Westport Country Playhouse has announced its 2016-17 Family Festivities Series on selected Sundays from November through April, featuring musical productions based on classic and new children’s stories. The six-show series includes the favorite tale, “Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat,” and a new show, “Twinkle Tames a Dragon, The Musical,” by Katharine Holabird, the author of the popular book series, “Angelina Ballerina.” Performances are at 1 and 4 p.m. Tickets, at $20 each, are now on sale.
A free-of-charge Family Festivities Kick-off Party will be on Sunday, November 13, 1 to 4 p.m., with story-reading, music, and other activities for kids.
Opening the 2016-17 series on Sunday, November 20, will be “The Mixed-Up Fairy Tale,” a musical produced by TheatreWorks USA, in which the audience needs to break a spell or Beauty will sleep for 100 years, convince Red Riding Hood to give up her cape, discover the secret under grandma’s bed, climb a beanstalk, and get a gold spoon from a 10-foot-tall giant. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.
“A Very Electric Christmas,” Sunday, December 18, produced by Lightwire Theatre, features timeless holiday hit tunes by Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey, Tchaikovsky, and more. Santa’s helpers are putting the final touches on presents as a young bird finds himself lost at the North Pole. As he makes his way home, he meets dancing poinsettias, Nutcracker soldiers, and other festive characters. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
“Biscuit,” Sunday, January 22, produced by ArtsPower, is a new musical featuring a frolicking little puppy named Biscuit who loves exploring, making new friends, and even stirring up some mischief. Along the way, Biscuit learns about the joy of having a family. With over 17 million books in print, “Biscuit” is a modern classic. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.
“Twinkle Tames a Dragon, The Musical,” Sunday, February 12, is produced by Vital Theatre Company. From Katharine Holabird, the author of the classic book series, “Angelina Ballerina,” comes a brand new show for all those who love fairies, friendship, dragons, and fun! Twinkle has always wanted a pet and is thrilled when Fairy Godmother grants her wish. While her friends get cute little pets, a naughty dragon named Scruffy is NOT what Twinkle had in mind! Can Twinkle tame her dragon in time for Fairy Pet Day? Recommended for ages 2 to 7.
“Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat,” Sunday, March 19, produced by Childsplay, begins with a tall, red-and-white striped hat appearing at the door. Sally and her brother soon know that the Cat in the Hat is the most mischievous cat they will ever meet. Suddenly a rainy afternoon is transformed by the Cat and his antics. Will their house ever be the same? Can the kids clean up before mom comes home? With some tricks (and a fish) and Thing Two and Thing One, with The Cat in the Hat the fun’s never done! Recommended for ages 3 and up.
“Pete the Cat,” Sunday, April 2, produced by Theatreworks USA, finds Pete the Cat caught rocking out after bedtime. The cat-catcher sends him to live with the Biddle family to learn his manners – and boy, are they square! But for the groovy blue cat, life is an adventure no matter where you wind up. The minute Pete walks in the door, he gets the whole family rocking, except young Jimmy, the most organized second grader on earth. But, when Jimmy draws a blank in art class, Pete is the perfect friend to help him out. Together, they set out on a mission to learn about inspiration and friendship – all the way to Paris and back in a VW bus. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.
In conjunction with the Family Festivities Series, the Playhouse will once again host a book collection for Read to Grow, Inc., a statewide nonprofit organization that helps parents take an active role in their children’s literacy development by providing free children’s books to families with limited access and to community resources that serve them. At each Family Festivities performance, bins will be located in the Playhouse lobby for donations of gently used and new children’s books which will be given to families and programs in the greater Fairfield County area through Read to Grow.
Family Festivities Corporate Sponsors are Northern Trust and Pitney Bowes. Family Festivities Partner is Darlene Krenz. The Family Festivities Series is also supported by the Westport Young Woman’s League.
Everyone in the audience requires a ticket. For more information or tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online 24/7 atwww.westportplayhouse.org. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), or view Playhouse videos on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).