Apart from a biennial downtown festival, puppet shows are relatively rare in Manhattan, but a rather high-profile, family show is being sponsored by Macy's Puppet Theatre, Nov. 13-Dec. 24 at their Herald Square store location. Penned by William Schermerhorn and composer Mary Ehlinger, Percy, The Poor Little Penguin: An Original Holiday Musical boasts a host of Broadway voices and officially opens to the public Nov. 23.
With puppets created by Nicolo Coppola's Puppetworks, Percy tells of a penguin who has the bad luck to be allergic to snow. His friends, including a polar bear, a flamingo and, of course, Santa Claus, try to help him find someplace warm.
Roger Bart, a Tony winner for You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, is the voice of Percy, with the voices of The Spitfire Grill's Liz Callaway, Love! Valour! Compassion!'s Mario Cantone, Rent's Anthony Rapp, Suburb's Alix Korey, A Class Act's Jonathan Freeman also starring in the cast, alongside David Engel, John McDonough and "The Brady Bunch" matriarch Florence Henderson as the Narrator.
The show runs several times a day, seven days a week. Proceeds from all Monday performances go to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. For tickets ($2.50) and information on Percy, The Poor Little Penguin at Macy's call (212) 494-1917.
As for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Nov. 22, four Broadway shows will be featured in the event. Two definites, confirmed by parade spokesperson, are Mamma Mia! and 42nd Street, both to perform during the first hour (9-10 AM hour). Broadway's beloved Betty Buckley is also scheduled to head the event atop the first float, the Statue of Liberty float, singing "America the Beautiful" with accompaniment by orchestrator Jonathan Tunick. The Parade will be broadcast live on NBC-TV, 9 AM-noon (ET). — By David Lefkowitz
and Ernio Hernandez