Theater for the Very Young: The Green Sheep

I often wonder at what age my daughter will be ready to go to the movies. But until we were invited to The Green Sheep at the New Victory Theater I never even imagined taking my two year old to a Broadway show.

Based on the popular children's book Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek, the show is an interactive theater experience for kids ages 1-5. The audience sits in a "sheep pen" and the action takes place all around so kids are free to fidget, stand, talk, walk and hug their mommies which makes it the perfect first performance experience for kids. And, I can honestly report that I watched probably close to 60 babies and toddlers delightedly follow along and heard not one cry the entire time.

While waiting for the show to start we were seated on a huge green field which was scattered with crayons and coloring paper and of course crawling with kids, this alone probably would have been entertainment enough for hours. But soon the action began as the actors appeared asking "have you seen the green sheep?" We were then led into the sheep pen where musician Matt Johnston played one cool percussion instrument after another with dreamy effect.

As the show continued we met blue sheep and swing sheep and brave sheep and so on but over and over again the actors asked "but where is the green sheep?" Soon the older kids where jumping up and down and shouting along each time this question was asked. I won't give anything away, but the build up created much excitement and rest assured the green sheep was found at the end. It's nearly impossible not to have a smile plastered on your face for the entire performance as you watch your kid fully buy into the experience and as we were leaving the theater my daughter gave what for her is the most glowing of reviews - "I want to watch it again".

The Green Sheep runs from September 10-25th with performances at 3PM on Thursdays and Fridays and at 10:30AM and 1PM on Saturdays and Sundays at the New Victory Theater . Regular tickets cost $20 and member tickets are $14. The show lasts 50 minutes but there is fun stuff before and after so plan to hang out a bit on either end.

Also, this is a great way for a parent working in mid-town to sneak in some bonding time. Pretend you have an important meeting and have the babysitter meet you at the theater for an hour or two of giggles.