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A Theatrical Cornucopia

This year's fall harvest includes Dr Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas!, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, The Bluest Eye, The People Garden, A Dolphin Up a Tree, and Great Expectations. logo
Patrick Page as The Grinch
(© Schulman Publicity)
This November, the cornucopia is overflowing with family-friendly theater tickets. For those who are dreaming of green yuletide season, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical officially opens at Broadway's Hilton Theatre on November 8.

The Rockettes and the rest of the gang kick off the Radio City Christmas Spectacular (November 9 -December 30). This annual treat offers precision dance routines, elaborate costumes, stunning stage effects, and a brand new opening sequence.

The New Victory Theater hosts the Steppenwolf Theatre Company's anticipated adaptation of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye (November 3-19), which follows a young black girl named Pecola Breedlove coming of age in the 1940s. The theater then takes a sharp turn in its programming, inviting the Umbilical Brothers to present their latest physical comedy show Speedmouse (November 10-26).

The Lucille Lortel Theatre has a full house this month with four separate events. The most high profile of their offerings is Theatreworks USA's production of Bathsheba Doran's new adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (November 8-December 3), starring Kathleen Chalfant and Christian Campbell. The theater also hosts two one-day-only performances: the revised fairy tale Snow White and the 8 Dwarfs (November 18) and an international display of percussion, Japanese Taiko Drums (November 19). Finally, it welcomes the consummate jugglers known as the The Gizmo Guys (November 25-26).

The York Theatre Company offers two fall musicals: A substitute teacher learns a lesson from her students in the touching adaptation of the classic story The People Garden (until November 4), and a young boy named Zack steers through the social pressures of grade school in The New Kid (until November 18). The former show features actors between the ages of 6 and 10, and the latter feature older actors and is more suitable for a teenage audience.

At the 78th Street Theatre Lab, one can find the unusual spectacle of A Dolphin Up a Tree. After Tina Talkington tested out some exotic magic spells, her stuffed animals have turned her house into a wildlife refuge, and she's transformed herself into a sea mammal stranded in the strangest place. Will her newfound friends be able to save her? The show reveals the answer through comedy, song, slapstick and drama.

For other whimsical entertainment, the short play series The Adventures of Wilemina and the Modern Mythmaker follows an enigmatic storyteller and his best friend traveling through the mystical Forest of Ai (Theater Payan, November 5-26); Brooklyn's Impact theater hosts a new musical fairy tale about a miraculous feline in Kip, the Enchanted Cat (November 7-December 9); and the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts revives Seussical, the Broadway musical tribute to the children's author whose name is synonymous with flights of the imagination.

Lower Manhattan's most trusted name in bilingual family theater, Teatro SEA offers three different plays this month at the Los Kabayitos Puppet and Children's Theatre. La Cucarachita Martina / Martina, The Little Roach is a Latin rock opera based on a Cuban and Puerto Rican folk tale of a wee vermin that learns important life lessons on the way to finding true love; El Encuentro de Juan Bobo and Pedro Animal / The Encounter uses circus techniques to tell the story about how two scamps form friendships and find themselves; and La Plenopera del Empache / The Belly-Ache Opera revives Puerto Rican playwright Leopoldo Santiago Lavandero's tale of a hungry boy told through Afro-Carribean music.

Manhattan Children's Theatre incorporates modern movement along with traditional and original music for its production of A Christmas Carol (November 18). Families seeking more religious content are advised to see Two From Galilee, a musical adaptation of the Marjory Holmes novel of the nativity at Symphony Space (November 21-26). It has a 75-person cast composed of the members of Gospel and children's choirs from local churches throughout New York City.

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