One of the many advantages of having NYC in our backyard is that we have easy access to the arts. Even better, we have access to art programs that involve children! New York City Children’s Theater is one of the many wonderful cultural resources that’s within reach, and we’re so grateful for that!
A few weeks ago, we were invited to visit the New York City Children’s Theater to enjoy the debut show of The Amazing Adventures of Harvey and the Princess. New York City Children’s Theater is well known for making books sing, and Barbara Zinn Krieger did just that with this production. Laurie Berkner wrote the songs and lyrics, which made this production fantastic and fun.
The story follows the pursuits of a mime named Harvey and what happens when he encounters a spoiled princess. Harvey’s friends and the princess’ parents add some fun and giggles to the stage.
The set was a simple stage, transformed by various boxes and lights. The main characters, Laura Hankin and Ben Laxton, engaged young children while bringing a lovely story to life. Sarah Charles and Liam Fennecken seamlessly morphed into multiple characters, bridging the best parts of the story with imagination and grace.
Harvey, the main character and child mime, was fun and silly. Ben Laxton was convincing and charismatic as he made his way from the seaport in a box all the way to the princess’ home. Princess Mindy was bratty but bold. I loved her solos and animated tantrums which elicited a few giggles from the crowd. Sarah Charles’ Gert and queen characters were fun and formidable. Charles’ voice was mesmerizing and well suited for her royal role. Fennecken’s Gert and king characters rounded out the ensemble with his hilarious portrayals and regal role.
The music and lyrics, without a doubt, were a highlight of The Amazing Adventures of Harvey and the Princess. Throughout the production, with the upbeat accompaniment and cheerful, catchy songs, it was evident that Berkner lent her talents to this wonderful play. The guitar, keyboard and percussion instruments playfully sustained the tone of the play, enhancing the fun characters and coloring the words with smiles. Berkner fans (like us) will appreciate this fun production, and even the sweet surprise song for the encore.
The New York City Children’s Theater’s production of The Amazing Adventures of Harvey and the Princess is a treat for music and theater-loving families. I appreciate that this is a preschooler-friendly production that keeps even the littlest theater-goer engaged. It was so fun to take my 2-year old to this his production, which is based on the book called Harvey the Child Mime written and illustrated by Loryn Brantz. At just 50 minutes long, The Amazing Adventures of Harvey and the Princess was a great timeframe for kids and parents.
The Amazing Adventures of Harvey and the Princess is playing at the New York Children’s Theater at Theater 3 311 W. 43rd st., 3rd floor until December 7.