I’ve got Marilyn Monroe on the brain after watching last night’s premiere of the new NBC series “Smash,” which follows development of a musical about the woman we all know as Marilyn Monroe. So I was delighted to learn, while exploring the website for Madame Tussauds in New York, that a wax likeness of Monroe is part of their interactive New York exhibit — which features New York icons from the Statue or Liberty to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Also Broadway, of course. But kids participating in the “Kids’ Night on Broadway” program this year can enjoy not only the interactive NY exhibit at Madame Tussauds, but also time with plenty of Broadway stars. Nick Jonas, whose career in the performing arts began on Broadway, is hosting today’s “pre-theater party” for “Kids’ Night on Broadway” ticketholders.
Jonas recently joined the cast of “How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying,” and is serving as the “Kids’ Night on Broadway” 2012 Ambassador. Jonas will be joined later today by hundreds of kids ages 6 to 18 who’ll gather at Madame Tussauds New York for Broadway dance lessons, time at special theatrical make-up stations, an “autograph alley” with Broadway performers and the chance to participate in Broadway Green Alliance’s bottle cap collection.
My daughter Lizabeth had hoped to cover the event for me, interviewing participating Broadway cast members and taking photos to share with Broadway fans in Arizona, but she’s rocking a nasty cold or flu bug of some sort and doesn’t want to share it. She’s a theater major who knows better than most that no one wants to catch something that might zap their voice or movement mojo.
Lizabeth and James participated in “Kids’ Night on Broadway” last year during the New York leg of their college admission tour travels. She’s now settled in nicely at Pace University, working on a B.F.A. in acting and helping me with arts coverage in the NYC area. She’s seen both Daniel Radcliffe and Daren Criss perform in “How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying,” and she’s eager to see it again now that Jonas is performing the role of J. Pierrepont Finch.
The Broadway League’s “Kids’ Night on Broadway” is “designed to introduce young people to live theater and make Broadway accessible to new generations of theatergoers by offering free tickets to kids ages 6-18 when accompanied by a full-paying adult.” There’s always a cause-related component — and this year it’s Givenik.com.
The Broadway League sent me this lovely list of shows participating in “Kids’ Night on Broadway” this year — Anything Goes, Chicago, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Godspell, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, Memphis, The Phantom of the Opera, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Rock of Ages, Seminar, Sister Act, Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark,Wicked, Wit.Off-Broadway: Avenue Q, The Gazillion Bubble Show, Freckleface Strawberry, Million Dollar Quartet, RENT, Stomp, Traces.
Cast members from various shows are participating in today’s 3-6pm fanfest for “Kids’ Night on Broadway” ticketholders, which opens at Madame Tussauds New York on 42nd Street at 2:30pm with remarks by Jonas, Charlotte St. Martin (Executive Director of the Broadway League), Jordan Roth (President of Jujamcyn Theatres and Founder of Givenik.com) and Bret Pidgeon (General Manager of Madame Tussauds NY).
This year’s “Kids’ Night on Broadway” program runs through Feb. 9 so it’s not too late to snag tickets. Oh, to be young again…
Coming up: Arts advocates gather at the Arizona Capitol