Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Save time: for children, for the period from 1 to 7 April

Translate Request has too much data
Parameter name: request
Translate Request has too much data
Parameter name: request

John Lithgow wears many hats.

An actor well known for his performances onstage and in film and television — last year he won an Emmy for playing a serial killer on “Dexter” — Mr. Lithgow has also become a picture-book author (he’s published eight), a children’s recording artist (three albums), a playwright, a lyricist and an artist. All those more gentle personas will be on display Saturday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he will present his children’s show “The Sunny Side of the Street.”

So, in all likelihood, will his hats.

“I come out onstage with a hat on and start greeting the kids,” Mr. Lithgow explained. “The music director reminds me that I haven’t taken off my hat.” While asking the audience to jog his memory if he neglects his manners again, “I wear about five hats, and I always forget to take them off.”

But Mr. Lithgow does remember his musical history. “The Sunny Side of the Street,” which draws on his Grammy-nominated album of the same title (Razor & Tie), is inspired by the era of his current listeners’ great-grandparents. “It’s the great golden age of Tin Pan Alley, when they wrote idiotic songs for adults,” he said. He cited “Inka Dinka Doo,” whose refrain could easily have been dreamed up by a toddler, and “I Like Bananas (Because They Have No Bones).”

“I’m rediscovering old musical gems and reimagining them,” said Mr. Lithgow, 65, who now has grandchildren to test his work on. He wrote new lyrics for “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” turning it into a hymn of encouragement for a first grader. And he’s rendered the Betty Boop tune “You Gotta Have Pep” “into a bit of advocacy — it’s about exercising and eating right.”

Mr. Lithgow, accompanied by the jazz group the Sunny Side Strutters, also performs his own songs, like “I’m a Manatee” and “Marsupial Sue.” (The music is by Bill Elliott.) They allow him to use his drawing skills.

“I have a great big easel, and I play Guess the Animal,” he said. “The children have to guess what it is before I finish the drawing.”

He strives for an energy level that’s as high as his audience’s. “If you bore children, they riot,” Mr. Lithgow said. “It’s wonderful to have that kind of challenge.”

(Saturday, noon and 3 p.m., 212-570-3949, metmuseum.org/tickets; $15.) LAUREL GRAEBER

For Children

‘Archaeology Zone: Discovering Treasures From Playgrounds to Palaces’ (Friday, Sunday through Tuesday, and Thursday) Children will step into the shoes of an explorer like Indiana Jones in this permanent exhibition at the Jewish Museum, but the adventures will be purely scholarly. Still, there is plenty of excitement in analyzing artifacts like a jar handle, a clay jug and a bangle and figuring out the purpose behind ancient pieces like a Greek helmet and a bull-shaped vessel. This interactive show also includes a recreated room from the Ottoman period (about 1900), where young archaeologists can dress in costume. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., except for Thursdays, open until 8 p.m.; 1109 Fifth Avenue, at 92nd Street , (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org; free with admission: $12; $10 for 65+; $7.50 for students; free for under 12 and members. 20110331

‘Artists’ Eyes: Children’s Art From Studio in a School’ (Friday, and Monday through Thursday) For more than 30 years Studio in a School, an educational organization, has been bringing professional artists into New York schools and community centers to work with children. And once a year it also brings the art resulting from that collaboration to the public. This exhibition comprises more than 200 works by students from preschool through high school, depicting both their everyday universes and the wilder worlds of their imaginations. (Through May 13.) From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery, between 51st and 52nd Streets , (212) 765-5900, studioinaschool.org; free.20110331

‘Awesome Allie, First Kid Astronaut’ (Saturday and Sunday) Following in the footsteps of Sally Ride — but with much smaller feet — young Allie becomes a child astronaut in this new musical from Vital Theater Company. But she’s not so unusual when you compare her with her companions: a talking dog and a dancing Martian robot, which are ready to help her save Earth. (Through April 26.) At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., McGinn/Cazale Theater, 2162 Broadway, at 76th Street (above the Promenade Theater), fourth floor , (212) 579-0528, vitaltheatre.org; $25.20110331

Baby Got Bach: Classical Kids at LPR (Sunday) The pianist Orli Shaham, a mother of 3-year-old twins, draws on both her musical and her maternal talents as host and artistic director of this concert series at Le Poisson Rouge, intended to introduce children 3 to 6 to live chamber performances. One big draw: little ones won’t just hear instruments played; they will also play with them during a preshow exploration. This concert features the premiere of Bruce Adolphe’s “City Sounds,” as well as an opportunity for little listeners to compose musical pieces to take home. From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 158 Bleecker Street, near Thompson Street, Greenwich Village , (212) 505-3474, babygotbach.org; $20; $10 for children; $40 for a family (two adults and up to two children).20110331

‘Best of NYICFF’ (Saturday and Sunday) If you missed this year’s competition in the New York International Children’s Film Festival, the producers are giving you another chance. Every weekend this month they will show a 70-minute program of highlights and audience favorites from the festival, including its Grand Prize winner, “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On”; “The Lost Thing,” which just won the Oscar for best animated short; and “The Little Boy and the Beast,” winner of the Jury Award. At 11:10 a.m., IFC Center, 323 Avenue of the Americas, at Third Street, Greenwich Village , (212) 349-0330, gkids.com; $13; $9 for children and 65+; $8 for members.20110331

‘Bird Brain’ (Saturday and Sunday) The woodsman in Vern Theissen’s play, for ages 4 through 9, really knows how to keep something under his hat: in this case, a cluster of baby birds. But his desire to protect the fledglings he’s rescued conflicts with the stern laws of Hat Street, which require all citizens to remove any head covering when greeting others, particularly the queen. The Drilling Company explores his problem in this production, playing an open-ended run. Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at noon, 236 West 78th Street, Manhattan , (212) 868-4444, smarttix.com; $15; $12 for children.20110331

B.Y.O.K. (Sunday) Once people become parents, they often leave their B.Y.O.B. days behind. Now 92YTriBeCa, the satellite of the 92nd Street Y, has the perfect substitute: B.Y.O.K., or Bring Your Own Kid. As the title implies, this series is devoted to cross-generational fun, and so on Sunday it will present Princess Katie and Racer Steve, rockers and pop artists known to toss soccer balls or Mylar streamers to fans. Here they’ll be celebrating their latest CD, “Tiny Cool” (RocketNYC). At 11 a.m., 200 Hudson Street, at Canal Street , (212) 601-1000, 92ytribeca.org/BYOK; $15; free for under 2.20110331

‘La Cenerentola’ (Saturday and Sunday) Every culture seems to have its “Cinderella.” In this opera by Rossini, the wicked adult is a stepfather instead of a stepmother; the helping hand comes from a philosopher; and the prince does some masquerading of his own. Part of Dicapo Opera Theater’s Opera for Kids series, this one-hour version, in English, is geared to ages 6 and older. Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; St. Jean Baptiste Church, 184 East 76th Street, Manhattan , (212) 868-4444, dicapo.com; $25; $12.50 for children.20110331

‘Freckleface Strawberry’ (Friday through Sunday, and Wednesday and Thursday) Based on the actress Julianne Moore’s picture book “Freckleface Strawberry,” about a 7-year-old redhead who earns that nickname from her teasing friends, this show transcends the usual themes about celebrating the differences that make us special. It does so with a winning score, talented actors and inventive comedy, as well as an acknowledgment of the unfunny aspects of its young heroine’s situation. And speaking of teasing, Sanjaya Malakar, of “American Idol” fame, recently joined the cast. Friday at 2 p.m.; Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 and 4:30 p.m.; this Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; this Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; and Thursday at 2 p.m., New World Stages, 340 West 50th Street, Clinton , (212) 239-6200, frecklefacethemusical.com; $68.50 to $95.20110331

‘Gazillion Bubble Show: The Next Generation’ (Friday through Sunday, and Wednesday) Children love bubbles, and this interactive show promises not just a gazillion but also some of the largest ever blown, along with light effects and lasers. The stars are the members of the Yang family: Fan and Ana Yang and their sons Deni and Jano, who rotate as M.C.’s for the production. Audience members may even find themselves in bubbles of their own. Friday at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 and 4:30 p.m.; Sunday at noon and 3 p.m.; Wednesday at 11 a.m.; New World Stages, 340 West 50th Street, Clinton , (212) 239-6200, gazillionbubbleshow.com; $44.50 to $89.50; lap seats for ages 2 and under are $20.20110331

‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ (Saturday and Sunday) The story may feature three bears and one blonde, but this new production from Manhattan Children’s Theater stars only two actors. They play all the parts and provide their own musical accompaniment in this adaptation, which isn’t your usual walk in the woods. (Through April 17.) At noon and 2 p.m., 52 White Street, near Church Street, TriBeCa , (212) 352-3101, mctny.org; $20; $50 for priority tickets, which include front-row seats and a meeting with the cast.20110331

‘Gustafer Yellowgold’s Infinity Sock’ (Saturday) The friendliest of space aliens is back in town. Hailing from the Sun and looking like an animated drop of butter, Gustafer Yellowgold is the creation of the illustrator and award-winning composer Morgan Taylor, who has returned for another multimedia show about his hero. This one has a continuing narrative, following Gustafer as he looks for the toe end of the longest sock in the universe. At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., DR2 Theater, 103 East 15th Street, Manhattan , (212) 239-6200, gustaferyellowgold.com; $25; $20 for under 12.20110331

‘It’s a Pinata Party!’: A Moona Luna Family Concert (Sunday) When Sandra Velasquez, lead singer of the Latin band Pistolera, gave birth to her first baby not long ago, she also had a brainchild: why not apply the group’s talents to children’s music? The result is Moona Luna, an ensemble that offers snappy Latin tunes with bilingual lyrics. At this concert it will celebrate the release of its first album, “Pinata Party” (Luchadora). At noon, Joe’s Pub, at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, at Astor Place, East Village, (212) 967-7555, joespub.com; $15; $12 for 12 and under; free for under 2; $12 minimum at tables. Table reservations: (212) 539-8778Joe’s Pub, at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, at Astor Place, East Village h to her first baby not long ago, she also had a brainchild: why not apply the group’s talents to children’s music? The result is Moona Luna, an ensemble that offers snappy Latin tunes with bilingual lyrics. At this concert it will celebrate the release of its first album, “Pinata Party” (Luchadora). At noon, Joe’s Pub, at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, at Astor Place, East Village, (212) 967-7555, joespub.com; $15; $12 for 12 and under; free for under 2; $12 minimum at tables. Table reservations: (212) 539-8778.20110331

‘Jazz for Kids’ (Sunday) Every Sunday through May 15 the Jazz Standard presents not just jazz for kids, but also jazz by kids: the featured players at its Sunday brunches are the members of the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra, a group of talented children. They play new arrangements of big-band classics while listeners enjoy barbecue offerings that include a children’s menu. Doors open at 1 p.m.; shows from 2 to 3 p.m.; 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan , (212) 576-2232, jazzstandard.com; $5 donation, which benefits the Jazz Standard Discovery Program, an initiative that brings musical performances to city schools.20110331

‘Learn to Ride’ (Saturday) This workshop, sponsored by Bike New York and the parents and staff of P.S. 261. , promises to reduce both the skinned knees and frayed nerves that frequently accompany first bicycle outings by teaching children how to balance and how to start, stop and steer. Participants are required to be at least 5 and to bring their own helmets and bicycles; each must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., P.S. 261, Pacific Street, between Hoyt and Smith Streets, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn , (212) 870-2080, bikenewyork.org; free. Registration is advised.20110331

‘The Little Mermaid’ (Saturday) This musical adaptation, from Literally Alive Children’s Theater, draws on Hans Christian Andersen’s distinctly bittersweet tale. But it’s not exactly “The Little Mermaid” the theater company has presented in the past: Brenda Bell has rewritten the book and lyrics, and Michael Sgouros has composed a new score. Like all the troupe’s productions, this one features a preshow crafts workshop. (Through May 22.) Workshop at 10 a.m.; show at 11; Players Theater, 115 Macdougal Street, near Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village , (212) 352-3101, mermaidsinthevillage.com; $25 to $40 (including workshop).20110331

Material Lab at the Museum of Modern Art (Saturday through Monday, and Wednesday through Friday) No matter how much talent artists have, they need the right materials to create their work. This new interactive space at MoMA invites families to explore a wide range of mediums that are reflected in the museum’s collection. The stations in the Material Lab include a drawing table; a collage table; Discovery Boxes, with surprise materials within; Cornell Boxes, filled with found objects, in the spirit of the work of Joseph Cornell; and a digital painting experience using new technology from Microsoft. Material Lab is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or until 6:30 p.m. on Friday (through Aug. 29); Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building, 4 West 54th Street, Manhattan , (212) 708-9400, moma.org; free with museum admission: $20; $16 for 65+; $12 for students; free for ages 16 and under.20110331

Moey’s Music Party (Saturday) Some great things about this party: it doesn’t require an invitation, and it involves pop music for ages 6 and under that parents can enjoy too. Moey, or Melissa Levis, an Off Broadway performer, is bringing her acoustic guitar and fellow musicians to the JCC in Manhattan for a concert to celebrate the release of her new DVD, “Happily Ever Moey! A Fairy Tale Lark in Central Park.” Dressing in fairy-tale attire is encouraged. At 2:30 p.m., 344 Amsterdam Avenue, at 76th Street , moeysmusicparty.com; free.20110331

New Museum First Saturdays for Families: ‘Blooming Flowers’ (Saturday) The local environment may not be cooperating, but signs of spring will definitely be found at the New Museum on Saturday. In this program for ages 4 to 15, children will investigate flower-related art — including Isa Genzken’s sculpture “Rose II,” installed on the building’s facade — and then create bunches of their own blooms with unusual materials, like recycled magazine pages and wrapping paper. From 10 a.m. to noon, New Museum, 235 Bowery, at Prince Street, Lower East Side , (212) 219-1222, newmuseum.org; free.20110331

‘Pasta!: A Pop Ups Puppet Musical’ (Saturday) The rock duo Jacob Stein and Jason Rabinowitz are cooking once again in this show, which concerns a quest through Brooklyn to find the best ingredients for pasta sauce. The culinary adventures involve more than vegetables; mermaids and animals are to be part of the action, along with puppets created by the shops of Julianna Parr and Ingrid Crepeaux. At 11 a.m., SoHo Playhouse, 15 Van Dam Street, South Village , (212) 691-1555, sohoplayhouse.com; $25 and $30.20110331

‘Point of View’ (Friday, and Monday through Thursday) See the world of New York through a young artist’s lens. This exhibition features more than 30 photographs, as well as documentary videos and animations, by students from elementary through high school. Working with the nonprofit Magic Box Productions, which brings arts programs to schools, the young creators have dealt with both portraiture and the urban landscape. (Through June.) From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; group tours available; the Gallery at 180 Maiden Lane, between Front and South Streets, Lower Manhattan , (914) 630-0256, magicboxproductions.org; free.20110331

Rubin Museum of Art (Saturday and Wednesday) This museum is devoted to the art of the Himalayas, and its family workshop this month focuses on a Himalayan art anyone can easily pursue: felting. This Saturday, in a series called Felting Fun!, children will make miniature landscapes in felt, drawing inspiration from the show “Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection.” On Wednesday the museum will inaugurate a new monthly Family Story Tour for ages 5 and older. It will reveal the tales that artworks tell and the history behind their making. Saturday workshop from 2 to 3 p.m.; Wednesday tour from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.; 150 West 17th Street, Chelsea , (212) 620-5000, Ext. 344, rmanyc.org/family; workshop (includes museum admission): $10 for each child and accompanying adult pair ($5 for each additional child); $5 for each child of members; free for adult members, 2 and under and Cool Culture members. Reservations advised. The Family Story Tour is free with museum admission: $10; $5 for students and 65+; free for 12 and under and members.20110331

‘The Secret History of the Swedish Cottage’ (Friday through Thursday) Gnomes, sea creatures and various magical beings help to tell this tale, but the history it explores is real: how the Swedish Cottage was built in Sweden and came to be transported to its current location — Central Park — in 1877. Created and directed by the puppeteers Tom Lee and Matthew Acheson, this commissioned new piece unfolds, of course, at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, the heart of the site it celebrates. (Through June 30.) Monday through Friday at 10:30 a.m. and noon, with an additional performance on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.; 79th Street and the West Drive, Central Park , (212) 988-9093, cityparksfoundation.org/swedish_cottage.html; $8; $5 for under 12. Reservations required.20110331

The Suzi Shelton Band (Saturday) Suzi Shelton has impeccable credentials to perform for listeners 10 and under: She’s a mother, and she’s a hit recording artist for children. Here she’s appearing with her band to raise funds for Gallop, NYC, an organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding for people with mental and physical disabilities. At 11 a.m. (doors open at 10:30), Flea Theater, 41 White Street, near Church Street, TriBeCa , (212) 226-2407, gallopnyc.org; $20 in advance; $25 at the door.20110331

‘Three by the Sea’ (Saturday and Sunday) This triple bill of short plays by Donna Latham, presented by the Looking Glass Theater, concerns life in and around the water. “Paddy and the Mermaid,” inspired by an Irish folk tale, focuses on an unusual marriage; “Coyote’s Moon” adapts American Indian mythology; and “Foghorn Franny” celebrates a woman with a very big voice. (Through April 10.) Saturdays at noon and 2 p.m.; Sundays at 2 and 4 p.m.; Looking Glass Theater, 422 West 57th Street, Clinton , (212) 352-3101, lookingglasstheatrenyc.com; $15; $12 for ages 12 and under.20110331

‘Up, Up and Away With the Woodwinds’ (Saturday and Sunday) The Lolli-Pops concerts from the Little Orchestra Society, for ages 3 through 5, use friendly characters like Bang, Bow, Buzz and Toot to introduce music. In this program Bow the Panda and Toot the Bird will take the audience on an imaginary balloon ride around the world, learning about woodwind instruments through sounds from Europe, Asia and Africa. The jugglers Joel Jeske and Book Kennison of the Hey-Ya Brothers will join in the fun, which includes pieces by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Ibert. Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and noon and Sunday at 1 and 2:30 p.m.; Kaye Playhouse, 68th Street between Lexington and Park Avenues , (212) 971-9500, littleorchestra.org; $12 and $40.20110331

‘Whaddaya Need? Plays Made to Order’ (Friday through Sunday) Getting your play performed by a professional cast is no small achievement for a young writer — particularly if that writer is only 10. That’s the age of the participants in the Playmaking program, sponsored by the 52nd Street Project, which provides theater opportunities for disadvantaged youth in the Clinton neighborhood. Working with professional mentors, the children write brief one-acts that culminate in fully staged productions; this showcase features 10 of them. Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 3 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m.; Five Angels Theater, 789 10th Avenue, near 52nd Street, Clinton, second floor , (212) 642-5052, 52project.org.; free, but reservations are required.20110331

‘The Wizard of Oz’ (Friday through Sunday, and Tuesday through Thursday) The latest tornado to hit New York poses no danger, as the Children’s Museum of Manhattan celebrates “The Wizard of Oz” with this interactive exhibition. In addition to recreating scenes from the 1939 movie, the show teaches about science (including how a tornado forms and experiments with light) and offers challenges like capturing the witch’s broom from the winged monkeys. (Through May 8.) From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; open until 8 p.m. this Friday and until 7 p.m. on Saturday; Tisch Building, 212 West 83rd Street, Manhattan , (212) 721-1223, cmom.org; free with museum admission: $10; $7 for 65+; free for under 1 and members; free to all this Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. 20110331


No comments:

Post a Comment