Erin Leigh Peck is a New York based actor, writer and mother. She has performed on and off Broadway, in regional theatre and on tour, in films and on television. She most recently appeared Off-Broadway in The Toxic Avenger Musical and can often be seen on television in various commercials. Erin's play Mother of Mine is a contemporary 'dramedy' about pregnancy, parenthood and postpartum. She is the proud and busy mother of two extremely awesome kids. Please visit her web site, www.ErinLeighPeck.com.
BWW JR: POTTED POTTER
May 13, 2013
This summer, the perfect show for Harry Potter fans returns: Potted Potter, starting previews May 30th at the Little Shubert Theatre, takes on the challenge of condensing, or 'potting' all seven Harry Potter books into 70 minutes, aided only by multiple costume changes, songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic. The show also invites audiences to engage with a real life game of Quidditch, featuring a unique set of rules.
BWW JR: Rudetsky and More Benefit Computer School at NIGHT OF STARS Concert
May 2, 2013
This Monday, the Computer School brings Broadway to the Upper West Side! The school's annual Night of Stars concert raises money for the Computer School After School Music Program, helping to provide scholarships, keep fees low, and purchase new instruments.
BWW JR: MATILDA
April 24, 2013
As adults, we are used to digesting the concept of sets, costumes and staging that comment onthe action. As children, we accept them as atmosphere. That is until you encounter a show where all the elements are equally as impressive and important as the performances. While my daughter was certainly wowed by the ensemble of fiercely talented (and remarkably well rehearsed) kids on stage, she was also for the first time enthralled by the production values surrounding their performances. A new phase in her journey of theatrical discovery.
BWW JR: ADVENTURES FROM EZRA JACK KEATS AT TADA! YOUTH
April 24, 2013
Set in a big apartment building, Apt. 3 is the simple tale of two young brothers who hear saxophone music (in the book it's harmonica) coming from one of their neighbors. While searching for the source, they go on an aural journey, hearing diverse voices and sounds behind every door. Since there's not a lot of plot, director/choreographer Joanna Greer cleverly incorporates dance interludes that are meant to communicate what the boys are feeling: fear, adventure and excitement all rolled into one. It's a bit Dance Moms at times but it gives the ensemble a chance to show off their moves and enhances the slight story. The lighting design, full of dark blues, greens and black, is reminiscent of the book's rich illustrations.
BWW JR: THE NEW YORK CHILDREN'S THEATER FESTIVAL
April 15, 2013
From April 19 through May 5th, three original productions for kids will be showcased in NYC as part of the The New York Children's Theater Festival at The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater (10 West 64th Street at Central Park West). This is the second year for the Festival which provides a birthplace in NYC for new live children's entertainment from around the globe, and serves as a platform for writers and producers who are passionate about developing innovative theatrical experiences for children. Here's the low-down on this year's NYCTF productions:
BWW JR: OFF THE MAP
April 15, 2013
A subway train has fallen off the map, and everyone is eager to see the conductor put it back where it belongswell, almost everyone. When one adventurous girl boards the train with a plan of her own, just how far will the the conductor follow her to get the train back on track? Reimagine the world underground in this new performance for 2-5-year olds. Puppetry and projection combined with original music and innovative storytelling create new destinations for the New York City subways, extending beyond the limits of our city maps. Stand clear of the closing doors...
BWW JR: MARIO THE MAGICIAN
April 11, 2013
The show begins with a movie introducing us to Mario the Magician. The children listened quietly as we learned about Mario and how he found magic. When he came out onstage it was as if we were meeting an old friend. The brief movie gave us a moment to connect with Mario. We were sold and he did not disappoint. From the moment Mario the Magician came out on stage he had every single child's attention. His slapstick comedy routine was modern and edgy. Not at all corny which is something I have unfortunately come to expect at a children's performance. The adults seemed to enjoy the performance as much as the children. I know I did. I haven't laughed like that in a long time. It was brilliant.
BWW JR: Why I Took My Nine-Year-Old to KINKY BOOTS
April 8, 2013
The question gave me pause. It hadn't occurred to me until that moment that many of the parents in our community might be shocked to hear that my nine year old is asking these kinds of questions. But I wanted her to know that when we hide something, we imply that it's bad or shameful, and that makes people afraid, and fear makes people do mean things. I would never let my daughter see a play that was violent or scary, and am trying to raise her up to be a person who doesn't hurt other people. Someone that accepts people for who they are.
BWW JR: Private Benefit Performance of MATILDA
April 4, 2013
Two things we love here at BroadwayWorld Jr.: Broadway shows for families and the development of terrific new public schools in New York City. Here's your opportunity to be a part of both. The Hebrew Charter School Center (HCSC) is inviting fans of great family theater to a special benefit performance of Matilda on Sunday April 21st at 3:00 pm. All proceeds of the benefit will go to HCSC, which is working to develop high quality Hebrew language charter schools in the New York area and across the country.
BWW JR: THE STINKY CHEESE MAN AND OTHER FAIRLY STUPID TALES
March 26, 2013
Does anyone do fairy tales straight anymore? I don't think so-and that's a good thing. Even Disney threw out the old helpless princess saved by the handsome price routine over a decade ago. Still, no one has quite the same twisted take on childhood classics as author Jon Scieszka. He doesn't just reinvent fairy tales, he blows them to bits. In his world, the Ugly Duckling really is an ugly duckling, and she's totally okay with that, thank you very much.
HOW TO ACT LIKE A KID's Henry Hodges Set for Book Signing at Drama Book Shop Today
March 26, 2013
Today, March 26th (5:30-7:pm), Tim Federle, author of Better Nate Than Ever, will interview the 19 year old author, Henry Hodges, who wrote 'How To Act Like a Kid,' at the Drama Book Shop. The interview will be followed by a Q&A with the audience followed by a book signing.
HOW TO ACT LIKE A KID's Henry Hodges Set for Book Signing at Drama Book Shop, 3/26
March 20, 2013
On Tuesday March 26th (5:30-7:pm), Tim Federle, author of Better Nate Than Ever, will interview the 19 year old author, Henry Hodges, who wrote 'How To Act Like a Kid,' at the Drama Book Shop. The interview will be followed by a Q&A with the audience followed by a book signing.
BWW JR: A (Tooth) Fairy Tale
March 18, 2013
In this hour-long show, young Samuel is challenged by aspects of childhood (including what feels like a plethora of rules). This leads to a role-reversal with the over-extended Tooth Fairy when she appears one evening to collect his lost tooth. The switch-a-roo does not go as smoothly as predicted, sparking adventures and mishaps throughout New York City.
2013 New York Children's Theater Festival Begins 4/19
March 18, 2013
Three original productions will be showcased at the The New York Children's Theater Festival running Friday April 19 through Sunday May 5 at The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater (10 West 64th Street at Central Park West). Tickets are $18 ($15 YMCA members) are available at Ovationtix (866-811-4111) and www.newyorkchildrenstheaterfestival.org.
BWW NEWS DESK: HOW TO ACT LIKE A KID- Special Excerpt!
March 6, 2013
Nineteen-year-old Henry Hodges has spent the last fifteen years either on stage or in front of a camera. From playing Chip in 'Beauty and the Beast' to Jeremy Potts in 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' and Michael Banks in 'Mary Poppins,' Henry has practically lived on Broadway for most of his young life.
BWW JR: Cinderella
March 6, 2013
Anyone who's been reading my column knows that my daughter HATES princesses. I don't blame her. The Disney merchandising machine has taken over most kids' lives to the point where it's often impossible to procure a toddler spoon or potty seat that doesn't have an Arielle or Sleeping Beauty theme. Either that or Dora. And I don't want to see either one of those chicks on my kid's potty seat. No offense.
BWW Jr: SHADOW PLAY
February 19, 2013
Have you ever wondered what happens to your shadow while you sleep? Well, it turns out that some shadows are more mischievous than others. And soon after moving to his new home, Flash discovers that his shadow has moving plans of his own! In the middle of the night, Flash's shadow packs up a few belongings and goes in search of a new home on the moon. Will they ever reunite? Follow the playful adventures of Flash and his exciting quest to reunite with his shadow in this multimedia performance for the youngest of audiences (ages 2-5) and the young at heart.
BWW Jr: Better Nate Than Ever
January 29, 2013
Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he's wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he'd settle for seeing a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he's stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby's help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There's an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom.
BWW JR: SHOW WAY, PERFECT FOR MLK DAY
January 16, 2013
During the weeks before Martin Luther King Day, my childrens' schools always bring attention to the life of Dr. King and the civil rights struggles that have existed and still exist around the world. I'm always appreciative of the effort, but every year I find myself wondering how much of the lessons hold any real meaning. As an adult living in New York in 2013, I find it difficult to truly appreciate Dr. King's teachings. What do I know about being denied my civil rights? I get outraged when the MTA raises the cost of a subway ride or when my child is locked out of a popular after school activity. How much understanding could my nine year old possibly have of the complex phsycological and sociological history of the African American experience?
BWW JR: THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
December 31, 2012
It's been a while since I made a last-minute decision to see a Broadway show. Not only does having kids make most of your life a scheduled occurance, but the nature of my job here at BroadwayWorld involves contacting theatre marketing folks to let them know you're interested in covering something or responding to an invite before setting foot inside a theatre. In fact, I believe the last time I just checked out what was at TKTS was my senior year at NYU. I won't tell you what year it was but here's a hint: I saw Blood Brothers. Yup, been a while.
BWW JR: Dr. Seuss' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! The Musical
December 17, 2012
This was one tough weekend for parents across the nation. With lumps in our throats, we shut off the news and swallowed our feelings, putting on a happy face for our kids and trying our best to make them feel safe while the events in Newtown, Ct. had destabilized our whole sense of how the world is supposed to work. Being from the area, I never realized just how important a role my secure enclave of a hometown played in my overall sense of well-being. Now that such horrific danger has touched a place I once believed to be sheltered and impregnable, just minutes from my hometown, I, like many parents, have been left to wonder if I will ever be able to protect my children.
BWW JR: Your Elementary School Play In the Spotlight!
December 11, 2012
Feel your school is deserving of a little (or a lot) more attention? We do too! How about a 'BWW School in the Spotlight' promoting your program and productions? To be considered, all you need to do is upload photos, videos, cast lists or other content to your show listings. Each Friday, BroadwayWorld handpicks a school to showcase and runs a story on our main Broadway page and on the respective regional page. Submit your content now - Friday's only a few days away and we may just pick your school! For questions/concerns/suggestions, reach out to us at email@example.com
BWW JR: Rabbit Season Begins with Velveteen
December 3, 2012
Using some simple props, three versatile actors recreate the classic story of the Velveteen Rabbit. In the style of Peter and the Starcatcher, a few somewhat neutral objects are very believably turned into functional costume pieces and help tell the story in a way that is imaginative and delightful. The show was funny without being over the top and adapted slightly for modern audiences (the wind-up toys boast double-A batteries) without losing the flavor of the well-known book by Margery Williams.
BWW JR: ANGELINA BALLERINA™ THE VERY MERRY HOLIDAY MUSICAL
November 27, 2012
Last year's holiday favorite ANGELINA BALLERINA THE VERY MERRY HOLIDAY MUSICAL returns to Vital Stage for another holiday season! Based on the characters created by Katharine Holabird and illustrated by Helen Craig, the Angelina Ballerina The Musical creative team returns with book and lyrics by Susan DiLallo, music by Ben Morss, and direction and choreography by Sam Viverito. Performances run on Saturdays and Sundays from November 17-January 13 at 11 am and 1 pm, with special holiday performances on November 23, December 5, December 24-27, December 31, and January 1 at 11 am and 1 pm. Tickets begin at $29.50. Premium seats are available for $49.50.
BWW JR: ELF
November 20, 2012
So with a happily thrown-in towel, I arranged for a few family visits to the most exciting holiday-themed shows in town. First on our list was ELF, the return of a seasonal Broadway musical based on one of my favorite films. This one is best for kids over five so I left my little guy to ponder religion at home while my nine-year-old and I headed down to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre with an open mind.
BWW JR: ANNIE
November 9, 2012
When I was a little girl (and not the kind Miss Hannigan sings about), I spent my afternoons dancing around the living room to my mother's tape (as intape) of "Hard Knock Life" while developing the poor singing habits that plagued a generation of belters raised on a particularly resonant recording of "Maybe". This was a very different time. Far away from the hard knocks of the 1930's and much sunnier than the recession of tomorrow, girls of my generation (Oh my God did I just say "girls of my generation"?) were touched by the pluck and spunk offered up by an orphan named Annie, an era of Broadway thereby considered itself officially influenced.
BWW JR: THE AMAZING MAX AND THE BOX OF INTERESTING THINGS Returns to MMAC
November 6, 2012
The Amazing Max selects all of his assistants at random from the audience, and each adds a unique element to the show. "Every assistant on stage is a potential loose cannon making every show very different, very dangerous and very, very interesting", said Max Darwin.
BWW JR: Tony Award-Winning ONCE Casting 5-7 Year Old Girl
October 25, 2012
The producers of Broadway's ONCE are seeking one five to seven year old girl to play IVANKA, the sweet natured daughter of GIRL. Actresses should be comfortable on stage and have the ability to sing. Producers stress that girls must be between 39 and 46 inches tall. Please submit a photo and resume to OncetheMusical@Gmail.com.
BWW JR: JACKIE AND ME at Atlantic For Kids
October 22, 2012
With all the Broadway shows my daughter (who's eight) and I have been privilaged to see lately, I was begining to think that theatre for older kids was all top-tier ticket prices and my little guy (who's four)would be my sole date for anything staged just for kids. We've enjoyed ANNIE, BRING IT ON, NEWSIES and several other Broadway offerings that appeal to kids, but the other great shows in town for kids seemed too babyish for my almost nine-year-old. Then last week, my daughter asked me if there were any plays without songs in them. I was determined to find a play for her to enjoy!
BWW JR: URBAN- May I Present Your Weekend Plans
October 19, 2012
When I heard that the New Victory Theatre, one of the best family theatres in New York (and probably the world) was presenting a show from Circo Para Todos , a professional circus school for disadvantaged and displaced kids in Cali, Colombia, I knew I had to be there to see the show. Not only am I a huge fan of circus and acrobatics (did you see what a sucker I was for Bring it On?), Colombian kids have a special place in my heart because a few years ago, my husband and I adopted one of them.
BWW JR: FANCY NANCY-Converting the Not-So-Fancy
October 1, 2012
I knew it was bound too happen sooner or later. My almost nine-year-old is getting too old for "kids" shows and my four year old boy is too boy for "girl" shows. So when the Vital Theatre Company, one of my favorite family theatre venues in town, invited me to the Pink Carpet Opening of FANCY NANCY THE MUSICAL, I did the only thing an editor of a family theatre column could do. I forced my son to join me.
BWW JR: Casting Call- MATILDA THE MUSICAL Seeks Young Stars!
September 24, 2012
MATILDA THE MUSICAL will be holding an open call for the role of Matilda in New York City on Sunday, September 30th at Pearl Studios (519 Eighth Avenue, 12th Floor, between 35th and 36th streets). Check-in begins at 10:00 AM in Studio C on a first come / first serve basis. Auditions will begin at 11:00 AM.
BWW JR: Broadway's Night Off
September 21, 2012
Maplewood, NJ is a Rockwell-esque little nook where theatre people with families hideaway beneath the oak trees. Three years ago, when baby #2 made his appearance, my husband and I took a deep breath and plunged our lives, head first, into this quaint suburban haven. (Full disclosure, I cried in my cross-over vehicle as we waved goodbye to a decade of memories in our Upper West Side apartment).
BWW JR: New York Children's Theater Festival Accepting Submissions for Spring 2013 Productions
September 18, 2012
Submissions for The New York Children's Theater Festival will be accepted October 1 through November 12, 2012, it was announced today by Festival co-founders Michael Shawn Lewis, Chelsey Shannon and Renee Barnett. In its second year, The New York Children's Theater Festival provides a birthplace in New York City for new live children's entertainment from around the globe, and serves as a platform for writers and producers who are passionate about developing innovative theatrical experiences for children.
BWW JR: BRING IT ON- Making Pep Cool Again
September 10, 2012
Can someone tell me when cheerleading became so cool? When I was in high school in the (ahem) 80's, we used to make fun of the cheerleaders. We called them "rah-rahs" and made fun of them when they wore their uniforms to school.
BWW JR: Manhattan Youth Ballet Fall Auditions
August 20, 2012
Manhattan Movement & Arts Center announces auditions for Manhattan Youth Ballet's Fall Program at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center. Auditions will take place on Wednesday, September 5, 2012. Appointments must be made by phone at 212-787-1178.
BWW JR: The Odd Life of Timothy Green
August 14, 2012
Limbo is coming. That long, seemingly endless expanse of time between the end of camp and the start of school. Some of us are lucky enough to be vacationing, but some of us are trapped. In the heat. Listening to that ongoing, juvenile chant: "I'm bored. I'm bored. I'm bored." In some cultures children say "What do I do NOW?" but it's all the same meaning: For the last two weeks of August through Labor Day, families need activities. Preferably ones that involve air conditioning. In the often fruitless search for movies you can actually enjoy with your kids, it's always nice to hit the jackpot, and tomorrow movie-goers across the country just may: The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a movie you can actually enjoy with your kids. And it will take up whole hour and 45 minutes. Plus previews.