Our guide to cultural events in New York City for children and teenagers happening this weekend and in the week ahead.
AMAZING ANATOMY at the Morgan Library & Museum (Nov. 3, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.). Generations of children have dressed up as Frankenstein’s monster, but this program invites them to emulate Frankenstein himself. Held in conjunction with the Morgan’s new exhibition “It’s Alive! Frankenstein at 200,” which is one of many celebrations of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus,” this workshop will teach a little basic (and bloodless) anatomy. First, the participants — the recommended ages are 6 to 14 — will get a half-hour tour of the show, which includes manuscripts, books, paintings, theater posters and movie memorabilia. Then, using materials like cardboard and flexible drinking straws, they’ll each create a monstrous hand while learning how real muscles and tendons function.
AMERICAN YOUTH CIRCUS ORGANIZATION NEW YORK CITY REGIONAL FESTIVAL at Circus Warehouse (Nov. 3, 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.). On Saturday, running away to the circus won’t be any more complicated than hopping a subway to Long Island City, Queens. For one full day, aspiring young acrobats, trapeze artists, tightrope walkers and other big-top performers can indulge their fantasies in a series of workshops at every level, from beginner to advanced. Produced by Bindlestiff Family Cirkus for the American Youth Circus Organization, the festival welcomes participants ages 8 to 21 for sessions with titles like Intro to Hooping, Beginner Unicycling, Fun With Everyday Objects, Juggling Is for Everyone and Intro to Tightwire. A day’s pass includes four instructional workshops, two meals (lunch and a concluding pizza party) and admission to a 5 p.m. showcase of young artists. (Space is limited, and advance registration is strongly recommended.)
‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’ at the New Victory Theater (through Nov. 11). Although you’ll hear lots of tunes during this show, none of them are Disney’s. Devised by the company New International Encounter, in collaboration with Tobacco Factory Theaters and Cambridge Junction, this European production employs six performer-musicians, including a flutist who portrays Belle. The cast members act, narrate, sing and play the score, which Alex Byrne, the play’s director, has described as a mix of jazz and French music hall. With a spare set and minimal props, this “Beauty and the Beast” runs an hour and 45 minutes (with one intermission), longer than most New Victory offerings, but it promises intimacy, rustic humor, audience interaction and, of course, that classic love story.
FALL FOREST WEEKENDS at the New York Botanical Garden (Nov. 3-4 and 11-12, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.). New York may be an urban jungle, but it also encompasses a spectacular woodland: This Bronx public garden has 50 acres of old-growth forest (a wooded area that has developed without disturbance for many years), the largest such tract in the city. This annual event focuses on that property, the Thain Family Forest, with zoological, botanical and artistic explorations. At noon and 2 p.m., Volunteers for Wildlife will show live birds of prey, teaching how to identify hawks, owls and falcons. During discovery walks, citizen scientists will discuss forest ecology, while the fiddler Ian Moore provides bluegrass accompaniment. Hamlet Isn’t Dead, a theater troupe, will perform on-site excerpts from a Shakespeare comedy set in a forest, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” And this weekend only, the Bronx River Alliance will offer brief canoe trips (first come first served). Elsewhere on the grounds, the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden is presenting the program Tree-rific Trees (through Nov. 16), a chance for young visitors to observe cross sections of a giant sequoia and a white oak, count tree rings and learn about leaf cycles.
FAMILY CONCERT: ‘WHO IS JOE WILLIAMS?’ at the Rose Theater (Nov. 3, 1 and 3 p.m.). The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the baritone Milton Suggs will answer this question — verbally and musically — in this program, part of a continuing series that introduces children to important figures in the history of jazz. Joe Williams (1918-99), a charismatic singer who performed with both the Lionel Hampton band and the Count Basie Orchestra, delivered his most famous number, Memphis Slim’s “Every Day (I Have the Blues),” with a defiant exuberance that belied its subject. Young audience members should feel uplifted, too. As Williams, who was also a swing enthusiast, observed at his 70th-birthday concert at Carnegie Hall, “The blues makes you feel so good.”
JUST KIDDING: JUSTIN ROBERTS AND THE NOT READY FOR NAPTIME PLAYERS at Symphony Space (Nov. 3, 11 a.m.). A children’s songwriter and musician, Justin Roberts releases albums regularly, but last month, he and his wife, the cellist Anna Steinhoff, brought into the world an even more precious production: their first child, Eli. So Roberts will have much to celebrate at this hourlong concert, part of the Just Kidding series at Symphony Space, where he’ll appear with his band, the Not Ready for Naptime Players, and his signature puppets, Little Dave, Tim and Willy the Whale. Roberts specializes in folk-flavored rock — the titular track of his latest album, “Lemonade,” may remind you of one of Paul Simon’s catchy ballads — which means that many parents like him, too. He also has new material, now that he has his own not-ready-for-naptime family member.
‘THE TRAVELS OF BABAR’ at Florence Gould Hall (Nov. 2, 7 p.m.; Nov. 3, 2 and 4 p.m.). Babar and Celeste, the royal elephants in Jean de Brunhoff’s classic 1930s series of French children’s books, encountered trouble on their honeymoon. First they confronted cannibals, and then a circus owner captured them to work in the ring. They will soon have those adventures again, but with additional, far more pleasant company: eight classical musicians. This chamber ensemble will take part in Source Music’s presentation of a new production of “The Travels of Babar.” Based on the book of the same title, this hourlong show combines Raphael Mostel’s original 1994 score with narration of the story’s text and a slide show incorporating de Brunhoff’s illustrations, this time in high definition. Mostel, who used musical scales as his themes, produces such disparate effects as the gentle soar of the elephant couple’s hot-air balloon and the loud eruption of their squeals. The Friday performance will be narrated in French; the Saturday shows will feature Phyllis Rose’s new English translation. In either language, the travels promise quite a ride.
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