The shows participating in this year's event include Altar Boyz, Avenue Q, Beauty and the Beast, Chicago, The Color Purple, Company, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Fantasticks, Grey Gardens, Hairspray, Jay Johnson: The Two and Only, Les Misérables, The Lion King, The Little Dog Laughed, Mamma Mia!, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Phantom of the Opera, The Producers, Rent, Stomp, Tarzan, Translations and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Julie Andrews, the famed stage and screen actress, and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, the co-founder of the Bay Street Theatre, serve as "National Ambassadors" for this year's event. “Emma and I are thrilled to be associated with this wonderful program, which helps to expose young people to the wonderful world of Broadway theatre,” said Ms. Andrews in a release. “Since its inception, over 200,000 people have participated in Kids’ Night in New York alone, and we look forward to reaching even more families with the message that there is no greater entertainment than Broadway.”
Kids' Night includes a "Pre-Theater Fan Festival" at Madame Tussauds on both days of the event. The festival is intended to introduce kids to the theatre via activities such as dance lessons, a make-up station and karaoke. Cast and crew members of Broadway shows will participate.
Certain theatre-district restaurants will offer family-friendly dinner discounts and free entrées for each child accompanied by an adult who also purchase an entrée. In addition, Broadway audience members receive a special souvenir Playbill written by local teenagers.
This year the event has partnered with Autism Speaks, a non-profit devoted to increasing awareness of autism and funding autism research. The League of American Theatres and Producers will include information about the organization on its printed materials and web sites. Members of the Broadway community will be creating artwork that will be auctioned off in the spring, with proceeds going to Autism Speaks. Kids Night events will take place in other cities as well. For more information see www.KidsNightOnBroadway.com.