Family movie nights are always a great way to spend time together, but what about taking a trip to a live show? Plays and musicals “allow young people to see a world beyond their own—both in the content of the piece and the creative medium in which it is presented, ” says Jennifer Katona, director of the graduate program in educational theatre at the City College of New York.
Children benefit from the creative aspect of the setting, props, and live performance they are witnessing, allowing for a level of interaction that can’t be found by watching something through a screen. “As an audience member, the theater gives children the opportunity to have a shared experience with a new community of people as well as with their family, ” Katona says.
Here, five shows currently playing on Broadway that will entertain and engage your child, as well as bring to life their own creative spark!
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 West 46th St., New York, NY 10036
Length: 2hrs, 35 minutes (1 intermission)
Tickets: From $72
This show is based on the life of the playwright J.M. Barrie, who, after meeting the widow Sylvia and her four imaginative sons, produces the tale of Peter Pan. As was the case with the award-winning 2004 film, the strength and importance of one’s imagination are explored throughout the play, which will be sure to capture and hold your child’s attention. When our creative director, Vicky, took her 10-year-old daughter, Jennifer, to the show, both were enthralled. “It was a really good play and script, ” Jennifer said. “I liked how they told the story of how Peter Pan came to be.” Vicky agreed: “We loved it!”
Gershwin Theatre, 222 West 51st St., New York, NY 10019
Length: 2hrs, 45 minutes (1 intermission)
Tickets: From $76
Inspired by Gregory Maguire’s popular novel, this musical hit brings to life the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good. Two unlikely companions teach the audience that friendship is possible even when you think it isn’t and that it’s important to give people a chance because they may surprise you. Your child will love the elements of fantasy in this upbeat tale.
New Amsterdam Theatre, 214 West 42nd St., New York, NY 10036
Length: 2hrs, 30 minutes (1 intermission)
Tickets: From $50
The Genie and his magic lamp are back in the timeless story of Aladdin that’s given an exciting new twist with this fun musical. A nominee for the 2014 Tony Awards for Best Musical and winner of Best Feature Actor, children will love the fresh take on the original songs from the Disney movie as well as some new ones created just for the live show. Adventure, romance, and a whole lot of laughs await you in this sweeping magic carpet ride of a show.
Shubert Theatre, 225 West 44th St., New York, NY 10036
Length: 2 hours, 30 minutes (1 intermission)
Tickets: From $37
Based on Roald Dahl’s classic novel, Matilda will captivate your child and the rest of the audience with its extraordinary tale. The winner of seven record-breaking Olivier Awards, including Best Musical, this is the story of a young girl who, against all odds, strives to and succeeds in changing her destiny. This tale will teach children the importance of standing up for what’s right and working hard to reach their goals.
St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 46th St. New York, NY 10019
Length: 50 minutes (1 intermission)
Tickets: from $47
Love, loyalty, and a little bit of magic make this classic story written by C.S. Lewis a popular must-see for the entire family. When four siblings accidentally wander through an old wardrobe, they find themselves in the land of Narnia, carpeted in snow from a dark spell cast by the evil White Witch. Will the brothers and sisters be able to save the land from the Witch with the help of the heroic lion, Aslan? Filled with excitement and adventure, this show is less than an hour long so even the most fidgety children will be able sit through the entire performance.