Brink of Life

by Laura Ekstrand, Oliver Lake and Steve Harper
Dreamcatcher Rep

The Star Ledger, Peter Filichia

The Bully

Vital Theatre Company

"Considering its dire and all-too-real consequences, bullying ought to be on all our radars. What's great about Vital Theatre Company's musical , which debuted in 2005, is that it eschews easy dichotomies, focusing instead on the decidedly gray areas between bully and victim, onlooker and participant, in such a way that everyone in the audience learns a thing or two about it—and recognizes in himself the human tendency to indulge in behavior that can hurt others.

"Kept to a kid-perfect 60 minutes, the production's pacing and tone will appeal equally to younger kids, who will eat up the catchy music and humor, and their older counterparts, who are bound to connect to their fictional peers' plights with a compassion bred from experience. Once again, Vital triumphs with a production that speaks to kids on their own terms about a subject that really truly matters."

TimeOut New York Kids

"Recently, we went to see  The Bully, a hilarious, well-written and totally relevant musical for our household. To say that we loved the show, the characters, the music and the topic is an understatement. From the opening gym scene to the happy ending, The Bully was a joy. Of course, from the title, you obviously expect the show to be about a “Bully” but the play is so much more. What I thought were two  ”aha” teachable moments were that everyone can be a bully, even the nerd who gets picked on  and that bullies don’t have to be the biggest kid in school, they can look as demure as a little girl. My daughter, her friend and both us, parents all recommend the show  to any parent of a grade school kid. After the show, we had a great conversation about the show, the message and thinking differently about bullies. That said, I do think it is appropriate for pre-schoolers, they may not get the entire message but it still works to teach them to be nice and what is a bully."


A Chorus Line

by James Kirkwood Jr., Nicholas Dante, Edward Kleban
and Marvin Hamlisch
Greenwich Academy, Massey Theater

Embracing Freedom

by Nick Van Hoogtsraten

The Klezmer Nutcracker

by Ellen Kushner and Shirim Klezmer Orchestra
Vital Theatre Company

"But to my delight, the fresh, unembarrased naivete of director Linda Ames Key's production contained a theatrical innocence I love.  A dreidel spins miracles and dances in golden human form; a preening peacock spreads its feathers in a startling, magical image; two fleeing children jump up a step to convey jumping down; a cardboard cutout of a young girl travels on a carboard camel and falls off--and a real girl rolls onto the tiny stage.

Now, when Giorgio Strehler's legendary production of Shakespeare's The Tempest began with a storm of painted cardboard waves, the great director was hailed as a theatrical genius (which he surely was).  Strehler understood theater's essential playful innocence, and so does the gifted Ms. Key."

John Heilpern, The New York Observer, December 2008

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe

Greenwich Academey, Massey Theater

A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare
Greenwich Academy, Massey Theatre


by Molly Newman and Barbara Damashek
Greenwich Academy, Massey Theater

The Sound of Music

by Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lindsay and Crouse
Greenwich Academy, Massey Theatre

A (Tooth) Fairy Tale

by Ben H. Winters and Rick Hip-Flores
Vital Theatre Company

"What ensues makes up A (TOOTH) FAIRY TALE, a very funny and melodically rich musical directed by Linda Ames Key and presented by Vital Children's Theatre. ... Written to amuse anyone from 4 to 12, the show is even a treat for parents: this is one children's extravaganza that won't set your teeth on edge."
Laurel Graeber, New York Times

"Linda Ames Key keeps the pace fast, a necessity in children's theatre. ... Be sure to make reservations.  As Vital's reputation grows, so does the number of sold-out shows."
Byrne Harrison, OOBR

Twilight Los Angeles: 1992

by Anna Deavere Smith
Fordham High School for the Arts
Theodore Roosevelt Campus Audiotorium

Velma Gratch & The Way Cool Butterfly

by Danny Larsen and Michelle Elliott
Vital Theatre Company 

Based on Alan Madison's book of the same title '"Velma" even incorporates a way cool science lesson into it 50 minutes of song and dance. But more than teaching about metamorphosis and migration, the show wants to celebrate individuality and the potential gifts of the more modest souls who follow in the footsteps of the illustrious.
The New York Times

My daughter was rapt from start to finish, as were the rest of the children in the audience. 

The musical hews closely to Alan Madison’s simple, metaphorical tale, and the aesthetics though bare-bones, are taken directly from Kevin Hawkes’ lively illustrations. With her curly, carrot-colored pigtails, loud outfits, round eyeglasses and exuberant personality, Velma is totally goofy and reminiscent of another fictional elementary schooler, Junie B. Jones. In other words, she’s delightful.
TimeOut New York Kids