The Towering Inferno
Family fare includes Cirkus Inferno, The Pirates: A Treasure Trove of Adventure, Streb Slam 9, Masked Marvels & Wondertales, and Out of Orbit.
If you're looking for an imaginary seaborne escapade, head to Queens Theatre in the Park for The Pirates: A Treasure Trove of Adventure (May 12). The mayor's lovely daughter Arabella disguises herself as a pirate and meets a navigator who is forced into piracy when his ship is attacked. But watch out! Not all the buccaneers aboard this ship are so virtuous.
In Streb Slam 9 (through June 17), dance-theater founder Elizabeth Streb and her team of "Hardware Heroes" perform short pieces in which they dance, leap, fly, and vault off giant contraptions of metal and wood. The program includes "Fly," with a performer on a giant lever that resembles a large claw, and "Surface," in which the company makes novel use of two plywood panels.
The Children's Theater Festival is drawing to a close, and you won't want to miss the last show, Masked Marvels & Wondertales (May 3-5). In this magical performance, actor Michael Cooper uses handcrafted masks to turn himself into a fish, the wind, and a cowboy. His brand of storytelling combines poetry, music, and mime -- anything to enchant.
For more fantasy, turn to the Theatre at St. Peter's and Out of Orbit (May 10-13), in which an outcast astronomer and his handyman sidekick try to prevent a meteor from destroying the Earth. Comic hi-jinx of cosmological and technological proportions ensue. Fortunately, the show's creators have a special insight into comedy and science; two of them are Ringling Brothers clowns, and the other is a physicist!
Out at Theatre Three in Long Island is a new adaptation of Billy Goat Gruff, in which three goats try to cross the Troll's Toll Bridge in order to thwart the plans of the evil Sorceress Origami. The show runs May 26 through June 10.