River View Observer -Best Pick Kids Program 



( Rosie O’Donnell, the award-winning comedian; television talk show host; author; and film, television, and stage actress will serve as the KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY National Ambassador for the second year in a row.

KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY ( is an audience development program created by The Broadway League ( to make theatre accessible, encourage theatre as a form of family entertainment, and build larger audiences for the future.

It was announced today that the program will now be available all year round, where kids ages 6-18 can see a participating Broadway show for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult on the first Tuesday and Wednesday of every month. Tickets for participating shows on February 3rd and 4th went on sale at noon today, and each event thereafter will go on sale two months prior to the event dates.

Ticket includes pre-theatre parties, restaurant discounts, parking discounts, Special Edition Kids’ Playbill provided by Theatre Development Fund, educational programs in cooperation with Thru the Stage Door and Take it From the Top, Broadway fun and events, plus more.

“Last season saw the largest percentage of children and teenagers in the audience in the past thirty years,” commented Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director, The Broadway League. “An intense theatrical experience, such as a thought-provoking play or entertaining musical can enrich lives and inspire positive change. Our audience development programs are vital to the future of Broadway, and to our country’s future overall.”

The 13th annual KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY kicks off in New York City on February 3, 2009 with a pre-theatre party at Madame Tussauds New York. The party commences at 3:00pm and invites all Kids’ Night ticket holders to experience unique theatre activities as well as the famous attraction for free! The pre-theatre event on February 4, 2009 will take place at Maravel Arts Center.

To purchase tickets, find more information or to view the list of discounted restaurants and parking garages, go to Tickets can also be purchased via or or at the individual theatre box offices. USE CODE KNOB09

Rosie O’Donnell’s dedication to enriching the lives of children through the arts is legendary. Her arts education organization, Rosie’s Broadway Kids, uses professional teaching artists to offer classes in dance and music and provide a professional theatre experience for children who might otherwise not have the opportunity.

Rosie O’Donnell said, “My passion for the stage and dedication to arts education make it a special honor for me to be the National Ambassador for Kids’ Night on Broadway again. With Broadway’s fabulous participating shows and the new enhanced educational components of the program, our missions are in sync.”

The Broadway League’s first ever KIDS’ ADVISORY BOARD will be an integral part of League programs focused around young audiences where kids will help develop and implement kid-oriented programs, events and online strategies.

Board members will be theatregoing kids who love Broadway, ages 11 to 16 years old, who will serve a one-year term. Twenty kids selected to serve on the KIDS’ ADVISORY BOARD will be chosen via an online essay contest judged by Broadway and education industry professionals.  Kids nationwide can submit applications by going to Essays are due December 1, 2008, and the Board will be announced at the kick-off event in New York City on February 3, 2009. Thru The Stage Door is managing this process and will begin accepting applications on November 10, 2009.ENHANCED EDUCATIONAL COMPONENTS: The educational components to build new theatergoing audiences and inspire a life-long love for the arts will be a key focus of pre-theatre events, and are in cooperation with Thru the Stage Door and Take it from the Top.

THRU THE STAGE DOOR, founded by Broadway veterans Dori Berinstein and Philip Katz, created the cutting-edge interactive Study Guide: THRU THE STAGE DOOR – BROADWAY 101, which chronicles Broadway from early development to opening night and teaches kids about theatre careers and history. Kids will have access to an arts learning tool that educates and ignites curiosity about the artistic process. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and West Side Story are currently online at  

Started by Laura Bell Bundy and Paul Canaan, TAKE IT FROM THE TOP is a series of active workshops taught by working Broadway professionals for kids interested in pursuing a professional career in musical theatre or those who just want to have fun in the performing arts. Students can learn the craft of musical theatre, explore content and practical know-how in an exciting and interactive setting.
KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY SOUVENIR PLAYBILL: Written entirely by teens, this special educational keepsake takes a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Broadway shows and gives voice to young theatre fans.  Generously provided by Theatre Development Fund, the Playbill is provided free of charge to all kids who attend the theatre on Kids’ Night on Broadway, and is available for download at   It also contains extensive listings of theatre books, websites, and additional educational resources.

PARTICIPATING SHOWS (to date) include: The American Plan, Avenue Q, Billy Elliot The Musical, Chicago, Grease, Gypsy, In The Heights, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, The Phantom of the Opera, Shrek The Musical, The 39 Steps, Wicked, Young Frankenstein. Off Broadway: Altar Boyz, Stomp. (subject to change, and all shows not available both nights)

CAUSE-RELATED EFFORTS: KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY is an opportunity to increase theatre attendance for all kids. This year’s Kids’ Night will also help shine a spotlight on the growing prevalence of autism and the work of Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of this disorder and raising money to fund autism research.

“We are extremely grateful for the Broadway League’s support of our efforts to increase awareness about autism,” said Suzanne Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks. “Kids’ Night on Broadway is a wonderful opportunity for families living with autism to spend time together and create lasting memories.”

Kids’ Night on Broadway is generously presented by The New York Times and is officially sponsored by Madame Tussauds New York. Additional support is provided by NBC4, Fresh 102.7, and Theatre Development Fund.  Kids’ Night on Broadway salutes Autism Speaks in helping to generate awareness for children with autism.  Kids’ Night on Broadway welcomes Visa, the preferred card of The Broadway League.

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The Broadway League, founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry.  The League’s 600-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in over 240 North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry.  Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada. Visit

Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism.  Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners and served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal for more than twenty years.  Autism Speaks merged with both the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), bringing together the nation’s three leading autism advocacy organizations. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit

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