Broadway for kids
July 21, 2014 10:47 AM   Subscribe

We'll be in New York in early August for a few days. What shows would be good for a six-year-old girl?

We saw Matilda last year and our daughter liked it a lot. We've already seen The Lion King. Some shows categorized as "kid-friendly" that I'd appreciate comments about include Aladdin, Cinderella, Stomp, Blue Man Group, and any others you know about. I have some reservations about Wicked because although our daughter is not particularly easily scared, the wizard in The Wizard of Oz did frighten her.

Thank you.
posted by Dansaman to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I understand that Stomp's show changes over time, but when I saw it, there were some "guys miming peeing in urinals" jokes. Pretty mild, but FYI.

Wicked, I'd say, is at least as scary as Wizard of Oz, plus has some very slightly risque intimate moments. Also, those flying monkeys are kinda freaky. I'd probably shy away from bringing a 6-year-old to Wicked.

Cinderella, unless the new production is WAY re-imagined, is about as un-scary and inoffensive as possible.
posted by jeffjon at 10:59 AM on July 21, 2014

Stomp would be fun! It's not technically "Broadway", but that's okay - it's still fun. It's more like a dance piece crossed with a drum solo - there's no "plot" to speak of, it's just people pounding on all sorts of stuff to make "drums" out of them. There's even a fun bit where they have a few people sitting around with a bag of garbage and they figure out a way to turn the random garbage into "musical instruments", which would could make for some interesting creative-fun moments when you get home ("hey, remember when they made music out of that soda cup in the trash? Let's see what else we could turn into music around the house here.").

The only "off-color" bit is more "potty-humor" crude than anything else, and it's extremely mild - there's a sequence where three guys have kitchen sinks on harnesses around their necks, and the sinks are filled with water and dishes, which they beat on and splash around in. At the very end of sequence, they pull the plugs on the sinks and let the water run out into buckets - and it's subtle, but the looks on their faces while they do so are kind of like "they've really had to pee." Nothing scary (unless really loud bangs are frightening).

I was an usher for them for a year and we often had kids come in and they loved it. My favorite audience was entirely comprised of kids - about three school groups all on the same night.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:01 AM on July 21, 2014

Aladdin and Cinderella are both really great. Newsies, if you can catch it before it closes. Pippin is GREAT, as well. (Might go over her head, but the circus theme is pretty incredible.)

I would avoid things like Stomp and Blue Man Group because they don't even entertain me as an adult. I can't imagine a child would like them.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:03 AM on July 21, 2014

A bit of a springboard off roomthreeseventeen - Blue Man Group might not work for a six-year-old; it's similar on the face of it, but the things they're trying to do and the situations they set up and the things they try to "say" thusly may be a bit egg-heady and go over the head of a six year old. The whole point of Stomp, though, is "hey, let's make cool noises by dancing and hitting random things", and every child I saw attend the show was wildly entertained by that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:16 AM on July 21, 2014

The flying monkeys in Wicked are creepy. I say this as a former 6 year old girl who had to be sent home from a slumber party early after they made me cry in the Wizard of Oz.
posted by interplanetjanet at 11:38 AM on July 21, 2014

My friend's daughter just saw Matilda the Musical for her 5th birthday and LOVED it.
posted by goggie at 11:58 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I saw Aladdin last month and I'd highly recommend it for children. It's very faithful to the original Disney spirit, in that it's high-energy, light-hearted, and a little silly. I found it a little airheaded but I think that's because it's geared specifically towards younger audiences.

If anything, the man who plays the genie is PHENOMENAL and it's worth seeing just for him. He really works the crowd and is an absolute privilege to watch perform.

Definitely would recommend against Wicked -- the flying monkeys scared the bajeezus out of me.
posted by krakus at 12:38 PM on July 21, 2014

Pippin is GREAT, as well.

I found Pippin very scary as an elementary school age child.


A major theme is trying to get Pippin to set himself on fire.

The thing still creeps me out as an adult.
posted by Jahaza at 12:41 PM on July 21, 2014

Just to be clear... that's a suicide theme.
posted by Jahaza at 12:44 PM on July 21, 2014

That is not really in the current production, at all.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:48 PM on July 21, 2014

Hey! The New York Times has a feature called "Show Tuner" (on the right hand side of the page) that lets you choose a theater piece based on several factors:

— Audience: Adults or children
— Mood: Light or dark
— Traditional or Experimental

Newsies, Cinderella, The Lion King, Blue Man Group, Stomp and iLuminate are all coming up.
posted by amoeba at 2:35 PM on July 21, 2014

Theatreworks USA puts on musicals for children (usually by big or up-and-coming composers, lyricists and bookwriters) in NYC in the summertime. Tickets are free. In my experience, the shows are usually great and well worth seeing.

This year's show is The Lightning Thief. The recommended age is 7 and up, but depending on your six-year-old, perhaps that might work?
posted by sueinnyc at 3:32 PM on July 21, 2014

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