By Christina Macchiarola
When it comes to New Victory programming, I am, admittedly, a little biased. As the Marketing and Communications Manager for The New 42nd Street (the parent organization of the New Vic), my job is to introduce families to our incredible array of productions and ensure that they keep coming back for more. But my appreciation for the New Vic began long before I joined the staff. When I was in elementary school, my parents brought my sister and I to the New Vic on a regular basis. Our time here introduced me to a diverse range of dance, circus and theater from all over the world and sparked my lifelong love of the arts. To this day, my family theater adventures on 42nd Street reside at the core of my childhood memories--that’s why I’m thrilled to help today’s patrons call my cultural home theirs too.
The New Victory will present fifteen productions from around the globe, highlighting many different genres. The shows appeal to people of all ages, from kids as young as 4-months, to the kid in all of us! With so many options, how is it possible to choose? Rather than limit yourself to one or two shows, we encourage our patrons to sample the New Vic’s offerings with a Membership, which gives your family a chance to experience three or more productions during a given season and save up to 35% on your purchase. Plus, Members also receive a whole bunch of additional perks.
I've selected a few fictional families (who, yes, come from my favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals) to illustrate how easy it is to create a New Vic Membership, no matter how unique each member of your family may be. As you read on, please remember that the New Vic is the theater you NEVER outgrow. So, for example, when we say a show is “For Everyone 6+,” we mean that 6 is the youngest advisable age for the show--older kids and adults will enjoy it too!
The Frake Family (State Fair):
Abel (father), Melissa (mother), Margy (kid, age 6) and Wayne (kid, age 4)
In addition to regularly attending state fairs, the Frakes introduced their kids to the New Vic early on with our shows for babies and toddlers at the New 42nd Street Studios. Now, the kids are developing their own, particular personalities and it‘s sometimes difficult to find activities that everyone will enjoy. Margy is rambunctious and constantly singing along with the latest edition of Kidz Bop, while Wayne prefers to quietly play with his Legos.
Lucky for them, we are continuing our “Bridge to the Big Theater” productions--“Bridge” shows (recommended for ages 4-7) are the perfect way to transition from a smaller show held in one of our studios, to a bigger production in our largest theater space.
With that in mind, here’s what I’d recommend to the Frakes: For a dose of whimsy and a dash of adventure, The Snail and the Whale enchants the entire family with its sweet storytelling. Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players bring the house down with The Mysterious Hat, a kiddie-rock concert that’s still gentle enough for kids with a shyer sensibility. To round out the Frake’s Membership, I’d recommend Paper Planet, one of our shows in the New 42nd Street Studios. For any theatergoer ages 2+, Paper Planet gives participants the chance to contribute their own creations to a growing paper jungle.
The Leonowens Family (The King and I):
Anna (mother) and Louis (kid, age 9)
As a teacher who’s been learning about the NY culture scene, Anna knows that the New Vic is an artistic haven for kids all over NYC, and she cannot wait to attend performances with her son. Louis is creative, has an incredible amount of energy and loves action movies.
This season 360 Allstars, Lionboy and Pinocchio exhibit enough exuberance to enrapture both mother and son. First, 360 Allstars combines music, dance, basketball and X-Games-inspired stunts for an evening of raw power and excitement. Next, all the way from England (Anna’s birthplace, incidentally), theatrical innovators Complicite bring the acclaimed novel Lionboy to our stage. Finally, Pinocchio breathes some punk-rock life into Carlo Collodi's classic story.
The von Trapp Family (The Sound of Music):
Georg (father), Maria (stepmother), Liesel (kid, age 16…going on 17), Friedrich (kid, age 14), Louisa (kid, age 13), Kurt (kid, age 11), Brigitta (kid, age 10), Marta (kid, age 8), Gretl (kid, age 7)
How do you solve a problem like a von Trapp Membership? There are just so many people to please: Liesl is growing up too fast, Louisa is a loveable troublemaker, Brigitta prefers a quiet afternoon with a book and, well, you get the idea. Their differences aside, the family shares a love of music and showmanship, so there are certainly ways to build a New Vic Membership that satisfies everyone.
For this group, I would recommend The Old Man and The Old Moon, Cambuyón and Cirque Ziva. The Old Man and The Old Moon is a rollicking, indie-rock fable with a fantasy twist that will charm even the most serious of theatergoers (I’m looking at you, Georg). The percussive rhythms of Cambuyón fuse music and dance with Spanish flair, while Cirque Ziva is a technicolor, tour-de-force that makes holiday show planning a no-brainer.
The Bigelows (Carousel):
Billy (dad), Julie (mom), Louise (kid age 8)
Theater is bustin' out all over! In the Bigelow home, Louise is always the center of attention--she'll be a star one day, we just know it! Billy and Julie are very encouraging of her outgoing nature, and want to introduce her to as many forms of self-expression as possible. The Magic Flute fuses Mozart's masterful opera with marimbas and myth. The Light Princess is a charming musical fairy tale that is bound to leave the audience giggling with delight. Finally, over spring break, the three will take a trip to see Catch Me! (Attrape-Moi), a high-flying, non-stop French-Canadian circus that blends astounding aerial acts with wild witticism.
Every production features Family Activities to do together pre-and-post show and a series of Public Engagement activities. Learn more about Arts Express, TXT Marks the Spot and Talk-Backs and make your time at the theater even more hands-on and memorable.
For additional assistance, our Ticket Services representatives are prepped and ready to give recommendations based on your family’s interests. You can reach them at 646.223.3010 during these hours. Thanks so much for being part of the New Vic community, and I look forward to seeing you and your family on 42nd Street this season.
Christina Macchiarola, Marketing & Communications Manager for The New 42nd Street, is in her 3rd season with The New Victory Theater. Christina previously worked as the Business & Legal Affairs Associate / Intern Coordinator for Disney Theatrical Group, the General Management Assistant for Snug Harbor Productions and the Online Marketing Assistant for WICKED (321 Theatrical Management). She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Management & Producing from Columbia University, and is so thankful for her loving, arts-encouraging family (who continue to see shows at The New Vic)!