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Taking it to the Max

TheatreWorks/USA's world premiere musical Max and Ruby, A Kid's Life, Cut to the Chase, Seven in One Blow, or the Brave Little Kid, Kids and Yiddish: Ode to Oy!, and a slew of holiday offerings highlight December's family fare. logo
Lee Markham and Kelly Felthous
in Max and Ruby
(© Joan Marcus)
TheatreWorks/USA presents the world premiere family musical Max and Ruby (December 7-January 13), based on the series of stories by Rosemary Wells and the popular TV programs on Nick Jr. and Noggin. The titular characters are bunny siblings who get into all sorts of adventures. The show features music & lyrics by Carol Hall, with a book by Glen Berger.

York Theatre Company presents another family tuner, A Kid's Life (December 8-January 13), about five-year-old Zack and his golden retriever and best friend, Starsky. Manhattan Children's Theatre presents Lily's Purple Plastic Purse (December 15-February 3), in which pals Chester and Wilson have their day interrupted when Lilly declares that she is "Queen of Everything."

Cut to the Chase (59E59 Theaters, December 6-30) is a backstage adventure about a troupe of madcap performers. The family-friendly comedy incorporates music, magic, tap, and slapstick. Axis revives its production of Seven in One Blow, or the Brave Little Kid (December 7-22), about a kid who kills seven flies with a single swat, and then meets a number of colorful characters while learning some very important lessons.

Additional family friendly shows that celebrate the holiday season include a multimedia musical adaptation of The Blue Bird (Urban Stages, December 14-January 13), in which a mysterious visitor arrives on Christmas Eve to lead a materialistic city girl on a search for the "blue bird of happiness"; A Very Tuckaberry Christmas (Impact Theater, December 20-22), a holiday party with music, puppetry, figgy pudding, and the world's least palatable batch of Wassail ever; A Winter Fairy Tale (Leon M. Goldstein Performing Arts Center, December 8-9), a version of The Nutcracker created especially for children and presented as part of the Children's Theatre Festival at Kingsborough; and Vital Children's Theatre Company's The Littlest Light on the Christmas Tree (McGinn/Cazale Theater, December 8-February 6), the heartwarming tale of a discarded Christmas bulb who overcomes his self-doubts to shine when the town suffers a blackout due to a winter storm.

Symphony Space has several kid-friendly events, including a fun-filled dance celebration, Tappy Holidays (December 14) and Ugly Duckling and Me (December 29-30), a contemporary update of Denmark's most famous fairytale. National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene presents its highly acclaimed bilingual musical Kids and Yiddish: Ode to Oy! (December 2-30), a multimedia holiday show that mixes Jewish folk traditions with popular culture, introducing new characters, new songs, and an up-to-the minute satire of the latest fads on TV.

Out in Long Island, family friendly entertainment includes Christmas in Heaven (United Methodist Church of Floral Park, December 23; St. Ignatius Retreat House, December 28), an original musical fantasy told from a Heavenly perspective; productions of A Christmas Carol from Plaza Theatrical Productions in Bellmore (December 1-15) and Minstrel Players in Northport (December 7-9). Finally, Blue's Clues (Plaza Theatrical Productions, December 26-29) invites you to become part of a bright, fanciful world where the host, Steve, lives with his animated puppy, Blue.

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