New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.
April 21, 2015

The Secret Power of Music

This week, Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players are bringing their theatrical concert The Mysterious Hat to the New Victory stage. It's a musical with a twist, and through puppetry and innovative storytelling it quickly becomes much more than just a concert for kids. Justin Roberts and his cohorts defy characterization as "children’s musicians". The best music for young listeners, just like the best theater for young audiences, is universal enough to be enjoyed by adults and kids alike.

With witty lyrics, memorable melodies and catchy arrangements, the best "kids' music" will stick with you into adulthood. I speak from experience—this brand of music played a significant role in my upbringing, and I never really outgrew it. In addition to still enjoying the lilt of Raffi and Peter Combe myself, I happen to have a younger brother who continues to take joy in these artists, and who has for the past twenty-six years. Why?

Like many kids on the autism spectrum, my brother has a fascination, indeed a love, of the songs he first latched onto as a little boy. He never stopped listening, and so neither did I. Many families with children on the spectrum can attest to this: there is special significance, a power even, in all the worn-out Disney VHS tapes, and the obscure Sesame Street DVDs and Raffi albums. There's a secret magic in that one song that can settle my brother back to earth with a smile, just as he's about to unravel. And so the music never stops being important. 

My ongoing relationship with this genre makes me a bit unusual, but we all have fond memories of at least one or two songs from our younger days. New Victory staff have gathered together some of our favorites in a playlist below, along with a few classics. Many of them showcase artists who are real gems, reveling in a joyful genre most music-lovers overlook. Give them a listen, and be sure to check out Justin Roberts during his limited time here at the New Vic. There's also an autism-friendly performance on Saturday, April 25th at 7pm. Everyone is welcome—spread the word.
   Acoustic guitar
   Drum set
   Bass guitar

You can also have some fun with our Family Activity for The Mysterious Hat! Start a family band and make your own #MysteriousPlaylist to share with us. See you in the front row!
   Piano Keyboard
Posted by Zack Ramadan

Looking down 42nd Street with The New Victory in the foregroundCompanies come from around the world to perform on the New Victory stage. Flip FabriQue is no exception—they traveled from Quebec for Catch Me!'s four-week run in New York City, trampowall and all. Catch Me! is a show full of breathtaking acrobatics and circusy hijinks, but the fun doesn't stop when the cast steps off-stage. There's still all of NYC out there to enjoy!

We asked a few of the members of Flip FabriQue about their time exploring the city, and they shared some lovely anecdotes. They also gave us some beautiful photos to share, like this gorgeous shot of The New Victory!
Christophe Hamel Hugo Ouellet-Côté Bruno Gagnon
Christophe Hamel Hugo Ouellet-Côté Bruno Gagnon
Tell us about the most fun thing you've done during your NYC visit. 
Christophe Hamel     I went to Central Park and Chelsea Market, which were awesome. I also saw Queen of the Night.
Hugo Ouellet-Côté     I went bike riding in Brooklyn. For dinner, I hopped around, tasting from place to place. I also went to a Yankees game.
Bruno Gagnon     I went to Central Park with my father. It was his first time—a great moment.

What has been your favorite meal? Dessert counts! 
Christophe Hamel     Baby back ribs. And burgers, lots of burgers! Cheesecake is my favorite dessert, and New York is pretty good for that!
Hugo Ouellet-Côté     The meat at Fette Sau BBQ.
Bruno Gagnon     DINNERS, DINNERS! I love them all. Also, it was Easter last week, so chocolate was a big favorite as well.

Describe your favorite New York spot—a place you might want to see again someday.
Christophe Hamel     There is a little park close to our place in Brooklyn. It's a nice spot to see Manhattan and relax, feet in the sand.
Hugo Ouellet-Côté     The view of Manhattan from Brooklyn at night.
Bruno Gagnon     I love Times Square. I've come to New York five times already and it's always impressive. It's a great way to feel the city.
View of Manhattan across a sunlit East River Buskers on the Times Square subway platform The outfield of Yankee Stadium
Photos: Hugo Ouellet-Côté (Click to enlarge)

Be sure to catch the last week of Catch Me!, running through April 19! And follow Flip FabriQue on Instagram for more great shots of their time here at the New Vic.
Posted by Zack Ramadan
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