Off-Broadway's New Victory Theatre continues to offer a mix of plays, dance companies and circus-acrobatic-style troupes, all part of the theatre's commitment to family-oriented shows that don't fall into the pejorative "children's theatre" trap. Among the companies featured in 2000-01 have been the UK's Young Vic outfit, Ping Chong's Kwaidan, and the world-famous Peking Acrobats.
Next up, March 2-18, comes Circus, from Amsterdam's Theater Terra, March 2-18. The name says it, sort of, as it's the tale of an 83-year-old grandpa who, with his grandson, decides to stage a circus for his fellow nursing home residents. The piece utilizes music and puppetry, not to mention acrobatics, in mixing vaudeville, circus stunts and drama.
Founded in 1977 by Theo Terra, the Terra company won the Hans Snoek Award for its Swan's Down, and their Towering played at the New Victory in 1997.
For tickets ($20-$10) and information on Circus at the New Victory Theater: 209 West 42 St., call (212) 239-6200.
* Upcoming shows at the New Victory include:
• March 23-April 1, 2001: Dance, acrobatics and juggling are part of "Party," a presentation by the Introdans company of the Netherlands.
• April 6-22, 2001: Celebrating their 48th year in show biz, it's The Peking Acrobats, bringing their gymnastic twirls and exotic music to the Off Broadway venue.
• May 4-13, 2001: In The Post Man Delivers, solo comic actor Robert Post creates such characters as a desperate basketball coach, a ballet master and his female prize pupil — and all eight suspects in an Agatha Christie mystery.
• May 18-June 3, 2001 brings gymnastic physical comedy with "Crash Test Dummies." No, not the pop group; it's the latest show by the New York based movement troupe, Antigravity. The group, comprising Olympic athletes and world class dancers, play crash test dummies undergoing basic training for their spectacularly dangerous career.
The New Victory serves as the 42nd Street host house for national and international productions, mostly geared towards New York City youth. The 1999-2000 season featured, among others,the Philadelphia Dance Company, Shockheaded Peter, Tomas Kubinek, Suzanne Farrell and the masters of 20th Century Ballet.
Among the practical information available on the company's website, www.newvictory.org, are show descriptions, schedules, show articles and reviews, special events listings, RealAudio and Video clips, online ticketing and a 3-D virtual tour of the New Victory Theatre.
— By David Lefkowitz