Mark Jacoby, Matthew Gumley, Beth Leavel, George Wendt,
Sebastian Arcelus, and Amy Spanger star in Elf
(© Joan Marcus)
Mark Jacoby, Matthew Gumley, Beth Leavel, George Wendt,
Sebastian Arcelus, and Amy Spanger star in Elf
(© Joan Marcus)
With the holiday season in full swing, November is always a great month for family entertainment on the New York stage. A new Broadway show that will enchant parents and kids alike, Elf (November 2 - January 2) is based on the charming Will Ferrell movie about Buddy, an orphan who was raised in the North Pole but decides to journey to New York to find his birth family. The musical has a book by two of Broadway's funniest scribes, Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin, and features Sebastian Arcelus as Buddy, with Cheers' George Wendt in the role of Santa Claus.

Not so much a show as a New York City institution, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular (November 5 - December 30) kicks up its heels once again at the Radio City Music Hall. The dazzling spectacle features the precision dancing of the Rockettes, as well as a Living Nativity with live animals, a visit from Santa Claus, the parade of wooden soldiers, and music and dance numbers that celebrate the joy of Christmas.

The Lyngo Theatre creates a gentle atmosphere in Egg and Spoon (November 2 -21), an interactive show playing at the New Victory Theatre that is perfect for kids aged 2-5. Celebrating the magic of nature and the changing seasons, Egg and Spoon uses a variety of objects to make puddles, snowflakes, birds, and more. Also at the New Victory is Squirm Burpee Circus: A Vaudevillian Melodrama (November 12 -28), a wacky conglomeration of circus, dance, and funny bone-tickling melodramatics, complete with zany heroes and a deliciously devilish villain named Baron Vegan Von Hamburger.

Obviously there is no shortage of shows celebrating the Christmas season, but how is a family to get into the Thanksgiving spirit this November? Fortunately the Shadow Box Theatre is presenting Tobias Turkey (November 9 -24), a wonderful Thanksgiving tale about a determined turkey. Ideal for kids up to the second grade, Tobias Turkey's fantastic storytellers and colorful puppets will transport the audience to a farm filled with humor, song, and an excellent lesson about determination.

Speaking of puppets, ImaginOcean, John Tartaglia's delightful underwater puppet adventure, is getting into the spirit of the season by introducing a special holiday version (running November 10 - January 2). The musical's awesome blacklight effects and the wonderful story of Dorsel and his fishy friends is still the same, but this new version will introduce a brand new character, H20 Radio DJ "Ryan Starfish" (voiced by New Jersey radio DJ Casey Bartholomew) and an additional 15 minutes of holiday fun, including decorations, a sing-a-long, and snow falling on the audience.

This is the final year that Cirque du Soleil is bringing its holiday extravaganza Wintuk (November 17 - January 2) to the Theater at Madison Square Garden, so catch it while you can. The show features Cirque's signature acrobatics, theatrical effects, and evocative music, all with a wintry wonderland feel that makes it a great holiday show for the family.