New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.

The first battle is over, and sixteen beloved picture books have survived the fray! Many of the matchups were neck-and-neck up until last night's closing of the polls. A certain cookie-loving mouse out-hopped Frog and Toad across the finish line, while Are You My Mother's baby bird just couldn't flap his little wings hard enough to keep up with Harold and his purple crayon. Other races weren't so close. The Very Hungry Caterpillar slithered past the animals of Handa's Surprise, who were too distracted by all that fruit to notice; and Maurice Sendak's beloved Wild Things leapt over The Little House with ease.

Gil delights in the world of The Snowy Day with his grammy, Pat Buller Pearson.

Lindsey Buller Maliekel, our Director of Education / Public Engagement, checked in with her three-year-old son, Gil, about his Round One favorites. "I love it so much," he said of The Snowy Day. When asked why, he pointed at the bundled-up little boy and said, "Gil!"—proof, as Lindsey puts it, that all three-year-olds are a wee bit narcissistic. But, then, what kid wouldn't dream of enjoying a vicarious snow day?

For her part, Lindsey admires The Snowy Day for its artistry. "The illustrations are simple and epic simultaneously," she says. "They resonate with my own experience of childhood and with the experience I'm watching my sons having. I love them because there is a lot of room to create story and to attach the story to our own experiences."

Now it's time for the second round! How will Robert McCluskey's ducklings fare in the knee-deep drifts of The Snowy Day? Will Dr. Seuss's ecological masterpiece suffer the same fate as Mr. McGregor's rabbit-ridden garden? The choice is yours to make. Examine the pairings in the bracket below, cast your votes in the embedded form, and spread the fever of March Madness to all your bookwormy Facebook friends!

Caldecott Medalists   Enchanting Newcomers

Make Way for Ducklings




Elephant & Piggie: We Are In A Book!

The Snowy Day

The Day The Crayons Quit

Madeline's Rescue



Rosie Revere, Engineer

Where the Wild Things Are


Animal Tales Colorful Classics




The Lorax

Mr. Popper's Penguins

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

The Very Hungry Caterpillar



The Giving Tree

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Next week, we'll learn the identities of the Elite Eight, and we'll hear from yet another New Vic family about their favorite titles. Vote early, vote often!

The New Victory Theater launched the New Victory Usher Corps the day the theater opened to provide paid employment, job training, academic support, mentorship and an introduction to the performing arts for over 50 young New Yorkers each year. Since then, the program has provided over 400,000 hours of paid employment to over 500 NYC teens from across the city. Find out how the young people in your life can apply to be a part of this award-winning program!

All season long, we'll be featuring young people from our Usher Corps in our New Vic Bills and here on the New Victory Blog. Today we’re talking to third-year usher Greg Arrastia from Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Third-Year Usher Greg ArrastiaWho inspires you?
My old football coach inspires me because, growing up, it was hard for him. He was messing up in school—in life—and got kicked out the house when he was seventeen. He was homeless for two years until he got his mind straight, finished high school and went to college. He's always pushing me and is always on me because he doesn't want me to waste my life. He's like another father to me.

What was your favorite story as a kid?
My favorite movie when I was little was Tarzan. I just love it!

What was your favorite subject in school? 
My favorite subject in school was math. I was just great at it, always ahead of everybody. I've loved it since middle school.

What's your favorite song right now?
My favorite song right now is "Back Up" by DeJ Loaf. 

What's your favorite place to eat or grab food near the theater?
My favorite place to go and eat near the New Vic is Popeyes. 

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not at work?
My favorite things to do when I'm not at work are playing basketball and working out.

What's your favorite NYC hangout or neighborhood?
My favorite place to hang out is probably in a park.

What's the most challenging thing about being an usher?
The most challenging thing about being an usher is probably adapting to all the new and different ushers and customers from all over the world.

What would be your dream vacation?
My dream vacation is to go to Hawaii.

Each of our Third-Year Ushers gets to spend 40 hours working on a special project—a Third-Year focus—in the department of their choice at The New 42nd Street. Greg has decided to spend his Third-Year focus putting his customer service skills to use in the New Victory Operations Department alongside Laura Hamilton, our Company Manager.
Posted by Zack Ramadan
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