Mother Africa: Circus Der Sinne (Circus of the Senses), which premiered on December 6, 2013 at the New Victory Theatre on 209 West 42nd Street in Manhattan with a scheduled run through January 5, 2014, is a New York City clan's best Frugal Family Deal for the holidays.
This troupe of African performers from Ethiopia, Benin, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa offers the jaw-dropping acrobatics of Cirque du Soleil (Premium Tickets: $495), the wondrous precision of The Rockettes (Tickets: $46-$145), the sweeping pageantry of The Lion King (Tickets: $99-$165), the toe-tapping percussion of STOMP (Tickets: $56.95-$86.95), the exuberant dancing of Newsies (Tickets: $67-$189) and the free-wheeling showmanship of The Blue Man Group (Tickets: $82.30-$106.30).
Tickets for Mother Africa: Circus Der Sinne are $36, $22, $14 and $11 for Members based on seat locations.
And you definitely get your money's worth, no matter which ticket you purchase (the theater has excellent sight-lines, and the acts are grand enough to be viewed from any seat, including the balcony, where seats start at $17).
From the pulsating beats of the band to the vibrantly colored costumes, the world-record breaking (literally) acrobats (including a little boy who is destined to make every similarly-sized person in the audience think: Hey, I could do that), the unbelievable contortionist, the Hula-Hoop wizard and the Gumboot tap dancers (with a side lesson on what it meant to be working in an African mine), every single act is world-class.
There isn't a dud or a dead spot for the entire 100 minutes (plus 15 minute intermission) of the show, and children of all ages should sit entranced for the duration (though it is recommended for ages 5 and up, a mature 3 year old should be able to enjoy it, too).
Furthermore, The New Victory is a theater where kids aren't merely tolerated, but rather feted. Ushers walk up and down the aisles before a show offering booster seats, and downstairs from the performance space, in addition to clean and spacious public restrooms, are African masks to look at and toys to play with (and buy) similar to props used in the show.
Tickets to the December 20 show garner you the added bonus of a Talk Back with the cast, meaning kids' inevitable questions of: How did they do that? will get answers (even if said answers are ones that will then require parents to hide all the chairs, tennis rackets and metal cans in their house. You'll need to see the show to understand why.)