Wild Things Week NYC


by Harrison Peck , 09/25/2009

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New York is going wild! In anticipation of the premiere of Spike Jonze's film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are, the five boroughs will channel the imaginative spirit of Maurice Sendak's classic children's book to help New Yorkers release their inner howl. During Wild Things Week NYC (October 12–16), kids and their parents will find enough activities around town—including celebrity book readings, museum exhibitions, kids' art workshops and rugged outdoor adventures—to get their imaginations running wild. The week culminates on October 16 with the nationwide release of the film, a winning collaboration by Jonze, writer Dave Eggers and Sendak himself. Don your wolf costume, get outside and let the wild rumpus begin.

Book Readings
After nearly five decades, and at only about 10 sentences long, Where the Wild Things Are still remains a pivotal book on the early-reading lists of children everywhere. During Wild Things Week NYC, re-experience Maurice Sendak's whimsical writing style at public readings of the story. Join some of the film's stars on October 13 at the The New York Public Library, where Catherine Keener, Forest Whitaker and Max Records will read the book aloud to fans of all ages. (Limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.) For kid-oriented interpretations of the story, head over to the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden on October 16 or the Brooklyn Children's Museum October 10–18 for interactive readings of the book—with the kids playing the part of the Wild Things——or to the Queens Museum of Art on October 11 for a bilingual reading of the story in both English and Spanish.

Wild Things for Grown-Ups
Nostalgic adults can view Maurice Sendak's original artwork at the Morgan Library & Museum from October 6 through November 1. The exhibition presents early drafts of Where the Wild Things Are, along with manuscript pages and a preliminary sketch of the book's cover. Meanwhile, downtown, Animazing Gallery presents Sendak in SoHo through November 8. The exhibition and sale of Sendak's original work is free to the public and features more than 200 pieces by the artist. Then head over to the Museum of Modern Art for Spike Jonze: The First 80 Years, the first retrospective of the director's work. The series, running October 8–18, will take viewers through the director's stylistically groundbreaking career, from his early work in skateboard videos, music videos and commercials through his two previous feature films: Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. Jonze—whom Maurice Sendak describes as "a meshuggener…but dramatically gifted"—will introduce the opening-night screening himself.

Just for Kids
Young ones are invited to tap into their wild side throughout Wild Things Week NYC at a number of kid-friendly events. Take advantage of the school holiday on October 12 at the Children's Museum of Manhattan, where kids of all ages are invited to create Wild Things masks using textured fabrics. To allow them to burn off more creative energy, on October 13 the Staten Island Children’s Museum will encourage kids to discover their inner Rodins and sculpt their own Wild Things at Clay Day. On October 16, children can bring their own Wild Things to life with stop-motion animation workshops at Children's Museum of the Arts. Finally, throughout Wild Things Week NYC, kids can submit their own artistic interpretations of the book at children's museums for a chance to win tickets to a October 14 prescreening of Where the Wild Things Are. The Brooklyn Children's Museum, the Staten Island Children's Museum and the Children's Museum of Manhattan are all participating.

Wild Fun for the Family
Just as the book and the film are meant for all ages, Wild Things Week NYC offers a number of events that families can enjoy together. Urban adventurers can take part in a journey through the wilderness of New York City—including a wildflower walk and a canoe trip on a Bronx lagoon—under the guidance of an experienced NYC park ranger. For some indoor fun (and a free Wild Things memento), practice saying cheese while gnashing your terrible teeth and showing your terrible claws in the Where the Wild Things Are Kodak photo booth. The booth, which allows families to superimpose themselves into scenes with the Wild Things, will be located at The New York Public Library Children's Center on October 14 and 17, and at the Official NYC Information Center from October 13–16. On October 13, rub elbows with the Hollywood glitterati at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall for the star-studded premiere of the film. Families are invited to take part in the festivities by howling like Max and the Wild Things at the cast and crew as they walk down the red carpet. And finally, on October 16, the movie opens nationwide, so you'll be able to gather the family together and see Where the Wild Things Are on the big screen.

For more information about "Where the Wild Things Are: Original Drawings by Maurice Sendak," visit themorgan.org. For a schedule of celebrity readings, visit nypl.org.


related venues/(8)

  1. 1
    Staten Island Children's Museum
    1000 Richmond Terr.
    Staten Island – Richmond Town
    NY 10301
  2. 2
    Brooklyn Children's Museum
    145 Brooklyn Ave.
    Brooklyn – Crown Heights
    NY 11213
  3. 3
    Queens Museum
    New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
    Queens – Flushing
    NY 11368
  1. 4
    New York Public Library
    Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10018
  2. 5
    The Morgan Library & Museum
    225 Madison Ave.
    Manhattan – Murray Hill
    NY 10016
  3. 6
    The Museum of Modern Art - MoMA
    11 W. 53rd St.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10019
  1. 7
    Children's Museum of Manhattan
    The Tisch Building, 212 W. 83rd St.
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10024
  2. 8
    Alice Tully Hall
    1941 Broadway
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023

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