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Holiday Shows for the Whole Family on Broadway and Off

December 2, 2011 - by Griffin Miller

Looking to catch some great theater while visiting NYC over the holidays? Here are eight sure-fire family stocking stuffers.

Angelina Ballerina The Very Merry Holiday Musical (vitaltheatre.org; thru 1/2) - An awesome new musical centering on an “absolutely positively spectacular holiday dance pageant” presented by the plucky mouse heroine and her friends!

Bai Xi (newvictory.org; thru 1/1) - New Victory Theatre’s sparkling holiday present in which a group of Cirque Shanghai’s most gifted contortionists, aerialists, and gymnasts perform daredevil feats to thrill the entire family with colorful feats of derring-do!

Cathy Rigby Is Peter Pan (theateratmsg.com; thru 12/31) - J.M. Barrie’s timeless tale about the boy who wouldn’t grow up and his adventures in Neverland is back in the famous musical version that premiered on Broadway in 1954 -- now starring legendary gymnast Cathy Rigby in the title role.

A Christmas Carol (Three, but like snowflakes, no two alike) - 1) At the Canal Park Playhouse (canalparkplayhouse.com; thru 12/24) - An intimate backdrop in which the ghost of Charles Dickens spins his fabled story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the spirits of Christmases Past, Present, and Future -- including holiday magic, classic physical comedy, and (on Saturdays) brunch at the theater’s Waffle Iron Café for an additional charge. 2) At Manhattan Children’s Theatre (mctny.org; thru 12/24): Modern movement plus traditional and original music set the scene for this production of the holiday classic. 3) At Abrons Arts Center Henry Street Settlement (henrystreet.org; thru 12/18): Images from 70 different film versions are projected onto moving screens using a modern-day version of the magic lantern. Unique, eerie & with older-kid/adult appeal.

Seven in One Blow, or the Brave Little Kid (axiscompany.org; thru 12/18) - It’s just before the holidays on a snowy winter day at the beginning of this interactive play based on the Brothers Grimm story about a brave youngster who wipes out seven flies with one swat and ends up on a phantasmagorical journey filled with fairy-tale characters.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (nycballet.com; thru 12/31) - The revered Tchaikovsky classic from the New York City Ballet boasts “a blizzard of ballerinas across the stage, sweeping you to exotic locales….marching toy soldiers…little Marie, and the valiant Nutcracker who saves her from the villainous Mouse King.”

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (narniaoffbroadway.com; open run) - A breathtaking theatrical adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s beloved first novel from The Chronicles of Narnia about the four Pevensie siblings who are transported via wardrobe to Narnia, home to the great lion Aslan and evil White Witch.

The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular (radiocitychristmas.com; thru 1/2) - This year’s version is a revamped must-see with numerous groundbreaking additions including a 3-D live scene, never-before-seen special effects, and some dazzling new Rockette™ numbers. Also in the mix: treasured favorites like the “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and the “Living Nativity.”

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