Arts & Culture

Best Upcoming Children’s Shows In Charlotte

July 7, 2014 8:00 AM

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(Photo by Randy Brooke/Getty Images for Ralph Lauren)

(Photo by Randy Brooke/Getty Images for Ralph Lauren)

Summer vacation may be underway, but the season still holds plenty of cultural activities for kids of all ages. Catch some of the great theatrical productions presented this summer on Charlotte stages. There’s plenty to choose from, ranging from a national tour brought to town by Emmy-winner Debbie Allen to a special theater experience designed for the youngest child. This summer is especially rich with shows adapted from Disney classics, allowing your children to see their favorite characters come to life.
“Brothers of the Knight, A Toe-Tapping Musical”
Ovens Auditorium
2700 E. Independence Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 372-3600

Date: July 17-20, 2014.

Three-time Emmy Award winner, Broadway legend and “So You Think You Can Dance” judge Debbie Allen brings a modern adaptation of the classic Brothers Grimm tale of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” to the Ovens stage. This hip musical follows the adventures of the Knight brothers, forbidden to dance by their strict father, who sneak out every night and return every morning with torn-up shoes. The play, created by Allen, Grammy Award winner James Ingram and NBA All-Star Norm Nixon, includes high-energy dancing from members of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy as well as 30 local dancers chosen by audition to appear in the show. Allen, who first gained national attention for her role in “Fame” and went on to work with Michael and Janet Jackson, Will Smith, Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah, Sammy Davis Jr. and many other stars, is taking “Brothers of the Knight” on tour across the U.S. this summer.

Related: Best Cheap Activities To Do With Kids In Charlotte

“Disney’s Aladdin Jr.”
Matthews Playhouse
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell St. E.
Matthews, NC 28105
(704) 846-8343

Date: July 18-27, 2014.

Based on the beloved 1992 Disney animated movie, this “junior” version of “Aladdin” is adapted and shortened for younger viewing audiences. However, the musical retains the Academy award-winning score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, with popular hits including “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me.” Based on the classic Arab folk tale of “One Thousand and One Nights,” the play follows Aladdin, Jasmine and Abu on a magical voyage filled with genies and flying carpets. Matthews Playhouse also sponsors week-long play production camps for ages eight to 14 that each end with a stage production. Workshops this summer include “Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “The Hobbit” and “Anne of Green Gables.”

“Disney’s Little Mermaid Jr.”
CPCC Summer Theatre
Dale F. Halton Theater
1206 Elizabeth Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28204
(704) 330-6840

Date: Through July 12, 2014.

Presented in the new state-of-the-art Halton Theater in Central Piedmont’s Overcash Building, this junior version of “Disney’s Little Mermaid” is part of the lineup of CPCC’s Summer Theatre season, bringing professional summer stock productions to Charlotte for the past 41 years. This shortened version of the 2008 Broadway musical includes some of the show’s most popular songs, including the Oscar-winning “Under the Sea.” The Summer Theatre lineup also includes a full-scale production of “Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins” based on the books by P.L. Travers as interpreted by Disney, from July 18 to 26, 2014. The play includes songs from both the 1964 movie and the 2006 Broadway production, including the Oscar-winning song “Chim-Chim Cher-ee.” Free parking for all Summer Theatre shows is available in the Faculty and Staff parking deck, with an entrance located off 4th Street.

“Disney’s Peter Pan Jr.”
Theatre Charlotte
501 Queens Road
Charlotte, NC 28207
(704) 376-3777

Date: July 9-13, 2014.

One of the most enduring fictional characters of our times, “Peter Pan” returns to the stage in this adaptation based on the 1953 Disney film and the original 1904 play by J.M. Barrie. Classic Disney songs, including “The Second Star to the Right,” “You Can Fly” and “Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me,” receive new arrangements in this junior adaptation. The cast and crew include 30 young people, ages nine to 14, from the annual TCjr program, along with college and high school students, who work with a professional team to create a professional-level summer stock production for the Theatre charlotte stage. Older kids, especially those with an interest in dance, will want to catch Neil Simon’s “Sweet Charity” presented by the Student Theatre Guild from July 18 to July 20, 2014, with choreography and staging of songs such as “Big Spender” and “If My Friends Could See Me Now” based on the Bob Fosse originals.

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
Wells Fargo Playhouse, ImaginOn
300 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 973-2828

Date: Aug. 13-23, 2014.

Created and performed by the PlayPlay! Theatre group, “Uh-Oh!” is designed specifically for children from birth to three years old, using a unique format to draw even the smallest children and their loved ones into a discovery of the arts, using simple props, casual floor seating, special lights and music and an emphasis on play and visual storytelling. Audiences are small and performances are short, but include pre- and post-show play experiences with the actors. Older children, grades six and up, will enjoy “Sweeney Todd: School Edition,” a special adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical for teen audiences running August 1-3. The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is considered one of the city’s top professional theatre troupes, producing more than a dozen adult productions for young people every season. This year will include “101 Dalmatians” and the world premiere of a new telling of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

Related: Best Rainy Day Activities In Charlotte

With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at

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