Saturday marked the start of the Kids and Family Series of shows at the Queens Theatre in the Park. Located in Flushing Meadows Park in Corona, next to the Queens Museum and the world famous Unisphere, the Queens Theatre is a beautifully designed building, with floor to ceiling windows in the modern lobby.
The first show of the 2010-2011 season was Rumplestiltskin, the story of a magical little man who could turn straw into gold. Adapted by Taubenslag Productions into a musical comedy for kids, the show was 65 minutes of fun, suitable for children five years old and up. The five member cast, three of which are under 18 years old themselves, was incredibly conscious of the audience, and even encouraged audience participation. The costumes were colorful and exaggerated, as was the acting. There was a lot of running around and falling down, both on stage and off, when the cast occasionally ran through the aisles, much to the delight of the children in the audience. But the kids weren’t the only ones enjoying themselves. There were many times during the performance when the adults and parents could be heard laughing as well. When the show ended, the cast sang “Happy Birthday” to two children in the audience, and then led everyone into the lobby where they held a meet and greet.
Taubenslag Productions, the theater company producing the show, is a testament to family entertainment. The company was started in 1964 by Elliott Taubenslag. Twenty years ago, his son Michael, who wrote, directed, and acted in today’s show, took over for his father. The show also marked an important milestone in the Taubenslag family, as Michael’s son Adam starred as Rumplestiltskin himself, his first lead role, and continuing the legacy by joining the family business.
All in all, the show was a great way to introduce your kids to live theatre, particularly if they are around 5-6 years old. While there weren’t any intermissions, the show length was just long enough to tell the story, but not too long were the kids were losing interest. For more information on Taubenslag Productions, including details about their theater camp and their theater week workshop program, visit www.taubenslagproductions.com. Also, to see the rest of the Kids and Family Series schedule at the Queens Theatre, and to purchase tickets to upcoming shows, visit www.queenstheatre.org.