A scene from Moscow Cats Theatre
A scene from Moscow Cats Theatre
Those talented, trained felines are flying in from Russia for another run of the Moscow Cats Theatre at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center (August 18-January 6). This unique show invites the audience to watch household pets once thought to be lazy performing impressive and acrobatic acts, including dancing, tightrope walking, and "death-defying" acts. Then again, cats do have nine lives.

If it's August in New York, then FringeNYC is running strong, taking over many of the theaters in downtown Manhattan. Although most of the plays are offbeat works for adults, there are four that are suitable for younger audiences. Angela's Flying Bed (August 10-26) is a musical about the lonely title character who talks to animals like The Selfish Shellfish, the Awful Pretty-Pretty Awful Birds, and Humphrey the Hump-Less Camel. In Earth's Vacation (August 11-22), our beleaguered planet feels like leaving the solar system on a holiday. Myles the Hypoallergenic Superhero and His Superhero Friends (August 14018) is a Canadian show about a boy who can battle both allergens and threats to life on the planet.

Finally, there's Princess Mimi or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Frog (August 10-16), perhaps the only children's show ever named after a Stanley Kubrick movie. This fairy tale takes place in the magical land of New Jersey, where a beautiful and rather spoiled princess drops her golden iPod down a well. To get it back, she needs the help of an ugly frog.

Theater for the New City tours the five boroughs with its cautionary children's show Buckle My Shoe, or Terror Firma (August 4-September 16). Taking a look at war and global warming, the show follows a writer who's concerned about the state of the world and turns to New York City for answers. When he falls asleep by the East River reading Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, he begins to have a dream filled with inspiration and river adventures. Those familiar with Twain know that peace and environmental movements were close to his heart, so this political take on one of his most well known works serves his legacy well.

After rafting through the Mississippi, you may want to embark on a journey through the Wild West in A Handful of Dust (Producer's Club Theatre, August 24-26), which tells of singer Sally Clampton's visit to Indian Valley's Bloody Bullet Saloon, a place so tough that the undertaker has set up shop on the premises. Pistols start popping, Coyote Indians spar with Mexican gangs, and the law tries to get a hold of the action. All the while, the chanteuse heroine bursts into song.