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 present The Ugly Duckling & The Tortoise and the Hare at State Theatre. For $9, you get one ticket for mid-orchestra, front-balcony, mid-balcony, or gallery seating on Monday, February 18 (up to an $18 value, including fees). Doors open 90 minutes before showtime. Choose from the following performances:
- 10:30 a.m.
- 1 p.m.
- 3:30 p.m. <p>
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 stepsiblings. 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.<p>
State Theatre New Jersey
The State Theatre New Jersey was saved, as its website states, from "the ravages of time." Built in 1921 as a vaudeville and silent-film palace, the venue fell on hard times in the 1970s. In 2003, however, a $3 million renovation restored the State Theatre New Jersey to much of its original glory, as crews painstakingly rehabbed the ornamental plaster, terracotta exterior, and actor holding cells. Inside the theater, a stunning chandelier sparkles more brightly than ever below the venue's signature dome.