Bay Ridge teen stars in TADA! Youth Theater’s “How to Eat Like a Child”

BAY RIDGE — TADA! Youth Theater will be presenting a new production of the TV special “How to Eat Like a Child … And Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-Up,” featuring a number of Brooklyn teens from various parts of the borough including 14-year-old Bay Ridge resident Kiyo Garcia, who attends the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan.

Garcia previously attended P.S. 264 and then I.S. 201 Dyker Heights Intermediate School. She began performing in plays at Dyker, including playing the part of Jasmine in a production of “Aladdin,” when she was in the sixth grade.

“This is my fourth year at TADA! and I’m really enjoying this experience,” said Garcia. “You make so many connections by working together as actors, and we develop a strong bond of friendship. ‘How to Eat like a Child’ reflects our day-to-day lives in the real world, and we can all relate to it,” she added.

Garcia hopes to pursue a career in theater and explained how important it was for her to attend a school that specializes in drama. “I live pretty far away from Manhattan but I wanted to make the commute and pursue a career in acting,” she told this paper.

“How to Eat Like a Child,” which runs from Feb.15 through March 8, offers a kid’s guide to being a kid. It includes features comical numbers such as “How to Torture Your Sister,” “How to Beg for a Dog,” “How to Understand Your Parents,” “How to Stay Home from School” and many more. 

The production began as a 1981 TV special with Dick Van Dyke. TADA! was the first company to stage the musical in 1984 without any adult characters. 

TADA! founder and Producing Artistic Director Janine Nina Trevens is directing the production, and TADA! Associate Artistic Director Joanna Greer is choreographing it.

Trevens praised Garcia’s participation in the production. “Kiyo started with TADA! when she was 10-years-old,” Trevens told this paper. “She actually started with the TADA! ensemble first and then decided to pursue acting in school and then went to the Professional Performing Arts School.”

Garcia explained that she first learned of TADA! from her mother’s friend whose daughter was very interested in theater and singing. “Her mom noticed that I was also interested in it and she recommended TADA! to me and I reached out and auditioned,” explained Garcia.

Garcia’s dream is to pursue a career in theater. “I would love to continue on this path,” she added.

The production is written by Delia Ephron, John Forster and Judith Kahan with music and lyrics by John Forster. It’s based on a book by Delia Ephron. Calvin Hitchcock is the musical director, Joel Sherry is the set designer, and Ceanna Bryant is the costume designer.

Other Brooklyn children appearing in the production include Alfred Nicolas, 12, Calvin “CJ” Lyte Jr., 14, and Kaitlyn Davis, 12. The show’s cast includes children of ages eight to 14, and the ensemble cast includes ages eight to 18.

TADA! Youth Theater, located at 15 West 28th Street in New York, provides young people from different backgrounds an opportunity to participate in a musical theater program. TADA! produces original musicals for children, teens, and family audiences.

Alumni of TADA! include actor, writer, director Jordan Peele (“Key & Peele,” “Get Out,” “Us”), actress and singer Sasha Allen (“HAIR,” “The Voice,” “For Colored Girls”) and actor Ricardo Zayas (“Hamilton,” “Head Over Heels,” “West Side Story”).

Performances are scheduled for Feb. 15 and March 6 at 7 p.m.; Feb. 16, 22, 23, 29 and March 7, 8 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.; and February 17 at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. 

For tickets, visit

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