The New Victory Theatre has announced a season full of puppets, comedy, dance, and circus in its third season of family oriented fare.
Here's the 1998-99 line-up for the 42nd Street, Off Broadway venue:
Starting off New Victory's third season will be, as part of The Jim Henson Puppet Festival, Teatro Giaco Vita's puppet adaptation of Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird, Sept. 19-27.
Oct. 17-25 brings Wake Baby produced by Australia's Out of the Box Festival and Reckless Moments. In Wake Baby, a "spirit-child" is thrust into a phantasmagorical universe where broomsticks dance, toasters fly and books become magical friends.
Rolling in, Nov. 6-15, on his towering unicycle will be Tom Murphy, in his solo slapstick comedy routine, MetaMURPHosis Minor. England's acclaimed Young Vic Company arrive next with their adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales in Grimm Tales, Nov. 20-Jan. 3, 1999. Grimm combines some of the more famous fables (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood) with lesser-known fare of the Bros. (The Hare and the Hedgehog, Brother Scamp).
David Gonzalez and the D.D. Jackson Trio return with their funky re-interpretation of children's classic in MytholoJAZZ, Feb. 12-21, 1999.
Theater Grottesco brings The Angels' Cradle in March 4-14, 1999. In a subterranean city, four outcasts sing, dance and share discarded food until a homeless man from above discovers their world and joins it.
March 26-April 11, 1999, the Crossroad Theatre Company of New Jersey makes the New Victory its home with It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues. Blues illustrates the history of African-American music, beginning with a cappella plantation chants up through contemporary urban jazz.
Montreal's Theatre de l'Oeil chronicles the adventures of a worm named Pretzel in The Star Keeper, April 16- 25, 1999. With a cast of varying-sized puppets, Pretzel crosses the "dormitory of dreams," dives to the ocean depths and resists the bewitching charms of the Bubble Tamer to get his celestial charge back home.
Rounding out the season is the virtuosity of The New Shanghai Circus, April 29-May 23, 1999. With more than 2,500 years of circus tradition behind them, these incredible acrobats, contortionists and jugglers will certainly certainly end the New Victory season with a bang.
A Broadway theatre from 42nd Street's golden age, the New Victory Theatre (formerly the Victory Theatre) reopened Dec. 11, 1996 as an Off-Broadway venue. The 500 seat New Victory (209 West 42nd Street) presents theatre and films geared specifically for children. An organization called The New 42nd Street operates the theatre, working with Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Bill Irwin, Theatreworks/USA, Warrington Hudlin of the Black Filmmaker Foundation and others to schedule its first season.
The New Victory was the first theatre to reopen its doors under the multi-million dollar rehabilitation of 42nd Street, which also includes the newly-built Ford Center (Ragtime) and the renovation and 1997 reopening of Ziegfeld's old New Amsterdam Theatre (just across the street from the New Victory) as the throne of Disney's new theatre empire (with The Lion King).
For tickets and information on New Victory shows, call (212) 382-4020 (memberships) or (212) 239-6200 (individual tickets).
-- By Sean McGrath