Family-friendly productions take center stage

A flurry of family-themed stage shows seems to be dropping faster than fall leaves. From tot-rocking beats and ice-slicing princesses to wicked witches and eye-widening magic, these productions offer variety for the entire brood.

‘The Wizard of Oz’

Frisch Marionettes of Cincinnati pulls the strings of this adaptation of the L. Frank Baum kid lit classic. The production makes an encore appearance at the Center for Puppetry Arts after its previous sold-out run. Yet this take on “Oz” remains a different kind of trip over the rainbow. Dorothy is African-American. And instead of the 1930s-era show tunes found in the big-screen MGM version, Dorothy and her newfound friends along the Yellow Brick Road — the Strawman, Tinman and Lion — sing the blues. The Frisch folks take marionette puppetry to the next level as the Strawman’s head pops off of his body and the massive Lion blinks his eyes. Each performance includes a visit to the museum and access to the Create-a-Puppet Workshop, which gives kids the opportunity to make a Lion string puppet of their own.

10 and 11:30 a.m. Oct. 8-10, 15-17 and 22-24; noon and 2 p.m. Oct. 11, 18 and 25; 1 and 3 p.m. Oct. 12, 19 and 26. $9.25 members; $16.50 nonmembers; free ages 1 and younger. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-873-3391,

Aurora Children’s Playhouse

Aurora Theatre’s family-friendly series arrives this fall with additional showtimes and three distinct productions. On Oct. 11, the “StinkyKids” book series springs from its pages and onto the stage with “StinkyKids The Musical.” The folks behind Big Thinkers Science Exploration formulate the stage show “Air Up There!” on Oct. 18. The audience gets a heaping helping of science with interactive experiments unfolding right before their eyes. Think giant wafting smoke rings, floating beach balls and screaming rocket balloons. Illusionist Arthur Atsma’s “Halloween Magic Show” has materialized into an Aurora Children’s Playhouse tradition. Atsma sets out to amaze with sleight-of-hand tricks and comedy magic. His shows typically sell out, so organizers suggest getting tickets in advance.

10 and 11:30 a.m. Oct. 11, “StinkyKids The Musical”; Oct. 18, “Air Up There!”; Oct. 25, “Halloween Magic Show.” $7. Aurora Theatre, free parking at 153 Crogan St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222,

‘Disney on Ice Presents Frozen’

Last year’s insanely popular Disney animated flick “Frozen” shows no signs of thawing, and the mouse masters have fast-tracked this version of the story on skates. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse host the show, spinning a yarn about a pair of royal sisters, Anna and Elsa, the latter born with icy, magical powers. Expect a condensed version of the movie, complete with friendly trolls, the rough and rustic Kristoff, Sven the reindeer, and the ever popular snowman Olaf. Of course, those uber-infectious movie songs serve as the soundtrack. The throngs of mini princesses filling the stands will likely join in as the cast sings “Let It Go,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and other “Frozen” favorites. An additional cast of Disney denizens makes special appearances, including characters from “The Lion King,” “Finding Nemo” and “Toy Story.” Even some of Disney’s other princesses make royal cameos.

10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8-9; 10:30 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10; and 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 11-12. $15-$225. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000,

Kidz Bop Kids Live

The “Kidz Bop” album series takes chart-reaching pop hits, sanitizes the lyrics and rerecords the tunes with a troupe of pint-size vocalists. Indie label Razor & Tie has released more than four dozen “Kidz Bop” albums, including seasonal and themed compilations. So who are the Kidz Bop Kids? The label periodically goes on the hunt for talent, and the latest crop of Kidz Bop crooners are the result of a nationwide casting call. More than 20,000 wannabe boppers sent in audition videos. The final five are bringing the show on the road. The fresh-faced quintet — made up of stage-savvy tweens Matt Martinez, Ashlynn Chong, Grant Knoche, Bredia Santoro and Jayna Brown — delivers a set of songs onstage while an audience teeming with tots sings along. The kids slip on their microphone headsets and step into the spotlight, busting out choreographed dance moves. Don’t be surprised to hear Kidz Bop versions of cuts such as “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, Lorde’s “Royals,” and “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

7 p.m. Oct. 19. $25-$31 including Ticketmaster fees. Center Stage Theatre, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000,

‘Little Raindrop Songs’ and ‘Courage’

The Alliance Theatre aims to please the younger set with several upcoming kid-centric productions. Its Theatre for the Very Young program goes after just that with “Little Raindrop Songs.” This tight 40-minute production comes customized for kids between 18 months and 5 years old. Taking place in the Black Box Theatre, the show breaks down the fourth wall by allowing the children to interact with the performers and become part of the show. The world found in “Little Raindrop Songs” comes to life with chromatic paper, transforming the set into different locations. It all begins in the bedroom, segues to the kitchen, into the great outdoors, and back home into bed for a soothing lullaby. The Japanese pajama pop band Lullatone provides the music. Next month, the Alliance invites audience members ages 10 and older to the world premiere of “Courage,” a contemporary interpretation of author Stephen Crane’s “The Red Badge of Courage.” Atlanta playwright Scott Warren takes the book’s themes and retrofits them into today’s middle school experience. How do you brave homework and long waits at the bus stop? Alliance veteran Rosemary Newcott directs.

“Little Raindrop Songs”: 9:30 and 11 a.m. Oct. 16-18, 20-25, Nov. 1, 8. $10; “Courage”: 7 p.m. Nov. 3. $15-$25. Alliance Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-733-5000,