OWTK PHILLY LOCAL: A Trio of Theatrical Treats In and Around the City

Philadelphia area families can choose from a trio of theatrical treats in and around the city this holiday season. Here’s a rundown of what’s worth seeing on stage in Philly with your kids now and through the beginning of 2015.

Murray the Elf Act 2 Playhouse Ambler Murray the Elf Act 2 Playhouse Ambler

Murray the Elf and the Case of the Stolen Sleighbells

A thoroughly original elf detective comedy on stage this holiday season is the 3rd in a running series of Murray¬†whodunnits at the Act II. Performed with pizazz by Will Dennis and Andy Shaw, this iteration of Murray deftly touches on pop culture (Frozen,) famous Christmas songs (“Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “Rudolph,” “Walking in Winter Wonderland,” others,) and the 70-minute play even makes a bit of a statement about race and immigration in America. There are countless moments of comedic genius in Murray the Elf that will have your entire family in stitches. Murrary the Elf and the Case of the Stolen Sleighbells is nothing short of brilliant family theater.

Murray the Elf is on stage through December 28th at the Act II Playhouse in Ambler PA. Get your tickets now for the final show at 11am on 12/28 (the only show NOT sold out!).

Snow Queen Play Philly Arts Bank 2014

The Snow Queen

The Enchantment Theatre Company’s interpretation of the classic Hans Chrisitnan Anderson book (and the inspiration for Frozen) is a re-imagined work that feels both modern and ancient at the same time. The use of masks, shadow puppetry, and an unseen narrator might be confusing for little ones to follow but visually the story bursts to life for everyone. After the show, ask your kids to find the ties to Anna and Elsa’s tale in what they just saw on stage. Did the story of friendship, salvation, bravery, and an icy heart seem familiar? Thinking critically about art and culture with your kids is important.

Arrive early to soak up the Snow Queen decorated environs inside the Arts Bank, with a shadow puppet theater, dress up play, block building, and hot cocoa on offer in the lobby.

The Snow Queen is on stage at the Arts Bank Theater on Broad Street in Philadelphia through January 4th. Get your Snow Queen tickets now.

Beauty and the Beast Arden Theatre Philly

Beauty and the Beast

There is no Chip. No Lumi√®re. And no Gaston acting as a handsome albeit loathsome suitor for Belle. Instead, the Arden and playwright Charles Way (who’s inventive Cinderella was a massive hit) focused the bulk of their stripped down Beauty on the tension between Belle, her sister and her father, who’s roller coaster financial status and health unfortunately dominate the first act. By the time we get the Beauty and the Beast on stage at the same time, the play is winding down and their love story is rushed to conclusion. Still, an afternoon or evening with the family at The Arden is always a treat and the performances given by Emilie Krause, Matteo Scammell, and E. Ashley Izard as Belle, the Beast, and the Housekeeper respectively, are alone worth the price of admission. I only wish we were allowed to experience more of them on stage together during this uneven version of Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast is on stage at the Arden Theatre in Old City Philadelphia through February 1st. Get your Beauty and the Beast tickets now!


*OWTK was provided tickets to each of these productions for review consideration. The opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased, as always.

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