Mention the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, and you will either get a blank stare or a look of delight. Located in New York’s Central Park, the theater started life in 1876 as an example of Swedish design at an exposition in Philadelphia. The cottage was purchased by the New York Parks Department and moved to its current site when the event ended. It was completely restored about 10 years ago.
(To file under “Did You Know”: The cottage was brought here at the suggestion of Frederick Law Olmstead, who designed Central Park.)
This summer, the cottage features a new retelling of the “Peter Pan” story, called “Peter Pan & Adventures in Never Land.” What’s new? Well, for one thing, it’s set in New York City; for another, Tiger Lily is now a native of India rather than being Native American. Will Nana the dog, by far our favorite character, make an appearance? No word yet…The show runs every day during the summer (although show times differ).
The marionettes are hand-crafted; the setting is lovely; and although performances are geared to kids 3-9, it’s more of an “everyone” kind of experience, at least once.
PS Yes–it’s air conditioned.
The Marionette Theater is located on the west side of the park at 79th Street, south of the Delacorte Theater. For more information about showtimes, performances, and birthday parties at the Cottage, call (212) 988-9093.
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