Who doesn’t love a musical? Seeing a story come to life through music and dance is an enriching experience and lifts everyone’s spirits. The same holds true for a child watching these magical performances.
Disney Theatrical Productions
Of course, some musicals are more suited for kids than others. Those shows whose performers include familiar characters are always a source of fun entertainment for children and their families. Among the most recognizable characters are those in the Disney family. These characters are timeless and stir the imagination of every child.
Disney Theatrical Productions has produced several successful plays such as “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin.” In fact, “The Lion King” has become Broadway’s top grossing play since its performances began in 1998. The adventure of bringing Simba’s jungle indoors is a treat for the entire family. “Beauty and the Beast” is currently on tour with the original creative team. This is a spellbinding tale of Belle, a country girl, and how she teaches a prince, who was turned into a beastly creature by an evil spell, to love again. The acrobatics and choreography of Aladdin and the Genie as they fly across the stage draws much laughter from each child in attendance.
Animated subjects are not the only inspiration for great musicals. Since its debut on Broadway in March of 2012, “Newsies” has been a fabulous remake of the popular 1990s movie. This quick moving show tells the story of a newspaper delivery boy, Jack Kelly, and his fellow delivery boys and how, despite their circumstances, they learned that dreams can become reality if you work hard and stand up for yourself. The sensational “High School Musical” and its sequel “High School Musical 2” have entertained children and their parents all over the world. Other musicals that are currently in the pre-development stage include a version of the Muppets, and “Alice in Wonderland.”
Although wildly successful, Disney Theatrical Productions are not the only kid friendly musicals around. “Matilda the Musical” has won numerous awards for best musical including the Drama Desk Award and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award. Currently being performed on both New York and London stages, “Matilda the Musical” is also the story of a kid who fights to make her dreams come true.
In keeping with the inspiration theme, “Billy Elliot” was originally a movie which was then adapted for the stage. The setting is a mining town in England, where Billy’s father, a single parent, has aspirations of his son becoming a boxer. Billy, however, has other plans. He is drawn to the field of dance and begins to take ballet lessons unbeknownst to his father.
Another musical tailor-made for children is “Annie.” This show has seen numerous revivals since its original Broadway debut in 1977. Based on the Little Orphan Annie comic strip, this delightful play follows Annie through her “hard-knock life” and into the benefits of a loving relationship with Daddy Warbucks. Enriching audiences in theaters all across the United States, “Annie” is sure to entertain children and their families for years to come.
Currently on Broadway, an updated version of Cinderella is playing to delighted audiences. Everyone’s favorite princess glides around the stage to the wonderful music of Rodgers and Hammerstein and into the arms of her Prince Charming much to the dismay of the evil stepmother and stepsisters Charlotte and Gabrielle.
There are a number of other kid friendly musical shows being performed across the country and around the world each and every weekend and many weekdays. “The Little Mermaid,” “Shrek the Musical,” “Cats” and “Mary Poppins” are just a few of the productions where the performers are bringing kids’ favorite stories to life.
More traditional musicals are also an option for slightly older children. “Singing in the Rain,” “Oklahoma,” “The Sound of Music” and “The Music Man” are wonderful choices for the 10 to 18 age group.