Symphony Space Kids Presents The Ugly Duckling

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When you live in New York City, the weekend is the perfect time to discover a new adventure. As a Queens native, I love venturing into Manhattan for sight-seeing, new restaurants  and different forms of theatre. I recently had the opportunity to attend a glow in the dark performance of The Ugly Duckling. If you’re looking for quality entertainment for kids of all ages, you should definitely check out the Just Kidding performances at Symphony Space. Located at 2357 Broadway and 96th Street, tickets for shows cost as low as $17 per ticket and $14 for members. If you’re not familiar with the fairy tale, keep reading:

The story centers around a baby bird that experiences torment on a farm from his bird family and other animals. This particular baby bird is considered “different” because of its appearance and limited physical abilities. The young bird then wanders off from his family and finds a home with an old lady, her cat and hen. Things are no different for the duckling as he is still being teased especially by the cat. Once again, the bird leaves. 

The duckling sees a flock of migrating wild swans. He gets excited but he cannot join them since he is young and cannot fly. Winter arrives. The duckling spends a winter along finding shelter in a cave on a lake.  When spring arrives, a flock of swans appear on the lake. 

The ugly duckling finally matures and realizes that he no longer wants to live a life of ugliness. He gets the courage to approach the swans and is surprised that the swans welcome him. The once ugly duckling sees his reflection in the water and realizes that he is actually a beautiful swan–like them.  

Like I mentioned, this particular show is performed completely in the dark which really brought the characters to life.

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Audience members were able to vividly see and connect with the human emotions expressed by the characters. I loved every part of The Ugly Duckling interactive performance which took you on an emotional roller coaster.  The audience reacted when the duck felt happy, extremely sad and when he finally experiences triumph.

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Based upon the premise of the fairy tale, I often think of the quote by Dr. Seuss “Why fit in when you born the stand out.” The story of The Ugly Duckling is a great conversation starter to teach young kids about self-esteem and positive affirmations.

After the show ended, members of the media were invited to meet the cast of The Ugly Duckling. It was such a cool experience to see the behind the scenes details of how the performers worked the light up characters.

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Cast of The Ugly Duckling

 The Just Kidding season continues most weekends through May 2017. Highlights during November are:
  • Saturday, November 12 at 11 am and 2 pm–Cardboard Explosion (puppetry with cardboard and tons of good humor and imagination)
  • Sunday, November 13 at 2 pm–The Big Family Quiz Thing multimedia team-trivia for
    families with children ages 8 and up,with prizes and fun. BFQT returns this season on three
    Sundays: November 13, January 22 and March 19.
  • Saturday, November 19 at 2 pm: National Dance Institute: The Celebration Team! (More than 100 kids dance with this award-winning NYC institution. This year’s theme is poetry.

For additional details about the Symphony Space Just Kidding series, you can visit their website .

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