Theater & art

Family entertainment

Critic’s picks: Theater

The Big Apple Circus: “The Grand Tour” at City Hall Plaza.
Maike Schulz/ Big Apple Circus
The Big Apple Circus: “The Grand Tour” at City Hall Plaza.

BLUE MAN GROUPAs the group celebrates its 25th year of blending music, comedy, art, and technology, face-painting in Blue Man style will be offered to youngsters for free at select shows through April 24. Also: the “Lounge-U-Lum,’’ a lounge in which audience members can create soundscapes and lightscapes. Charles Playhouse, Boston. 800-258-3626,

CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG – LIVE!An interactive family musical based on the children’s book series. The giant pooch, his young friend Emily Elizabeth, and their friends embark on a song-and-dance-filled adventure. April 20 at 3 p.m. Wilbur Theatre, Boston. 800-745-3000, www/

SHOLOM ALEICHEM: A FAMILY PUPPET SHOWThe life and travels of the legendary author are depicted by Caravan Puppets in this participatory show, in which kids can also expect to learn some Yiddish. With a post-performance conversation on how the puppets were created. May 1 at 11 a.m. Jewish Arts Collaborative, at JCC Riemer-Goldstein Theater, Newton. 617-531-4610,


A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM As part of the “Shakespeare for Young Audiences’’ series, the Bard’s popular tale of young lovers who spend a magic- and mischief-filled night in the woods is presented by CSC2 company, a troupe of youthful professional actors in residence with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. Directed by Adam Sanders. May 4-10. Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. At Carling-Sorsenson Theatre, Babson College, Wellesley. 866-811-4111,

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OKLAHOMA!Maybe Richard Jenkins and Sharon Jenkins are drawn to musicals with exclamation points in the title? Having collaborated on Trinity Rep’s 2014 production of “Oliver!,’’ the husband-wife team will direct and choreograph “Oklahoma!,’’ the first show that Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II created together. Featuring Charlie Thurston as Curly, Rachael Warren as Laurey, Joe Wilson Jr. as Jud, and Rebecca Gibel as Ado Annie. May 5-June 5. Trinity Repertory Company, Providence. 401-351-4242,

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS A cast of 8 th- to 12th-graders perform in Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s musical about the havoc wrought in a florist shop by a very hungry plant named Audrey II. Parental discretion advised due to what the theater calls “mature themes and staged violence.” May 6-15. Watertown Children’s Theatre. At Black Box Theater, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown. 800-838-3006,

BIG APPLE CIRCUS: THE GRAND TOUR The 1920s-era dawn of modern travel — by train, plane, steamship, and automobile — is the theme of this year’s show, complete with juggling, aerial stunts, acrobatics, clowning, and music from a seven-piece band. Through May 8. At the Big Top, City Hall Plaza, Boston.

A WOODLAND CINDERELLA In this adaptation by puppeteer Deborah Costine, Cinderella is a woodland fairy living in an oak tree with her tyrannical stepmother and mean-spirited stepsister. Cinderella gets her shot at being a princess when the king decrees that every fairy maiden in his kingdom must attend a great ball. Recommended for ages 4 and up. May 12-15. Puppet Showplace Theater, Brookline. 617-731-6400, ext. 101,


ROBIN HOOD An original musical version of the legend of Robin Hood, with music, lyrics, and book by Rene Pfister. The production, which features a cast of 44 that ranges in age from 10 to 17, will be co-directed by Pfister, Lisa Evans, and Hannah Flint. May 13-22. Concord Youth Theatre, West Concord.

KERPLUNK! Working without a script, actors devise and perform musical sketches based on ideas from the audience. Story lines have included talking dogs, space pirates, and trees that like to hug people. Recommended for ages 4 to 10. On Saturdays at 2 p.m. through May 28. Improv Asylum, Boston. 617-263-6887,


Don Aucoin can be reached at