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November 14, 2012

In Concert: Symphony Space's Just Kidding

Full disclosure: I grew up a half-mile from Symphony Space on Manhattan's Upper West Side (I recall going to some of the very earliest Selected Shorts readings in high school, back before they'd become an institution all unto themselves), and it will always hold a special place in my heart. (I was very sad to see last week the news of the recent death of one of the venue's founders, Isaiah Sheffer, a man who epitomized the vibe of the Upper West Side of my childhood.)

But it had been a long time since I'd set foot inside the place—enough time for it to undergo a massive renovation, in fact—until I had kids and learned about the Just Kidding series there. Turns out the series features concerts by, oh, pretty much all the children's musicians I write about on this blog: Remaining on the schedule for this season are the likes of Justin Roberts, Gustafer Yellowgold, Elizabeth Mitchell, Uncle Rock, and Frances England, and past seasons have included all our family's favorites that aren't mentioned in that list (Recess Monkey, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Lunch Money...).

There are also several other cultural shows for kids in the series, from ballet (a performance of The Nutcracker coming up in early December) to percussive dance to acrobatics; my older son and I just saw and thoroughly enjoyed philharMONSTER, an orchestral performance of Halloween-themed music by a pair of local NYC student orchestras (which was no less enjoyable for having had to be postponed until well after Halloween, thanks to Hurricane Sandy). Ticket prices are in the $15 to $25 range generally, and all of it is well worth checking out if you're a parent anywhere in the New York area.

[Image courtesy of Symphony Space]