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Dec 09

Best of Broadway 2014: Camp Broadway’s Year End Review

Here at Camp Broadway, our staff is always checking out the newest openings on the Great White Way to discover the latest and greatest shows that are suitable for our young theatergoers and their families.  As 2014 comes to a close, the team at Camp Broadway has looked back on all of the wonderful productions that have opened over the last year to name our Best of Broadway 2014. We’ve picked productions that offer something for every member of your family, from the youngest theatergoer, to teenagers, to grandparents. The fast-approaching new year means saying goodbye to some old favorites to welcome in exciting new productions.  We’re highlighting some CB favorites to catch before they close in early January, and calling out the productions heading to Broadway that we are most excited to see.

Note: A show was to have opened between January 1, 2014 and December 20, 2014 in order to be considered eligible. Our evaluation criteria includes the following: appropriateness for kids, ages 8-18; enjoyability for parents and adults; quality of storytelling; quality of performances; and quality of various artistic elements (costumes, scenic design, lighting, sound, etc.).

1. Aladdin

Camp Broadway took 100 campers to Aladdin the Musical this past July and it instantly became our new family favorite. The colorful costumes and stunning sets transported us to “A Whole New World.” Disney’s newest Broadway musical playing at the New Amsterdam is perfect for the entire family. It features your favorite songs from the 1992 film, along with some new tunes written for this production. When asked about their favorite part,  our CBers unanimously chose the showstopping “Friend Like Me” number performed by the Genie (James Monroe Iglehart). This high-energy performance is sure to have you on your feet and wishing for more.

2.The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Last year, the CB staff had the unique opportunity of attending a screening of the National Theatre’s production of Curious Incident in the West End, and we were mesmerized by this brilliant staging of Mark Haddon’s bestselling book. When it transferred to Broadway, we were interested to see how the design team would transition the production from in-the-round to proscenium, and were pleased to see them introduce new technical effects.  The story follows 15-year-old Christopher Boone, played by Alex Sharp, as he uses his exceptional intelligence to solve the mystery of who killed his neighbor’s dog, Wellington. His extraordinary ability to think in numbers leaves him struggling to connect emotionally to those around him. Curious Incident makes for a great first introduction to plays for your budding theatergoer. (This production is recommended for children 10 and up due to some strong language and themes.)

3. On the Town

On the Town is THE show for the dancer in your family. The Broadway revival follows Gabey (Tony Yazbeck) and two of his shipmates who embark on a whirlwind tour of New York City in the hopes of finding some dames in their 24-hour shore leave. Gabey is lovestruck by a subway poster featuring this month’s “Miss Turnstiles,” Ivy Smith, and is determined to find her before he returns to sea. Ivy Smith is played by New York City Ballet principal dancer, Megan Fairchild in her first acting role.  The show features beautiful ballets and tap dancing, among other styles that will captivate your dance lover.

4. Beautiful

The CB administrative team saw Beautiful in previews last winter, but it is still fresh in our minds and remains one of our favorites.  Great for lovers of music and its history, Beautiful traces Carole King’s music career from age 16 when she barged into Don Kirshner’s studios at 1650 Broadway, to her solo performance at Carnegie Hall in 1971. The flashy costumes, hit songs, and incredible story create a show that offers something for everybody–whether you’re a Carole King fan, or don’t yet realize how many classic tunes were penned by her.  We saw this production with CB director/choreographer Michelle Robinson, and found ourselves discussing each staff member’s connection to Carole King’s songs and album.  Despite generational differences, King’s music catalog has an incredible reach, and this musical is sure to find a point of relation to each member in your family.  Beautiful was one of the top requested shows and a favorite for families who attended Camp Broadway this past summer.

Shows to catch before they leave:            

 

 

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