Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson, the current star of Chicago, hosts the event this year as well as the pre-show party at Madame Tussaud's in Times Square from 3 to 6:30 PM — allowing parents enough time to escort their kids to theatres by the 7 PM early curtain.
Among the festivities at the pre-theatre party, Richardson will join Chicago dancers in teaching the kids some dance moves, Cabaret's Neil Patrick Harris will invite kids to sing Broadway tunes karaoke-style and the cast of Hairspray will perform a special Kids' Night rendition of "Welcome to the Sixties" with added lyrics.
Presented by The League of American Theatres and Producers, Toys "R" Us and Madame Tussaud's New York, this year's event also includes an autograph booth with Broadway's stars, Beauty and the Beast makeovers, mock auditions, a dance party with Hairspray's Little Inez, a costume shop and more live entertainment from Broadway shows.
Among the shows participating in this season's Kids' Night are Aida, Beauty and the Beast, Cabaret, Chicago, Hairspray, Flower Drum Song, La Bohème, Les Misérables, Mamma Mia!, Man of La Mancha, Metamorphoses, Oklahoma!, The Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Stomp, Tartuffe and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
In addition, nearly two dozen restaurants in the theatre district will offer "family-friendly dinner discounts." Among them are Barbetta, Broadway Joe Steak House, Café Un Deux Trois, Casa di Meglio, Danny's Grand Sea Palace, Hamburger Harry's, Hurley's Saloon, Joe Franklin's, La Rivista, La Strada, Lundy's Midtown, Manhattan Chili Company, Matt's Grill, Palm Restaurant Westside, Pergola Des Artistes, Planet Hollywood, Playwright Act II, Rene Pujol, St. Andrews, Stage Deli, Texas Texas and The World (WWE). And, for the first time, a special proclamation for Kids' Night on Broadway will be issued by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. To date, Kids' Night on Broadway has provided over 200,000 kids the chance to attend live New York theatre. In a statement League President Jed Bernstein said, "The Broadway community is committed to providing opportunities for young people to experience the magic of live theatre. Kids represent the next generation of our audience, and we believe that by making it easier for parents to introduce young people to theatre, Broadway is making a vital investment in its future."
For more information, go to www.kidsnightonbroadway.com or call the Broadway Line at 1-888-BROADWAY.