Jack and the Soy Beanstalk playwright/lyricist Jerrod Bogard
and composer/performer Sky Seals
Jack and the Soy Beanstalk playwright/lyricist Jerrod Bogard
and composer/performer Sky Seals
In the later summer months, when the regular fair of children's theater is slim, the New York International Fringe Festival has a wealth of family friendly productions to make the heat of mid-August a little more bearable in theaters around the city. For a totally new vision of a well worn classic fairytale, Wide Eyed Productions has fashioned Jack and the Soy Beanstalk for a few laughs at Dixon Place, August 15-21, a musical adventure where Jack meets the Giant of big business and learns about self-reliance, conservation, and good ol' American ingenuity. Wide Eyed Productions will also don a few bright red noses for A World Elsewhere! Arias in the Key of Clown at the Cherry Lane Theatre, August 15-27, which tells the story of artists migrating to New York through movement, gibberish, and clowning.

The Silly Jazz Company has a roasted dose of musical comedy for coffee lovers and their progeny at 45 Bleecker with Muffin Man, August 21-27, the story of a barista in love with the Muffin Man. Lyla must navigate goofy customers, over-enthusiastic parents, and best friends to find a way to tell the Muffin Man how she feels. Taproot Theatre Company will dive into a story of action and adventure at the Cherry Lane Theatre with Bethany Wallace's Camp Super Friends, August 18-22, which centers on Marvel, a super hero who needs to learn how to be a friend while foiling Professor Nemesis' plan to strip superheroes of their powers.

There's no better place to find a wealth of imagination than a room full of children, and Imagine, Inc has tried to harness that power with the world premiere of Imagine, August 15-30, which will take the stage at the CSV Flamboyan Theater. The show is built from original music and story lines developed as a result of improvisations created by the young actors. More than half the performers have been cast from the children participating in creativity programs at New York City homeless shelters. Riedel Dance Theater will explore a book-full of fairy tales at the Fringe this year with Ukrainian Eggs: Terrible Tales of Tragedy and AlleGorey at the Robert Moss Theater, August 25-30. The program will open with "The UnderGarden," where a host of plant-like creatures preen for the delight of a picnicking family before devouring them; followed by "The Upcher's Warbler," about an elusive bird; "The Ubiquitous Elephant," about a family card game; "The Umbra Bug"; and "The Unsightful Nanny," who must keep eight young children out of harms way while staying collected.

For a seriously original kind of spectacle, Weeping Spoon Productions will bring a post-apocolypic solo work by Tim Watts all the way from western Australia to the HERE Arts Center. The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer, August 14-27, centers on the title character, who must venture to the bottom of the ocean to find a way for humanity to live in peace. A mix of mime, puppetry, and transformative animation, Watts' piece explores the deep blue sea, the oldest frontier left mostly unexplored.