Cirque du Soleil presents Wintuk
(© OSA Images)
Cirque du Soleil presents Wintuk
(© OSA Images)
Cirque du Soleil show presents its first show specifically designed for a family audience, exclusively at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Wintuk (November 1-January 6 ) follows a boy who lives in a city where winter brings long shadows and intense cold -- but no snow! So he sets out with three companions to find the snow and bring it to where it belongs. This show's got everything -- acrobats performing amazing circus acts, dancers, talking puppets, some really cool effects, and memorable songs.

Speaking of memorable songs, Disney's The Little Mermaid comes to Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, beginning November 3. Terrific tunes like "Part of Your World," "Kiss the Girl" and "Under the Sea" are part of Alan Menken's score, written with late partner Howard Ashman. Plus, there are nine new songs co-written by Ashman and lyricist Glenn Slater. The musical is adapted by Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright from the Academy Award-winning film and the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Sierra Boggess plays Ariel, who gives up her voice to walk on land and win the heart of a handsome prince. Broadway veterans Norm Lewis, Sherie René Scott, and Tituss Burgess co-star.

Also on Broadway, there's the return of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Musical! (November 1-January 7). Maybe you saw it the last time around, but c'mon -- this is Dr. Seuss. And if you missed it before, now's your chance. Max the Dog narrates as the Grinch tries to steal Christmas from Whoville, only to discover that there's more to the holiday than he bargained for. The show features the hit songs "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome Christmas."

The New Victory always has something to offer. This month there's Tapeire (November 9-25) features James Devine, who's in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "Fastest Dancer In the World." He can do 38 taps per second! Devine combines punk rock with Irish dance to create a whole new kind of theatrical experience. You won't see this stuff anywhere else. Also at the New Vic, The New Shanghai Circus has got acrobats, aerialists, and athletes. Combine that with show-stopping choreography, dazzling lighting, enchanting scenery, and powerful music and you've got one great show.

On November 3, Vital Children's Theatre Company presents Welcome to New Jersey, the story of Rashaan Collins. In his head, Rashaan is the coolest kid in Brooklyn -- a master of skelly, breakdancing and stickball. But in real life, what Rashaan's really good at is telling stories and making up adventures. When he and his dad move to New Jersey, Rashaan learns that telling tall tales can get you into trouble.

If you're into animals, two shows worth investigating are Lonewolf Tribe's The Animal Journey (November 11 at Abrons Arts Center's Henry Street Settlement) and The Culture Project's The Cat Who Went to Heaven (November 17-December 22). Animal Journey has got some awesome puppets and it's an interactive play, so the audience gets in on the fun by helping to bring the puppets to life. Cat is based on the Newberry Award-winning book by Elizabeth Coatsworth, about a struggling Japanese artist and an inspirational feline -- and it has jazz music! Now that's one cool cat.

For all the girls who want something just for them, there's The American Girls Holiday Celebration (November 24-December 22). This musical show features eight friends who are preparing to go caroling. As they practice together, they travel through time -- sharing holiday traditions and classic songs from each American Girl character's time period.

Additional family-friendly entertainment includes: Peter Pan (November 9, St. George Theatre, Staten Island), Passport to the Magic Flute (November 10 at The JCC), Max & Ruby (November 10 at Kingsborough Community College), From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (November 17 at Q-PAC), The Velveteen Rabbit (November 18 at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts), or Robin Hood (November 30 - Dec. 16 at Hudson Guild Theatre).

And maybe, while you're waiting for that show you really want to see, you should pass the time by reading a book. Then go to the Thalia Kids' Book Club on November 18.