After three months of preparation and promotion, Broadway is not about to postpone the annual Kids Night On Broadway, even though up to a foot of snow is expected to fall on New York City Jan. 25.
The word from Kids Night organizers is that the Jan. 25 shows and Kids Night on Broadway events will go on.
A spokesperson from the League of American Theatres and Producers told Playbill On-Line that a snow policy had been developed. "Most theatres will exchange tickets before March 15 subject to availability," the League spokesperson said. "We understand if people have major issues."
At the NYPD's Midtown North Precinct, police spokesperson Lt. Green suggested that patrons be "guided by the conditions they're traveling in." Green told Playbill On-Line that the snowfall had not closed any streets and that no serious delays had been reported. "It's tapered off a bit," Green said, "and if that continues, it shouldn't be too bad."
A statement released by the Kids Night press agent indicates that "Fan Fair" will go on at 3 PM at the Roseland Ballroom, and that shows will have a 7 PM curtain time. The paper statement also indicated that while some exchanges can be made, subject to availability, exceptions may apply. Yesterday, a production spokesperson confirmed that tickets remain available for all participating Broadway shows for the annual Kids Night on Broadway. The program is based on one child ticket (ages 6-18) being provided for every full price adult ticket purchased. The participating shows are Les Miserables, Kiss Me, Kate, Miss Saigon, Swing, Jekyll & Hyde and Cats For the second Kids Night show, on Feb. 1, tickets still remain available for Les Miserables, Kiss Me, Kate, Miss Saigon, Chicago, Swing, Jekyll & Hyde, Cats and Rent. *
As reported earlier, tens of thousands of children are expected to participate in the Kids Night event, which will be held on various dates in nearly 20 cities nationwide.
In most participating cities, theatres are going to be offering the younger audiences a special 7 PM curtain as well as restaurant discounts. While many individual city schedules have not been finalized at this time, the League's Broadway Line at (888) BROADWAY or (212) 302-4111 in the NYC area, will provide certain regional updates.
"Kids Night" kicked off Oct. 17 with the first of two tie-in events, the "Rising Stars Live Broadway Talent Contest. The winners of the contest were Scott Bromshwig of Huntington, NY (age 8), followed by first runner up Ali Tigh Portville, NY (age 11), and second runner up Craig Connors Schenck of East Hampton, NY (age 16). Celebrity judges for the contest were Marilu Henner, Kristin Chenoweth and Bob Cuccioli.
The winners received tickets to Broadway shows, signed posters and CDs. Contest topper Scott Bromshwig and the runners up will perform at the "Kids' Fan Fair" on Jan. 25 (see next paragraph) prior to the "Kids Night" theatre performances. Beyond the top prizes, every entrant had the opportunity to be seen by a Broadway talent agent.
The second tie-in event takes place Jan. 25, 2000, prior to "Kids Night" itself, when the free "Kids' Fan Fair" takes place at the Roseland Ballroom, 239 West 52nd St., 3 - 6 PM. The fair offers backstage activities and precedes the Jan. 25 "Kids' Night" theatre performances. Children will be able to experience backstage activities meant to provide young theatregoers a sense of the behind-the-scenes magic of Broadway. Fair activities include specialized dance lessons, stage face painting, makeup design and trying on costumes from various Broadway shows.
In their joint statement, the League and TDF said that children can expect "free souvenirs, and much much more."
Since its inception in 1996, "Kids Night on Broadway" has helped 150,000 young people attend theatre productions in New York and across the country.
There is a Restaurant Program connected with "Kids Night" that provides one free child's dinner for every full-priced adult dinner. The New York City restaurants participating in the "Kids Night" program include: Bangkok Cuisine, Bistro 43, Broadway Diner, Broadway Joe Steakhouse, Cafe Un Deux Trois, Cancun Restaurant, Casa DiMeglio, Danny's Grand Sea Palace, Dillons, Dish of Salt, Hamburger Harry's, La Rivista, La Stanza Verde, La Strada, Le Bouchon, Les Pyrenees, Manhattan Chili Co. (1697 Broadway only), Matt's Grill, My Most Favorite Dessert Company, Pergola Des Artistes, Playwright Tavern & Restaurant, Playwright Tavern Act II, Puleo's, Puleo's Too, Rene Pujol, Swing 46, Texas Texas, Zona Grille, Stage Deli.
The following road shows are participating in the "Kids Night" program: Cats, The Civil War, Footloose, Les Miserables, Peter Pan, The Sound of Music and Titanic. Cities that will participate with their own "Kids Night" programs are: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Hartford, Indianapolis, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Louisville, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Wilmington.
For additional or specific information on "Kids Night on Broadway" call The Broadway Line at (888) BROADWAY or (212) 302-4111 in the New York City area.
-- By Murdoch McBride