Have you and the kids seen the ballet The Nutcracker enough times? For a different experience in New York, you might want to see if there are tickets for the Guggenheim Museum’s performances this week of Peter & the Wolf. It features live music, a new dance created by acclaimed choreographer John Heginbotham, and is directed, designed and narrated by fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi.
The museum has offered the children’s fable, with its score by Sergei Prokofiev for the past seven years. But this is the first year it is fully staged, with dancers playing the characters. The music, conducted by former New York City Opera music director George Manahan, is provided by the Juilliard Ensemble, with instrumentalists arranged on stage and along the sides of the museum’s Peter B. Lewis Theater. The program runs a very child-friendly 30 minutes.
Since Prokofiev composed the piece in 1936, it has been a classic way for children to learn about musical instruments. Peter is represented by strings, the wolf by a French horn, a cat by the clarinet, a bird by a flute, a duck by an oboe and the grandfather by a bassoon. In this production, Mizrahi has outfitted Peter in a helicopter beanie and the bird in blue feathered arms and gym shorts. The setting is Central Park.
There are two performances at the Guggenheim Museum each afternoon Friday through Sunday Dec. 13-15. Tickets are $35.