2005. For those of you that might not be familiar with the Chinese horoscope, that's the year of the Rooster.

Off-Broadway's New Victory Theater gives Sir Lancelot and friends the royal treatment in its upcoming production of King A. Five actors use 40 tiny chairs to conjure a panorama of the settings from British folklore, and treat the audience to a spectacle of swordplay and a chorus of international melodies: Dutch, Scottish, and Irish. This adventure takes off on May 13 for a two-week run.

Finally, welcome in the summer with a Memorial Day celebration on the waterfront, courtesy of a unique show called I Can't Not on Pier 63. It kicks off with a low-flying trapeze dance, and moves on to musical interludes and dancing. As the evening continues, audience participation is encouraged, and everyone is invited to meet the artists. The one-hour event continues throughout Memorial Day weekend (May 27-30).