Gamarjobat in Rock 'n' Roll Penguin
(© Claes Gellerbrinkr)
Gamarjobat in Rock 'n' Roll Penguin
(© Claes Gellerbrinkr)
The American premiere staging of Jutta Bauer's The Queen of Colors is poised to take over New Victory Theater, May 1-17, with a pageant of ingenious puppetry and live illustrations that spring from a feisty little queen as she explores her kaleidoscopic imagination. Also at New Victory, join Ketch! and Hiropon, the Japanese comedy duo known as Gamarjobat, in the U.S. debut of their new show Rock 'n Roll Penguin, May 8-24, a collage of hilarious antics, performed without saying a word.

Shadow Box Theatre's Play it Safe will take the stage at 45 Bleecker Street, May 8-29, a perfect diversion for your wee ones who've only just started elementary. When Chicken Little moves to the Big City and thinks the sky is falling, her wise new friends, Goosey Lucy, and Ducky Lucky help her learn that safety and common sense will get her through almost all new situations. In Brooklyn, the Brick Theater will host a puppet show from the creators of Jollyship the Whiz-Bang. The Colonists: A Puppet Show (through May 24) tells the story of an earthworm who dreams of flying, a pie-making rabbit, and their journey of discovery into the pollen collecting-industrial complex we call a beehive. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Lyceum will feature a dose of modern vaudeville with The Fun and Funny Juggling Show, Will Shaw's blend of physical comedy, verbal wit, and offbeat clowning steeped in the traditions of the great comedians from the silent film era to the present.

For another dose of puppetry, Teatro SEA will employ shadow puppetry to tell Las Leyendas del Cofre Encantado (May 2-23), in which four children find an old enchanted chest that transports them to Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, and Puerto Rico, where they learn lessons of courage, faith, pride, and love. Also at Teatro SEA, Ricitos and the Three Bears (May 2-23), follows Ricitos (Goldilocks) as she learns many important lessons while becoming good friends with the Bear family. At the Harlem School of the Arts, the Culture Project will bring a dose of jazz along with their puppets in The Cat Who Went To Heaven (May 16-June 3), the story of a struggling Japanese artist, his housekeeper, a Buddhist priest from the local temple, and a cat named Good Fortune.

At the Beacon Theatre, MSG Entertainment will present Bob the Builder Live! "Spud's Big Mess" (May 30-31). The show features ten original songs and the popular television show's characters in an adventure that promotes positive messages of caring for the environment. Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia will bring their tour of Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny, to NYU's Skirball Center on May 9, a double-bill adaptation of two bed time stories from Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd. Both stories follow a lovable rabbit, through his night-time ritual in the former, and his fantasies about leaving home in the latter.

On a more musical note, Amato Opera Theater delivers a brief foray into Cinderella, May 30, Rossini's version of the classic fairytale made bite-sized for better consumption by youngsters. Also this month, Theater for the New City will host their 14th Annual freeLower East Side Festival of the Arts, May 22-24, which will bring together 100 performing arts organizations, celebrities, independent artists, poets, puppeteers, film makers, and many others for a Memorial Day weekend full of performances and artworks that reflect life on the Lower East Side.