David Ruben

Children's theatre to capture kids

Talk about a bad rep: Mention the words ”children’s theater,” and most parents conjure up visions of actors on loan from the Royal Academy for the Dramatically Challenged and scripts so cloying they make Barney look like Chekhov. But soon all this may change. The children’s-theater movement, quietly building for years, is poised to hit the main stage: When Disney’s lavish stage adaptation of the hit movie Beauty and the Beast opens this month on Broadway, it’s sure to call attention to an art form that until now has been one of the best-kept secrets in kids’ entertainment.

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