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Nearly There

Family friendly entertainment at the beginning of the new year includes Nearly Lear, The Ohmies, Pinkalicious, A Wonderfully Flat Thing, Rabbit Sense, Little Red Riding Hood, and Mummenschanz. logo
Susanna Hamnett in Nearly Lear
(© Doug Forester)
In a little over an hour, actress Susanna Hamnett re-tells Shakespeare's epic tragedy King Lear in the one-woman show Nearly Lear (January 7-16), playing at the New Victory Theater. Created by Hamnett and Edith Tankus, this Lear is told from the perspective of the mad king's companion the Fool, and Hamnett plays all of the drama's embattled characters herself. Nearly Lear is a great way to introduce teens (as well as Shakespeare-fearing adults) to the Bard and one of his most moving and tortured tales.

Just call it 'Yoga for Kiddies' - The Ohmies (January 6-30), an interactive musical aimed at children aged 3-8, is about a butterfly and caterpillar duo on a journey to see the sun. Along the way, they - and the participating audience - mimic the movements of garden creatures like grasshoppers and snakes in dance exercises inspired by yoga movements.

A musical that's sure to induce sugar cravings, Pinkalicious (which has moved theaters again, and now performs at the Dimson Theatre through January 30) is about a girl who is addicted to delicious pink cupcakes. As a result, she soon develops Pinkititis, a condition that actually turns her completely pink. But what starts out as a dream come true for our pink-obsessed heroine eventually becomes an unwelcome condition.

A group of curious animals discover A Wonderfully Flat Thing (January 8-16) at the 14th Street Y in this new production based on the Mark Twain story A Fable and presented by LABA, The National Laboratory for New Jewish Culture. Twain's tale about animals encountering a mirror for the first time is beautifully realized for the stage with Manju Shandler's impressive puppetry and Jesse Zaritt's choreography. Original music and video projections enhance the experience, which is ideal for children 4 and older.

Classic folk and fairy tales can be found on the New York City stage this month too. With Rabbit Sense (January 21 - February 20), TADA! Theater offers its own take on the story of Brer Rabbit. And over at the Manhattan Children's Theater, Little Red Riding Hood (January 8 - February 27) is going head-to-head with one very big bad wolf.

Finally, the legendary Swedish performance group Mummenschanz returns to the U.S. for the first time since 2003, and are currently playing a limited engagement at NYU's Skirball Center (through January 8). The company utilizes mime, masks, shadows and light, and everyday objects as props to create a unique spectacle that is both visually impressive and emotionally engaging.


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