Monday, September 24, 2018

New Victory Theatre Will Present Stage Version of Sendak's 'Where the Wild Things Are'

The Maurice Sendak Foundation announced that it has commissioned the first major and only full-length stage play adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. 

This stage adaptation follows a 1984 opera and 2009 film based on the classic children’s story. The New Victory Theater (a project of The New 42nd Street),New York City's premier performing arts nonprofit entirely devoted to kids and families, has committed to produce the play, marking its first foray into original production. The creative team for the production is in formation and will be announced at a later date.

The Foundation commissioned Sendak’s dear friend and collaborator, Arthur Yorinks, to write the script.

The Foundation remains steadfast in preserving Maurice Sendak’s artistic legacy and will remaster and reissue Sendak’s books with publishing partner HarperCollins in the coming years. Earlier this month, HarperCollins published Presto and Zesto in Limboland, a book discovered years after Sendak’s passing, co-authored by Arthur Yorinks. This is the third book collaboration for Yorinks and Sendak, predated by The Miami Giant (1995) and Mommy? (2006).

The University of Connecticut will house all Sendak’s book art in the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection by March 2019. Construction on an archive attached to Sendak’s Connecticut home has also been completed and will open to the public, by appointment only, in late 2019. This archive will house the rest of Sendak’s art. Additionally, the Sendak Fellowship & Workshop that has been a part of the Foundation since Sendak was alive will continue in 2019, taking place on the grounds of his home.

For more information on The Maurice Sendak Foundation visit For more information on Yorinks visit

The New Victory Theatre is located at 209 West 42nd St., NYC. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

New York City Children’s Theater Announces 22nd Season

In its 22nd season, New York City Children’s Theater (NYCCT) will premiere three theater productions for families that celebrate the power of imagination
Join NYCCT for three original, entertaining and enriching theater productions and along the way you'll help a friend who has trouble falling asleep, learn why some fairy tales never get old and live out your dreams without leaving your room.
Our 2018-19 season will also include classes, story time events and more!
Stanley always has trouble falling asleep - even counting sheep doesn't help! When he receives an invitation to visit the Kingdom of Pillowland, he sets off on an exciting adventure with his friends Finn, Quinn and you!

From the company that brought you Please Bring Balloons comes a new interactive play for your youngest theatergoers based on the hit song by Laurie Berkner.

Written by Barbara Zinn Krieger (Ballerina Swan)
Devised by Jonathan Shmidt Chapman (Up and Away)
Directed by Khalia Davis (Judy Moody and Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt)
Based on the song by Laurie Berkner

The Pete at The Flea Theater | 20 Thomas Street, NYC 10007

Select Sundays through April 14th at 10am and 12pm.

Best for ages 2-5 | Tickets: $25.00

The Emperor’s New Clothes and More Magical Stories by Hans Christian Andersen
A normal day at the park becomes so much more when a young girl gets swept away into four of Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairy tales: The Princess and the Pea, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Nightingale and The Ugly Duckling.

The company that brought you Interstellar Cinderellainvites you to discover why some fairy tales never get old.

Adapted for the Stage by Barbara Zinn Krieger (Interstellar Cinderella, Wanda’s Monster)
Devised and Directed by Adrienne Kapstein (War Horse, Wanda’s Monster)
Original Music by Charles Greenberg (Young Charles Dickens)

Playing at Theatre Row, a program of Building for the Arts NY, Inc.
410 West 42nd Street, NYC 10036

November 24th - December 22nd
Saturdays and Sundays at 11am and 2pm

Best for ages 5-8 | Tickets starting at $29.25

This is Sadie
What do you do when you get up before your parents on a Saturday morning? If you’re six-year-old Sadie, you take your favorite stuffed animal on a world-wide adventure, without ever leaving your bedroom!

From the company that brought you Ballerina Swan and the Nutcracker comes a new dance/theater show that celebrates the power of imagination!

Choreographed by Stephanie Klemons (Hamilton)
Scenario by Barbara Zinn Krieger (Ballerina Swan and the Nutcracker)
Based on the book by Sara O’Leary

Playing at Theatre Row, a program of Building for the Arts NY, Inc.
410 West 42nd Street, NYC 10036

March 30th - April 21st
Saturdays and Sundays at 11am and 2pm

Best for ages 3-8 | Tickets starting at $29.25

“Our beloved Artistic Director and Founder, Barbara Zinn Krieger, has worked with fantastic, established artists to create three world premiere productions that promise to delight families this season. Our shows will demonstrate to young theatergoers that curiosity, collaboration and a sense of wonder are all tools that can help change their world.” - Andrew Frank, Executive Director
Engage with Us:
Join us for pre-show activities in the lobby before every performance and take a picture with the cast after every performance!
Talk about the show with the cast and/or members of the creative team after select performances. See which performances include talkbacks here:
Engage with NYCCT on social media: Facebook,InstagramTwitterPinterestYoutube
#NYCCT | #IfYouImagine | #ImaginewithNYCCT 
Sensory Friendly Performances:
December 9th at 11am | The Emperor’s New Clothes…
April 13th at 11am | This is Sadie
For more information on sensory friendly performances, visit:
Group Sales:
Save 15% or more by bringing 10 or more people to a show! Visit or email for more information.
Also Happening This Season at NYCCT:
Boogie Woogie Books
Come play, sing and boogie woogie with New York City Children’s Theater!
Children up to 5 years of age and their grown ups will explore children’s books through live music, songs, movement and imaginative play in these 45-minute fun-filled classes!
Fall Session | September 22nd - November 17th
Spring Session | January 12th - March 16th
Park Avenue United Methodist Church 106 East 86th St, New York, NY 10028
To register, visit or call 646-250-1178
Story Time at Strand Books  
Join us throughout the year for a reading of a children’s book complimented by a craft and/or music class.

Pillowland | Saturday, September 15th at 11am
Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales | Saturday, November 17th at 11am
This is Sadie | Saturday, March 16th at 11am
Harvey, the Child Mime | Saturday, June 15th at 11am

Middle School Playwriting Competition

Now in its 5th Year!

NYCCT is seeking short plays from some of the most talented playwrights in New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut: Middle School Students!                 
Five (5) grand prize winners will receive a staged reading of their play, performed by professional actors at Theatre Row in May 2019, as well as another weekend of staged readings with Broadway pros in CT sponsored by The New Paradigm Theatre. Every entry will receive feedback from a theater professional.

For more information on the competition, please visit:       

About New York City Children’s Theater:
New York City Children’s Theater programs cultivate children’s growth in the areas of emotional intelligence, community building and responsible decision-making. The result is empathetic, creative and independent thinkers who make a positive impact on their world.
In 1996, New York City Children’s Theater began as the family theater and education program of the Tony Award-winning Vineyard Theatre. It became an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2001.

For more than 20 years, our local and nationally recognized arts-in-education programs and professional theater productions have served over 300,000 children and adults across all five boroughs and surrounding communities in the tri-state area.

Gracewell Prodiuctions

Gracewell Prodiuctions
Producing Inspiring Works in the Arts
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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists. Her play concept, "From Reel to Real: The Jennifer O'Neill Story" was presented as part of the League of professional Theatre Women's Julia's reading Room Series in New York. Shifting from reviewing to producing, Yarger owns Gracewell Productions, which produced the Table Reading Series at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, CT. She trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Intensive and other training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run. She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She wrote reviews of Broadway and Off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (, an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She was a contributing editor for She previously served as theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer, Connecticut theater editor for and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

She is a Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women. She is a former vice president and voting member of The Drama Desk.

She is a freelance writer and playwright (member Dramatists Guild of America). She is a member if the The Outer Critics Circle (producer of the annual awards ceremony) and a member of The League of Professional Theatre Women, serving as Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter. Yarger was a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.


All material is copyright 2008- 2022 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact


Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women or people of a certain race are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide, or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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