Building on the success of 1997's "Kids Night On Broadway," wherein parents paying a full priced ticket for a Broadway show could bring a child, under 18, for free, "Kids Night" returns this winter, Jan. 27 and Feb. 3 & 10, for 28 Broadway shows.
Though it was earlier reported that Kids Night would be unable to do another gala Kids Fair event because Roseland, last year's venue, was booked, the good news is -- the Kids Fan Festival is back, Jan. 27, 3-7 PM, at the Roseland Ballroom on West 52nd St. Anyone who purchased tickets to one of the four Kids Night performances is invited to the free gala. Last year's Fair drew 2,000 children and parents. The event features behind the-scenes looks at Broadway shows and such special events as playing the drums with Noise/Funk cast-members and Cats face painting. The idea behind the big event is to cross a college job fair with the glamour and fun of Broadway.
Tickets for the entire "Kids Night" package (including the Fan Fest and dinner options) were on sale Oct. 26-Nov. 4. The basic free ticket promotion is available through Nov. 19. For more information call (212) 563-BWAY.
As for the promotion itself, League of American Theatres & Producers spokesperson Kit Messick told Playbill On-Line, "We're gonna try to keep it pretty much the same as last year. We're looking for a parking sponsor and hope for twice as many participating restaurants as last year. Sarah Jessica Parker (How To Succeed..., Sylvia) will serve as this year's spokesperson. "I hope Broadway will come to mean so much to these children as it means to me," she said in a statement.
* Participating in this year's event are: Broadway -- Forum, Noise/Funk, Capeman, Cats, Chicago, Diary Of Anne Frank, Forever Tango, Grease!, Jekyll & Hyde, King And I, Last Night Of Ballyhoo, Les Miz, Miss Saigon, Phantom Of The Opera, Rent, Scarlet Pimpernel, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Street Corner Symphony, The Old Neighborhood, The Sound Of Music, Titanic and A View From The Bridge. Off-Broadway: I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Stomp.
Here's the "Kids Night" story: As part of a plan to make Broadway more kid-friendly, a parent who buys tickets to Broadway shows for the dates chosen will be able to get a second ticket -- free -- for a child ages 6 to 18.
"Kids Night" isn't just a New York phenomenon; theatre across the country are also taking part in the promotion. Here is a list of Kids Nights Across the Country, listed alphabetically by city:
Austin, TX: The Phantom of the Opera, at Bass Concert Hall/University of Texas at Austin Performing Arts Center, Tuesday, Jan. 27 (7:00 PM). On Sale: Nov. 7 at University of Texas box office.
Cincinnati, OH: The King & I at Arnoff Center, Tuesday, Feb. 10. On Sale: Dec. 14, 1998. (513) 749-4949.
Columbus, OH: The King & I at Ohio Theatre, Tuesday, Feb. 3. On Sale: Dec. 12. (614) 431-3600
Costa Mesa, CA: Big, at Orange County Performing Arts Center, Tuesday, Feb. 10. On Sale: Dec. 21, (714) 556-2787, ext. 240.
Denver, CO: Big at Buell Theatre, Tuesday, Feb. 3. On Sale: Jan. 4. (1 800) 641 1222.
Detroit, MI: Annie at Masonic Temple Theatre, Tuesday, Feb. 10. On sale: Nov. 21. (313) 832-2232
Houston, TX: Big at Jones Hall, Tuesday, Jan. 27. (713) 629-3700.
New Orleans, LA: Annie at Saenger Theatre, Tuesday, Feb. 3. On Sale: Dec. 14, (504) 522-5555.
Pensacola, FL: Annie at Saenger Theatre, Tuesday, Jan. 27. Box Office - (850) 444 7686.
Pittsburgh, PA: Tap Dogs at Byham Theatre, Tuesday, Jan. 27. On Sale: Jan. 5, 1998 (412) 456-1350.
Providence, RI: The Phantom of the Opera at Providence Performing Arts Center, Tuesday, Feb. 10 (8 PM). On sale Dec. 1 at Providence PAC box office.
Sacramento, CA: Bring in Da Noise/Bring in Da Funk at Community Center Theatre, Tuesday, Jan. 27. Currently on sale: (916) 557-1999.
Seattle, WA: Bring in Da Noise/Bring in Da Funk at Paramount, Tuesday, Feb. 3. On sale: Dec. 7, (206) 292-2787.
Tallahassee, FL: Smokey Joe's Cafe at Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center, Tuesday, Feb. 10. Currently on sale: (800) 322-3602.
For a look at the previous "Kids Night" promotion, please see the Playbill On-Line story, "Little Talents Fill Big Top At First-Ever 'Kids Night On Broadway'."
-- By David Lefkowitz