2015-2016 Theater & Live Performance Guide

"Aladdin" on Broadway; Photo by Deen Van Meer
“Aladdin” on Broadway; Photo by Deen Van Meer


Atlantic for Kids
The Atlantic Theater Company’s Atlantic for Kids series presents shows that both entertain and touch on serious themes. This upcoming season, families can look forward to “The Velveteen Rabbit,” a musical take on the children’s classic, and “Pirate La Dee Da,” a fairy tale musical. atlantictheater.org

13th Street Repertory Theatre
This theater offers many exciting shows for kids ages 3 and up. From well-known fairytales to interactive shows, there’s something for everyone. The theater also offers acting classes for children and teens. 13thstreetrep.org

Children’s Theatre Company
Kids take center stage at this company, where all shows include child performers from ages 5-19. The goal is to show children that they can be voices for positive change. childrenstheatrecompany.org

Galli Theater
For more than 25 years, the Galli Theater has been bringing fairytales to life for children of all ages. Actors encourage the audience to interact and get on stage, and plays are offered in English, French, and German for multilingual families. gallitheaterny.com

Kidz Theater
Kidz Theater doesn’t just put on productions for kids, by kids. It also serves as a children’s acting studio where aspiring actors learn fundamental stage acting techniques. This month, they’re performing “Little Women: The Broadway Musical” at the Connelly Theater. kidztheater.org

Literally Alive Children’s Theatre
Literally Alive takes children’s books and turns them into original musicals. Stay tuned for their production of “Alice in Wonderland” this fall, and be sure to get there an hour early for the pre-show arts workshop that helps children gain an appreciation for the theater. literallyalive.com

New York City Children’s Theater
Formerly called Making Books Sing, this theater is all about education, using music, puppetry, and physical comedy. Their most recent production, “A Band of Angels,” won the 2015 Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Musical! nycchildrenstheater.org

The New Victory Theater
This theater draws performers from all over the world and stages productions that educate and inspire the audience. Their upcoming season’s line-up features fresh takes on classics like “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and a show created for children as young as six months. newvictory.org

The Paper Bag Players
The Paper Bag Players perform original musicals geared for children ages 3-8, based on children’s everyday lives. thepaperbagplayers.org

Piper Theatre Productions
Piper Theater Productions will stage outdoor shows at the Old Stone House and in Washington Park in Park Slope, Brooklyn throughout the summer. Young actors and actresses, ages 7-17, can do more than just watch by joining their Summer Youth Theatre Workshops. pipertheatre.org

These puppet adaptations of children’s favorite tales are whimsical, fun, and fascinating for children ages 3 and up. This summer, don’t miss “Goldilocks & the 3 Bears,” and beginning in September, “Beauty & the Beast.” puppetworks.org

Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre
This puppet theater produces fairytales for children ages 3-9, and is also available for birthday party rentals. Catch “Jack and the Beanstalk” through the end of the summer. cityparksfoundation.org

TADA! Youth Theater
Shows at TADA! are written and performed by kids for audiences of all ages. You can get your own children involved, or simply enjoy the show as a family. Catch their show “Princess Phooey” at the end of July! tadatheater.com

Tribeca Performing Arts Center & Theatreworks USA
Tribeca Performing Arts Center offers an array of performances all year round geared toward children and families. From puppets to plays, there’s something for everyone. Plus, many of the family shows at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts are productions by TheatreworksUSA. tribecapac.org & theatreworksusa.org

Vital Theatre Company
The Vital Theatre Company puts on engaging hour-long performances for children ages 2-10. The company also has weekly summer camps for kids ages 4-6. vitaltheatre.org




Celebrate 20 years of Disney on Broadway! This Disney favorite hit the big-time on Broadway with the musical score you love from the movie, and special songs just for the show. A magical carpet ride, a fabulous genie, colorful costumes, and beautiful sets make this a show the whole family will enjoy. aladdinthemusical.com

“The Berenstain Bears LIVE!”
The classic children’s series comes to life in “The Berenstain Bears LIVE! Family Matters: The Musical.” No matter what this bear family goes through, they’re in it together. This show is all about the laughs, songs, and the importance of family. broadway.com

Blue Man Group
This literally blue trio combines theater, art, and technology into a fascinatingly original performance that’s hard to describe—you need to see it for yourself! It’s worth noting that the show is recommended for ages 8 and up, and no one under the age of 3 is allowed into the theater. blueman.com

“Finding Neverland”
Adapted from the film “Finding Neverland” starring Johnny Depp, see the story of author J.M. Barrie and his inspiration for the classical tale Peter Pan come alive, as he explores the possibilities of imagination and what it means to grow up. findingneverlandthemusical.com

“Gazillion Bubbles Show”
This interactive show for all ages combines lasers, lights, and bubbles of all shapes and sizes. Audience members can even take a picture in a bubble before and after the show. gazillionbubbleshow.com

The latest show from iLuminate, “Artist of Light,” takes its audience on a journey about a young artist named Jacob who has difficulty connecting with the real world. Art, music, dance, and light all come together for an unforgettable theater experience! iluminate.com

“The Illusionists”
This holiday season, “The Illusionists” brings seven world-renowned magicians back to the Broadway stage, including three new performers. The kids will be in awe of the stunts and sleights of hand happening right before their eyes. theillusionistslive.com

“The Lion King”
This Disney movie has been a Broadway hit since it opened in 1997. Between the elaborate costumes, colorful makeup, comedy, and heartwarming story, people of all ages will find something to love about “The Lion King.” broadway.com

“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”
This adaptation of this C.S. Lewis book takes the audience to magical Narnia, where it’s always winter—but never Christmas—thanks to a spell cast on the land. The show runs for 45 minutes and is recommended for ages 5 and up. narniaoffbroadway.com

You can also experience Lewis’ classic characters come to life in a larger production on Broadway, where two actors portray all the characters from the novel. broadway.com

“Mamma Mia!”
“Mamma Mia!” centers on a bride-to-be searching for her dad so he can walk her down the aisle. Set to ABBA’s greatest hits, this high-energy show will have everyone trying to resist the urge to jump up and dance. ppc.broadway.com

“Matilda the Musical”
Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, Matilda, has found a home on Broadway. “Matilda” is the story of a lively, highly imaginative girl and her adventures in which she uses her superpowers for good. This musical adaptation is presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company and features music and lyrics by comedian Tim Minchin. broadway.com

“The Phantom of the Opera”
Broadway’s longest-running show, based on the horror novel in which a deformed composer haunts an opera house, still delivers romance, fear, and excitement night after night. broadway.com

“Something Rotten!”
The newest musical comedy to hit Broadway focuses on two brothers who set out to write the world’s first musical in the 1590s. Wonderful singing, dancing, and acting come together to create this delightful show. broadway.com

This eight-person ensemble creates music with everyday items; no real instruments allowed. It’s all about dance, rhythm, and creativity. Children over the age of 5 will enjoy it. stomponline.com

The prequel to The Wizard of Oz, this popular show focuses on the history of the Wicked Witch of the West. Highly theatrical with stunning sets and elaborate costumes, this musical is ideal for ages 8 and up. broadway.com


Literally Alive Children's Theatre
Literally Alive Children’s Theatre


Barclays Center
More than just the home of the Brooklyn Nets, this mega-complex hosts concerts and live events that will interest everyone in the family, like “Disney On Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic,” coming up in November. barclayscenter.com

Big Apple Circus
You and the kids will be dazzled by the acts and animals that come together under the big tent during the Big Apple Circus. From October to January, the Circus makes its home at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park. bigapplecircus.org

Carnegie Hall
This iconic institution brings world-renowned musicians to perform in their three halls throughout the year. Catch one of the free Carnegie Kids concerts in the new Judith and Burton Resnick Education Wing, or check the schedule to see when they’ll be coming to your borough next. carnegiehall.org

Jazz at Lincoln Center
Children are welcome at all shows, but families can look to the interactive Jazz for Young People Concerts series to introduce their young ones to the rhythms and history of jazz. jalc.org

Lincoln Center
The iconic theater offers concerts, theater, ballets, and more for your whole family to enjoy. When your family joins their LC Kids program (basic membership is free), you’ll receive special offers and invitations to LC Kids events. lincolncenter.org

Little Orchestra Society (LOS)
This company is devoted to putting on family-friendly shows. Kids ages 3-5 should check out the Lolli-Pops shows, where they can learn about music while hanging out with characters like Buzz the Bee. Starting this November, LOS is launching LOS KIDS!, a brand new concert series for ages 3-7. littleorchestra.org

Manhattan Movement & Arts Center
The Manhattan Movement & Arts Center (MMAC) is home to the Manhattan Youth Ballet as well as the MMAC Theater which currently hosts the off-Broadway family hit, “The Berenstain Bears LIVE!” manhattanmovement.com

The Metropolitan Opera
Founded in 1883, this famous opera house is the place to go for unforgettable, world-class performances. Visitors can also take backstage tours, and tour Lincoln Center, as well as enjoy the Schwartz Gallery of contemporary art. metopera.org

New York Theatre Ballet
While the New York Theatre Ballet aims to bring affordable performances to adults, there’s also something for the kids to enjoy—hour-long performances that won’t break the bank. Contact for latest show details and times. nytb.org

Symphony Space
Symphony Space’s Just Kidding series is just for families. Children will love the book readings, concerts, and plays that come to this theater. symphonyspace.org

The Theater at Madison Square Garden
The biggest names in pop culture come to perform at MSG. Check the website early and often to make sure you don’t miss out when your family’s favorite acts come to town! theateratmsg.com

For tips on where to find affordable theater tickets, click here.