Theater News

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Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, and other stars join host Billy Crystal for a Tisch School of the Arts benefit. Plus: The 18th annual "Gypsy of the Year" competition raises nearly $3 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Seattle Kids Spotlight: December '06
For family fare, consider Willy Wonka at the Everett Performing Arts Center (December 9-10), The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Seattle Children's Theater, December 1-January 27), Sleeping Beauty (SecondStory Repertory, December 8-23), and Fairystories at Village Theatre (December 7-23). Much singing and dancing will be had by all. Last but not least in family entertainment is Snow White and the Three Dwarfs presented at Hale's Palladium by The Fremont Players (December 1-10), done in the famed "British-Panto" style.
SF Kids Spotlight: December '06
Cinnabar Young Rep in Petaluma presents The Tailor of Gloucester (December 1-17) for its third consecutive year. This wonderful operetta is great for the whole family and is based on the story by Beatrix Potter. Its hero is a kindly old tailor who lovingly cares for the children and animals of the neighborhood, despite knowing pockets that are more empty than full. His luck stands to change however, when the Mayor of Gloucester commissions him to make a special red coat for his Christmas wedding. A horrible and sudden illness strikes the poor tailor and it is his furry, palm-sized pals who must come to his rescue.
Philadelphia Kids Spotlight: December '06
For years, the Arden Theatre Company has been presenting high-quality children's theater -- and this season appears to be no exception with the Arden's production of The BFG (Big Friendly Giant). Adapted by David Wood from Roald Dahl's beloved children's book, this is the story of a young orphan who embarks on a fantastical journey into the land of giants. Acclaimed designer Aaron Cromie brings the tale to life with a collection of puppets and dolls ranging from the miniature to the towering 14-foot-tall giant (through January 21).

The Philadelphia Theatre Company is producing the first family production in their history with their staging of storyteller David Gonzalez's The Frog Bride (December 22-30). For this contemporary adaptation of an old Russian fairy tale, Gonzalez employs a jazz-funk score and video projections to bring a modern slant on the classic coming-of-age story about a prince who goes in search of a wife and instead returns with a frog.

LA Kids Spotlight: December '06
Family fare includes the internationally acclaimed clown Slava Plumin in the Off-Broadway extravaganza Slava's Snowshow (UCLA's Royce Hall, December 12-January 7); the Actors' Gang's annual offering Holidays on the Sea II (Ivy Substation in Culver City, December 2-17), and the Santa Monica Playhouse presentation of Evelyn Rudie-Chris DeCarlo musical romp All About Santa (through December 21).
London Kids Spotlight: December '06
Christmas in London means the three P's: pies, plum pudding, and pantomimes. It's the season when fairy tales are adapted to the stage for kids of all ages - usually with a lot of cross-dressing involved. This year, Mark Ravenhill, whose mind is usually on much more somber subject matter, has come up with his take on Dick Whittington and His Cat as part of the Barbican's annual BITE festival (through January 20). The director is the very hot Edward Hall.

The panto at the Hackney Empire is Cinderella (December 2-January 13), which the venue is calling their biggest effort ever. Meanwhile American film and television star Henry Winkler, will appear in Peter Pan at the New Wimbledon (December 7-January 14) as the whiskers-twirling Captain Hook.

Las Vegas Kids Spotlight: December 2006
Starbright presents several holiday-themed shows this month to get everybody in the spirit of the season. The Silvertones present Memories and Mistletoe (December 2-3), a concert featuring standards familiar to Broadway and film lovers, as well as wonderful seasonal songs. Christmas and Chanukah tunes will be on the bill for the choral group Musicmakers' A Holiday Season of Dreams (December 8-10), performed under the musical direction of Dr. Stacy Thomas.
DC Metro Kids Spotlight: December '06
For traditional tidings for you and the youngsters, consider GALA's A Christmas Story (Tivoli Theater, December 21-December 24), a stage version of Jean Shepherd's popular film about an eight-year-old who craves a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas in small-town America of the 1940s.
Chicago Kids Spotlight: December '06
The Snow Queen at Victory Gardens at the Biograph (December 1-January 7) is adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of lost children, witches and the icy Kiss of Death. The show features the talents of Tony Award-winning writer/director Frank Galati, folkloric composer Michael Smith, designer/puppeteer Blair Thomas, and star Cheryl Lynn Bruce.
Boston Metro Kids Spotlight: December '06
Out beyond the city proper, the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly embarks on its lavish eighteenth annual A Christmas Carol (December 1-24), and Watertown's New Repertory Theatre contends with its own A Christmas Carol (December 10-24).