The Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University, now in its fifth year as the premiere venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for NYU and lower Manhattan, has announced a new programming series for the 2008-09 season aimed at children and families. The series, entitled Big Red Chair, will feature eight (one a month except for April) fun and affordable multi-arts performances throughout the season for the entire family.
The inaugural event of the new series will be an appearance by the Dirty Sock Funtime Band on September 20 at 11 am, $22. This is some of “the most innovative and exciting children’s music ever,” according to MTV radio. This concert will be full of music, dance, and all-around excitement that breaks down the boundaries of what music should be. Ages 3 and up.
Other events in the Big Red Chair series for 2008-09 are:
Russian American Kid’s Circus Oct. 4 - 11:00 am & 2:00 pm $22
Performed for kids, by kids - trained and produced by veterans of the world-famous Moscow Circus. It’s circus time at the Big Red Chair and the professional circus stars are kids! From ages 6 to 16, these artists fill the stage with a blur of spangles, dazzling audiences with soaring acrobatics, synchronized unicycling, black light juggling, clowning, and acts of precision balancing in the spectacular tradition of the circus. Performances have sold out in over 34 States, Canada, and the British Virgin Islands. All ages.
Aurélia’s Oratorio Nov. 20-21 - 8:00 pm, Nov. 22 - 2:00 & 8:00 pm $40
This is the New York premiere of this dazzling display of stage illusion that draws inspiration from the worlds of music hall, variety, and circus to create a concoction of illusion and fantasy. Audiences will be welcomed into a beautiful and twisted fantasy world where dresses dance, kites fly their people, and puppets run amok while the lithe Aurélia emerges from a dresser drawer only to escape to the top of the red velvet stage curtain. Conceived and directed by renowned circus performer, Victoria Thierrée Chaplin especially for and with her daughter, Aurélia Thierrée, the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin. Co-presented by French Institute: Alliance Français. Ages 10 and up.
The Nutcracker Dec. 12 - 7:00 pm, Dec. 13— 2:00 & 7:00 pm, Dec. 14- 2:00 pm $25-$65
Enjoy a sugarplum delight with the world-renowned Joffrey Ballet School of New York City, enchanting music by Tchaikovsky, lavish costumes and beautiful dancing. Under the artistic direction of George De La Pena, The Nutcracker brings to life Clara’s holiday dream filled with children, her mischievous brother Fritz, and the object of her adolescent fancy, Hans Peter, Drosselmeyer’s handsome assistant. All ages.
Kevin Johnson, Ventriloquist - “Tongue-in-Cheek, So to Speak” Jan. 10 - 11:00 am & 8:00 pm $22
Called “seriously funny” and “one of the most unique talents around” by colleagues, Kevin is mostly recognized from his 2006 runner-up finish on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Having practiced since the age of 9, Kevin is leading the way for a whole new generation of ventriloquism. Come laugh, be amazed, and fall in love with Kevin and his feathered friends, Clyde and Matilda, during these special New York performances. All ages.
Rebecca Frezza & Big Truck Feb. 7 - 11:00 am $22
It’s time to rock out with Rebecca Frezza and her NAAPA Gold and Parent’s Choice Award-winning band, Big Truck. With Rebecca “behind the wheel,” Big Truck offers the family a seven-piece band to sing and dance with all morning, giving the kids what the kids want: great music and fun. Don’t miss this eclectic, high energy presentation of music and synchronized dance movement that will get little feet and big feet alike movin’ and groovin’. Ages 4-8.
Hot Peas ‘n Butter Mar. 28 — 11:00 am $22
It’s World Music for kids! NY based Danny Lapidus and Francisco Cotto combine Afro-Caribbean rhythms, jazz, R&B, folk, and rock to become Hot Peas ‘N Butter. Bringing a sense of fun and funk to the Big Red Chair, Hot Peas ‘N Butter play the sounds of the world with you on our stage. As seen on Noggin and Nickelodeon and heard on XM and Sirius Satellite Radio, Hot Peas ‘N Butter inspires care and creativity in kids and adults alike while making sure that everyone wants to get up and dance. Ages 3 and up.
Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny May 9 — 11:00 am $22
The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia caps off the Big Red Chair season with its double-bill adaptation of Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd’s beloved bedtime classics, Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. Ages 2-7.
For a current listing of the Skirball Center’s 2008-2009 season of events visit: www.skirballcenter.nyu.edu . Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Center’s website, by phone at 212.352.3101, or in person at the Skirball Center’s Shagan Box Office. New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is located at 566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Square South).