Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton Help Launch 11th Annual Kids' Night on Broadway
Oscar winner Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, co-founder of the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, Long Island, will be the national ambassadors for the 11th annual Kids' Night on Broadway, which will take place on January 30 and 31 in New York City.
On those dates, young people ages 6-18 can attend a Broadway show for free when accompanied by an adult paying full price. In addition, there will be special pre-theater fan events, attended by Broadway performers, at Madame Tussaud's on West 42nd Street, as well as special discounts on restaurants and other amenities. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, November 3; the Kids' Night program will be extended nationwide throughout the winter and spring of 2007.
At a press event held today at Sardi's, Andrews -- who has starred in four Broadway shows and in such classic family films as Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music -- stressed her commitment to the cause, saying: "I am so passionate about this event, because we should be giving kids every opportunity to be enchanted by theater. In this digital age, today's children run the risk of being isolated. Theater requires us to connect and invites us to unite with other live human beings."
Andrews herself started as a child actress and singer, following in the footsteps of her parents, who were musical hall performers. "I used to love going backstage after seeing them from the front of the house," she told TheaterMania. "It was so magical." Hamilton recalls that, as a child, she would re-enact the musicals she saw on Broadway at home with her half-sister. Asked what show she first recalled seeing, she told TheaterMania: "The musical that really introduced me to the joy of theater was Pippin, which just happened to be designed by my father [Tony Award winner Tony Walton]."
Mother and daughter's commitment to entertaining children extends beyond their ambassadorship of Kids' Night on Broadway; Andrews and Hamilton's 15th children's book, The Great American Mousical, was recently published, and the pair will appear on a float based on the book at this year's Thanksgiving's Day Parade. Andrews will lip-synch to a recording of "The Show Must Go On," a song that she and Hamilton wrote to accompany the book.
In addition, the pair have written a stage adaptation of their book Simeon's Gift, which will premiere at Bay Street in November 2007. "Then we hope to bring it to the rest of the world," said Hamilton.
For tickets or more information about Kids' Night on Broadway, call 1-888-Broadway or visit the website www.kidsnightonbroadway.com.