WANDA’S MONSTER A Family Musical introduces an imaginative little girl named Wanda and her unexpected bond with a fuzzy purple monster as she learns acceptance and friendship. Based on the award-winning children's book by Eileen Spinelli, WANDA’S MONSTER A Family Musical features music and lyrics by singer, songwriter and superstar children's recording artist Laurie Berkner, including fan favorites “Monster Boogie” and “Wanda, Whatcha Wanna Do?” plus brand new classics and book by Barbara Zinn Krieger.
Laurel Graeber of The New York Times calls WANDA’S MONSTER A Family Musical “inspired” and “charming;” Berkshire Fine Arts called it “a perfect afternoon for children and their grownups;” and New York Magazine, Mommy Poppins and Time Out New York Kids call it a "Top Pick" for summer.
WANDA’S MONSTER A Family Musical marks the first collaboration between Making Books Sing, a critically acclaimed New York-based nonprofit that promotes children’s literacy and social development through professional theater productions and arts-in-education programs, and Laurie Berkner, the popular children’s singer/songwriter.
Directed by Adrienne Kapstein (WAR HORSE Associate Movement Director), the cast of WANDA’S MONSTER A Family Musical will feature Laura Hankin (Wanda), James M. Ortiz (Monster) and Jamie Kolnick (Granny). Additional casting TBA.
The production team for WANDA’S MONSTER A Family Musical is Drew Francis (set), Leslie Bernstein (costumes), Ariel Benjamin (lights) and Kristen Rosenfeld (Music Director).
Performances of WANDA’S MONSTER A Family Musical run July 13 through September 8, with a performance schedule of Thursdays and Fridays at 10:30am; Saturdays at 10:30am and 2pm; and Sundays at 12:30pm and 3pm. Tickets are $39 for general admission and $65 for Premium tickets. All performances include a post-show meet and greet. Premium tickets include a copy of Laurie Berkner's album Rocketship Run, a show poster and front of the line access at the post show meet and greet. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, June 24 at 10AM and can be purchased by calling (646) 601-1406 or online at www.wandasmonster.com. Group rates for 10 or more also available.
Award-winning children’s recording artist Laurie Berkner is the widely recognized as a groundbreaker in the progressive children’s music movement. Laurie was the first recording artist to perform regularly on Nick Jr. and can also be seen on the preschool network Sprout. Dubbed "the queen of children's music" by People Magazine, her best-selling CDs and DVDs appeal to young and old alike. Time Magazine declared “Berkner inhabits a kid’s curious perspective in her lyrics and pens folk-pop melodies that bear repeated – very repeated – listenings.” The Los Angeles Times asserted “Laurie Berkner does what Fred Rogers did: respect, validate and reassure young children.”
Barbara Zinn Krieger founded Making Books Sing during her 22-year tenure as Executive Director and Founder of New York’s Tony Award-winning Vineyard Theatre. Krieger has been writing children’s operas and musicals for more than 15 years. Credits include book and lyrics for THE MERRY MULDOONS and APPELEMANDO’S DREAMS with composer James Kurtz, and LITTLE KIT, THE BUTTERFLY, JOSE LIMON: THE MAKING OF AN ARTIST and SKY BOYS with composer Charles Greenberg. She has also written BEAUTIFUL WARRIOR (Jin Xiang, composer), the book and additional lyrics FOR THE UPSIDE DOWN BOY (lyrics by Juan Felipe Herrera and music by Cristian Amigo) and the book for THE ORPHAN SINGER (featuring the music of Antonio Vivaldi, music selection and arrangement by Rick Erickson), all for Making Books Sing. Ms. Krieger is currently librettist for CLARA: THE LIFE AND LOVES OF CLARA SCHUMANN, a two-act adult opera, music composed by Victoria Bond. Ms. Krieger is a recipient of the Opera America Distinguished Service Award.
Making Books Sing began in 1996 as a program of the Tony Award-winning Vineyard Theatre, which Krieger founded in 1981 and led until 2002. Making Books Sing is the only theater company of its kind dedicated to combining literacy with the performing arts by creating professional theater works based on contemporary children’s books from diverse cultures. Making Books Sing has reached over 100,000 school-aged children and their families with its musical productions including: BEAUTIFUL WARRIOR, BIRD WOMAN: THE STORY OF SACAJAWEA, A BAND OF ANGELS, THE ORPHAN SINGER, THE BUTTERFLY, A SHELTER IN OUR CAR, JOSE LIMON: THE MAKING OF AN ARTIST, TEA WITH CHACHAJI, SKY BOYS and LOUIS ARMSTRONG: JAZZ AMBASSADOR.