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Through the Lookingglass

Lookingglass Alice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Semianyuki, and A Shelter in Our Car are some of the family-friendly entertainments in the city, while Long Island offers shows such as Big River, Cinderella, and Peter and the Wolf. logo
Lauren Hirte in Lookingglass Alice
(© Tony Hernandez)
Chicago's respected Lookingglass Theatre Company brings its Lewis Carroll adaptation Lookingglass Alice to the New Victory Theatre for a New York premiere (February 9-25). In this unusual take on the Lewis Carroll classic, the audience follows the hard-nosed heroine following the rabbit, jumping down the hole, conversing with the caterpillar, chatting with the Cheshire Cat, and overcoming a host of other adventures and obstacles along the way. Families can see another adaptation of the beloved story, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, at the Connelly Theatre (February 24-March 17).

Manhattan's Classic Stage Company will offer a family-friendly production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (February 22-March 4). This staging features student actors from Columbia University's School of the Arts performing in a shortened 90-minute version of the beloved play.

Did you like Slava's Snowshow, the Off-Broadway show that recently finished an almost three year run at the Union Square Theatre? Licedei, the same company behind that hit, is visiting from Russia with its latest piece, Semianyuki at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center on February 9 and 10. It is a comedy about a dysfunctional family, including a baby who keeps removing the heads from his dolls, a father who takes to the bottle too often, sibling rivalry so constant you can tell the time by the fighting, and a mother that always has a bun in the oven.

February is Black History Month, and the company Enrichment Through the Arts is celebrating the occasion with its new show Roots of Rap: Poetry on February 15. The program uses rap and hip-hop music to bring the words of African-American poets Langston Hughes, Paul Lawrence Dumbar, and Robert Hagaen dynamically to life. Also, the Harlem-based children's dance company Batoto Yetu presents an afternoon of African dance at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on February 18.

At Symphony Space, the story of a Jamaican family's rough passage to the United States is told in the musical A Shelter in Our Car (February 10-13). The story follows an eight-year-old girl named Zettie who went to America in search of a better life and arrived homeless. She spends her days washing in public bathrooms, guarding herself from schoolyard bullies, and fighting off her hunger.

Out in Long Island, Big River -- the adaptation of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- visits the CM Performing Arts Center (February 9-25). Cinderella attends the ball at BayWay (February 10-March 10); Jack and the Beanstalk sprouts up at Theatre Three (February 21-24); and Peter and the Wolf plays at the Patchogue Theatre (February 10).

Finally, the Jeanne Rimsky Theater rings in the Year of the Pig in its festive Chinese New Year Celebration (February 10), featuring virtuoso ribbon dancer Yin Mei; Peking Opera classics by the company Chinese Theatre Works; and a percussive act by the Manhattan Taiko Drummers.

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