Children's theater is a great way to gently introduce kids to theater before they realize that most plays are just about sad guys talking. Get kid-friendly kicks with this GrouponLive deal to see Lightwire Theater Presents: The Ugly Duckling and The Tortoise & The Hare at Music Hall Center. For $30, you get general admission for two adults and two children on Sunday, December 2, at 4 p.m. (up to an $81 value, including all fees). Doors open at 3 p.m.
Blending ballet, puppetry, and a laser light show, the story-dancers of Lightwire Theater update two timeless fables with costumes outlined in electroluminescent wire. The bright-blue star of The Ugly Duckling appears as a cross between a firework and a cartoon character as she bursts from her shell and clownishly trips up the precise parade of her green step-siblings. Hans Christian Andersen’s moral rings as true as it did 169 years ago, but the innovators bring the story to its natural climax as the growing swan faces off against a dastardly ninja cat. The Tortoise and the Hare receives a similar update as its overconfident bunny is waylaid by such distractions as his cell phone and a television.
In the creators’ hometown of New Orleans, The Gambit wrote that “the staging is unique, and the colored outlines are not garish but poetic.” The puppeteers of pure light might seem familiar to fans of America’s Got Talent: the stars of Lightwire’s other show, Darwin the Dinosaur, were featured prominently on the program this year.
Detroit Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts
Built in 1928, Detroit Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts dazzles patrons with an ornate art-deco façade and lush Spanish Renaissance interior. Elegant columns, glittering chandeliers, and vibrant geometric patterns create a palatial atmosphere in the lobby. The auditorium's intimately arranged velvet seats leave every viewer within 70 feet of the stage, eliminating the need for binoculars or drawn-out games of telephone describing the onstage action.