This month, two new children's shows draw inspiration from museums and iconic works of art. In TADA's The Gumball Gang: Crime Solving Kids (July 5-28), a group of teenage detectives pursue a notorious art thief who has just stolen a masterpiece, and they bring the crook to justice in song. With music, book, and lyrics by Jim Colleran, it's performed entirely by actors between the ages of 8 and 18, from the five boroughs and northern New Jersey.
Inspired by over 40 pieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Exhibit This! The Museum Comedies wonders what would happen if the paintings, sculptures, and artifacts spontaneously sprang to life. Will Greek gods and goddesses chat with pharaohs depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics? Will figures from neoclassical sculptures hobnob with those in expressionist paintings? Given the Met's spectacular variety, anything can happen. The Metropolitan Theatre Company revives this comedy at the Workshop Theatre as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival (July 20-August 4).
Theater loving kids can go to Camp Tuckaberry for four consecutive Saturdays to learn something new about drama (July 14- August 4). The first class teaches the fundamentals of how actors move onstage through improvisation and exercise. The children study vocal techniques and songwriting in the second workshop, which ends in a performance of a mini-musical that they create. Next, students choreograph and perform their own dance piece. The last class shifts gears from musical theater to classical drama with a mask and puppetry workshop.
The globe-trotting children's musicians known as The Wiggles land in Long Island. In Racing to the Rainbow Live!, they join their friends Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus, Wags the Dog, and the Wiggle Dancers at Nassau Coliseum on July 31.