Friday, October 26, 2012

Recap: Family Fun on 42nd Street with MamaDrama

On Saturday, October 13th The New Victory Theater partnered with MamaDrama for Family Fun on 42nd Street. Mom (and Dad!) bloggers with kids ages 8+ were treated to a Family Workshop from a New Victory Theater Teaching Artist, foodand games at Dave and Buster’s, and tickets to Urban. Bloggerswith kids ages 3-5 were treated to performances of Ring a Ding Ding. We were thrilled to share the New Vic with them and wanted to share their thoughts with you!

Kim, Luxury Travel Mom:
The New Victory Theater is the hippest Broadway theater for kids, ever. It’s on 42nd Street and boasts a line-up of shows aimed at kids, but enjoyed by the whole family.
Linda, NYC Single Mom:
What I like about The New Victory Theater is their philosophy regarding theater and young kids. The New Victory is committed to breaking down barriers—be they cultural or economic—and providing access for students, teachers, kids, families and communities of New York City and beyond to experience and engage with the work on their stages. That is a fantastic philosophy for an organization to have.
Matt of NYC Dads Group:
We were lead by a New Victory Teaching Artist in a series of maneuvers that would eventually get us to the point where my son and I were juggling three scarves. My son was hesitant to participate at first, but he really enjoyed the experience and especially enjoyed watching me struggle as much, if not more, than he was. I really appreciate the fact that we got to experience the class together, rather than me sitting on the side (or leaving) while the kids are having all the fun.
Mitch, GayNYCDad:
I love how these teachers know how to start their students off with the smallest of tasks that later build into a full show. Simple and fun!
Lauren, Midget Momma:
[Dave and Buster’s] is a great place for both kids and adults to have fun and enjoy spending time together. The food was awesome and the games were great for all ages!
Let’s see what parents thought of Ring A Ding Ding:

Jill at Thatsitmommy.com:
My four year old son closely followed the storyline and liked how each puppet had a human counterpart that takes over parts of the adventure. The jump from miniature story to life size and back maintained his attention. The vaudevillian comedic elements, such as big expressions and falling down, got some of his biggest laughs.
Lainie from Memyselfandbabyi.com:
What Ring A Ding Ding has going and separates itself from other performances is the engagement, interaction, attention and involvement it elicits from its 3-5 year old audience… I got a thrill watching my son’s reactions, seeing his curiosity and all the fun he was having. We both greatly enjoyed the special effects including the fog, lighting, moon-dust and rainbows.
Monica at Marino Bambinos:
As I watched my daughter's wide eyed, awestruck face I hoped that she would grab onto the rich creativity and magical whimsy woven through Ring A Ding Ding and ingrain it deep into her young mind. It is truly a treat, and a must see for both children and grown-ups alike.
Suzanne from Gotham Love:
I found it very relaxing as an adult to sit back and watch my child become more and more interested in what the characters had to say. Without giving too much away, it was indeed a mystical journey to the moon and back. Children were allowed and even encouraged to touch some of the characters in the play such as little dolls and moving elements.
While Urban may have closed, it seems like families created some lasting memories on their trip to the theater:

Milena of Be Your Best Mom:
If you are looking to introduce your child to a theater performance that won’t have them bored to tears, look right here. It’s edgy, modern and captivating. While the cast is mostly male, the females are strong and powerful. They demonstrate confidence at its best.
Holly, The Culture Mom:
Watching these brave teens and young adults who have made it to NYC to perform after years of hardship and strife was awe-inspiring. I am not sure if my son understood the gravity of their situations prior to joining the circus, but when the performers stood on stage and told their stories (in Spanish and English, translated either way), his ears perked up and he listened to their hardship. Their dancing was so uplifting and heartfelt that I wanted to jump up and cheer for them all for making it to NYC. Their story is a story of survival. I can’t even fathom the thought of what they all experienced growing up – sleeping on the streets, not having enough to eat. If my son could only understand a small amount of what they went through after watching them dance with their hearts and souls on their sleeves, I’ll be very happy.
Sandy of Rated P for Parenthood:
Somehow my plans for "dinner and a show" with my little boy turned into something so much more. His eyes are open to the world in a new way. Parenting now involves navigating the reveal of the world's harsh truths while encouraging his power to make a difference within it. So thank you to Dave & Buster’s and The New Victory Theater, for treating us to a night that opened our eyes and inspired me to empower my child to find his own feats of strength and skill.

Mary-Beth of My Rules:
This troupe has skills of the heart. They have resilience and grit. The young Urban circus group seems to have known some tough times together and found their way to survive through their artistry – through their music and dance. They seem to genuinely love and admire and need each other. (I’m seeing a metaphor emerge for families! Stick together! I’ll catch you when you leap from that high platform!)
Laurie for Gone Girl Travel:
The skill, strength, rhythm and grace of the performers blew us away, even while the underlying themes of growing up in poverty and the reality of street life in a developing country brought emotional depth to the performance. It was edgy and, at times, even sexy (certain moments reminded me of West Side Story, but with a little more grit), which makes it a terrific choice for teens and adults. As for my 9-year-old, she was wide-eyed at the remarkable acrobatics, and the performance provided an opening for a discussion of different cultures and the challenges of living in certain parts of the world (including places within our own country), as well.
Lisa, New York Chica:
Urban is like no other show you’ve ever seen before. It’s filled with Latin/Hip-Hop music along with live-singing all while doing outrageously street-style acrobatics. I was amazed at the rope balancing and the aerial pyramid.
Erin Leigh for Broadway World Jr:

At its heart, Urban is about its own cast: kids who came from the most challenging environments and took steps to change their fates. Urban is about who they are, where they came from and how they have survived.

Special thanks to MamaDrama for joining us and to Dave and Buster’s for having us over! And most of all, thank you Circolombia for Urban and Oily Cart for Ring A Ding Ding!

This blog was compiled by Natasha Z. Stanislas, the Fall 2012 Communications Apprentice. Natasha is a recent graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she studied Film & Television Arts with 3 minors. She hopes to create positive and meaningful change to how education functions, and ultimately provide resources that help to empower the traditionally underrepresented.

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