TYKEs (Theatre Young Kids Enjoy) opens its new 15th season with the musical Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly, based on the clever, colorful New York Times #1 best-selling book series by Doreen Cronin and The New Yorker cover illustrator Harry Bliss. The show runs for two weekends from November 10 to 18 at the Hart Theater at the JCC, 1200 Edgewood Avenue in Brighton. Show dates are:
Saturday, November 10 and 17 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday, November 11 at 2 pm. Sunday, November 18 at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly combines the lives of these three friends as they head back to school. Recommended for kids ages three and up, the show features a unique score, with musical styles ranging from rap and hip-hop to ballads and boogie-woogie.
Cronin’s first picture book, the blockbuster New York Times best-seller Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, was a Caldecott Honor Book in 2001. Her second book Giggle, Giggle Quack was also a New York Times best seller and the main selection of the book-of-the-month club. In addition to being a New York Times #1 best-seller, Diary of a Worm won numerous awards including the School Library Journal Best Book, Parents’ Choice Silver Honor, Nevada Young Readers’ Award, and IRA/CBC Children’s Choice. Cronin’s Diary of a Spider, another New York Times #1 best seller, also won Publishers Weekly Best Book, Kirkus Reviews Editors’ Choice, and was selected as a Book Sense Honor Book and Book Sense Pick, and Amazon.com Editors’ Pick.
“This high-energy show deals with children’s inevitable feelings of being different from other kids at some point – for all kinds of reasons,” explains TYKEs founder/director Freyda Schneider. “Presented in a comedic way from a bug’s perspective, the show helps kids discover that it’s okay and even wonderful to be different and that our unique qualities are what make each of us special.”
TYKEs’ shows feature adult professional actors performing for children, families and school groups. “This is one of the most hardworking and fun casts I’ve ever worked with,” according to the show’s director Tara Wiseman. “So much talent and energy. Plus I love the show’s messages about tolerance and acceptance of others and eco-consciousness – caring for nature and the outdoors in addition to each other.”
Continuing TYKEs’ 15th season is Corduroy running January 12 to 20, based on Don Freeman’s world-famous books about a child’s yearning for the green-overall-clad stuffed bear she finds at a department store. Corduroy will be a collaboration between TYKEs and Heather Stevenson of PUSH Physical Theatre. TYKEs is only the second theater in the entire nation to produce the new musical, It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman, a remake of the iconic 1966 musical of the same name. Superman runs March 9 to 17, and will include several 7 p.m. performances for the first time in TYKEs’ history. The season culminates with The Pied Piper April 1 to 6, a special program featuring 60 local children.
New for this season, TYKEs’ patrons can select their own seats when they order on-line 24-hours a day at www.TykesTheatre.org, or call 585-461-2000. Tickets cost $18; JCC members pay $16. Group and subscriber discounts are available.
“What I love about TYKEs is that every show is a brand new, unique experience,” explains TYKEs’ founder and director Freyda Schneider. “In our 15-year history of professional performances, we’ve never repeated a title. Our shows are fresh and new and exciting every time.” Schneider explains that many of TYKEs’ productions have never been on stage anywhere else in this area before. “We pride ourselves on being on the cutting edge of children’s theatre offerings.”
TYKEs consistently ranks as the #1 Children’s Theatre Company in Rochester by KidsOutandAbout.com, and one of the top ten places in all of Rochester to bring kids – for the eighth consecutive year. TYKEs also received the Family Favorite award for Best Children’s Theatre Performances by Rochester & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine (now ROC Parent).
For a complete listing of show dates and times, visit TykesTheatre.org.
Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly book, music and lyrics by Joan Cushing.