NEW YORK -- Theater producers are focusing on "warm and fuzzy" and "fun for the whole family" to help bring back an industry battered in the pandemic.
As CBS2's Dave Carlin reports, off-Broadway offerings include some familiar characters and prices that don't strain family budgets, with some shows for free.
Midday Wednesday, there were kids under a tent at Lincoln Center for a storytime session that began with audience participation.
Storytime events are free, happening three more times in July on Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m.
Jenn Olayon, of the Upper West Side, brought her sons, Aiden and Asher.
"I think having a sense of community and bringing art to life is quite magical, and I'm really grateful," she said.
Tickets are on sale for Disney's "Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation," back for summer at Theatre Row on 42nd Street. The stage is transformed into Winnie the Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood, home to the cuddly characters we grew up with, brought to life with full-sized puppets.
"Pooh's thing is bringing his friends closer, so it feels like a really kind of perfect time to be telling this story and sharing it in a room, in a real room with real audiences," said Jake Bazel, who plays Winnie the Pooh.
"We've all seen the films, we've read the books, and this was a wonderful opportunity to rediscover the stories, but putting a whole new twist on it," said Jonathan Rockefeller, founder of Rockefeller Productions.
In September, look for his new Sesame Street off-Broadway musical to open in the same space.
In the meantime, at New World Stages is the off-Broadway hit "The Gazillion Bubble Show," which keeps churning out the bubbles and fun for all ages.
Those who create live theater for kids say attending these shows can help reduce post-pandemic anxiety for both children and adults. Phones put away, they watch together and they bond.
With a growing list of options, stage shows for children help boost the bottom line for the theater industry as they boost morale with entertainment that feels like a big old bear hug.
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