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The company of A Christmas Carol. Courtesy of AdamsVisCom

8 Family-Friendly Shows to Introduce Kids to Theater

Get a sneak peek at these upcoming children's theater performances in the Denver area.

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As the days get shorter and temperatures fall, the lights rise on Denver’s abundant theater scene. With everything from a beloved children’s book brought to life, to an inclusive performance that challenges our ideas of “normal,” and a range of holiday classics, there’s ample opportunity to introduce kids to theater this season. Below, we’ve spotlighted some of Denver’s most anticipated shows for families.

Corduroy | DCPA

October 5-December 9

Join Corduroy the teddy bear, from one of the most beloved children’s books, on his delightfully rollicking chase through every section of the department store in search of his missing button. Corduroy has been patiently waiting on a department store shelf to find a home, and Lisa thinks he’s just the teddy bear for her. But before she can convince her mom to let her take him home, he’ll have to go on a late-night hunt to find a missing button for his overalls. Recommended for pre-K through third grade audiences. Tickets $10-$15. 

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Seussical | Arvada Center

October 10-December 29

Enter the fantastic world of Dr. Seuss in the musical, Seussical. The catchy tunes will make you want to dance in your seat as characters like Horton, the Cat in the Hat, and Gertrude McFuzz sing together on stage. A sensory-friendly performance will be held December 3, 2018. Sensory-friendly performances are exclusively produced for patrons with autism, Down syndrome, and sensory processing disorders, and their families. Suitable for all ages. Tickets $9. 

Harvey | Phamaly Theatre Company

October 18-November 11

See the story of a man who claims to have an unseen friend, Harvey—a six-foot-tall pooka rabbit. Winner of the 1945 Pulitzer Prize, this classic comedy challenges our assumptions of what and who is “normal,” and whether that’s something we want to be anyhow. Phamaly Theatre Company produces plays and musicals featuring actors with disabilities. Ages 10 and older are welcome. Tickets $29.

It’s Tough Being the Prince | PACE Center

October 26-27

This performance is for kids by kids, meaning the performers are all kids ages 12 to 18. It’s Tough Being the Prince delves into what really happened after Sleeping Beauty woke up, showcasing what the prince had to endure to win the hand of the princess. “The story line flips traditional fairy tales on their head,” says PACE education coordinator Kirstin Fletcher. “In this play, the dragon-fighting prince no longer has a princess to rescue or a dragon to slay. Kids will appreciate the modern twist.” Tickets $8.

Finding Neverland | The Lincoln Center

November 8-10

Finding Neverland tells the story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. Tickets start at $70.

ELF The Musical | Arvada Center

November 20-December 23

One of the most beloved holiday movies in recent years is live on stage. ELF The Musical is the tale of Buddy, who as a child, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole where he is raised among elves. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to question where he came from. With Santa’s blessing, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. By spreading his unfailing holiday cheer, Buddy helps bring people together, and finds the human family he never knew he had. A sensory-friendly performance will be held Sunday, December 16 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $53.

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A Christmas Carol | DCPA

November 21-December 24

Essential to the holiday season in Denver, A Christmas Carol is a joyous and opulent musical adaptation that traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, A Christmas Carol illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations. Children age four and older are welcome. Tickets start at $30.

Matilda | Fine Arts Center at Colorado College

December 6-January 6

Follow the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Roald Dahl’s Matilda leads audiences through a captivating musical masterpiece that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination, and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life. Recommended for age six and older. Tickets start at $20.

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