Reviews from some of our amazing clients!
(These reviews are a combination of both my solo company Jane Stratten's Musical Puppets and my NYC based family company Penny and the Puppettes)
Birthday Party in Brooklyn on 10/29/17 I want to tell you, I have 5 kids and I did so many birthdays. I always hired entertainment. You were by far the best entertainment we ever got. Everyone loved it. Thank you! ~Limor N.
Private Party in Manhattan on 7/22/17 A friend of mine at work had been raving about your performance at her daughter's preschool. Well, I happily discovered that she wasn't exaggerating! Thank you so much for keeping our kids entertained while we adults could enjoy our dinner party! ~Ashley F.
Private Party for a holiday event in Brooklyn on 12/20/16 We hired Penny and the Puppettes' 2 person show for our company's holiday party and it was the best choice for entertainment for all of the little ones to enjoy! They even included several Christmas and Hanukkah songs at the end of their show for everyone to sing along to, as well as bringing out their enormous Snowman puppet that the kids helped to find. We look forward to seeing them again next year! ~Madeline Brewster, Program Director at the Brewster Company
Birthday Party for a 5 year old in Bayside, NY, on 10/10/16 Wow! What a treat to find this charming company and hire them for my son's birthday party. I had seen Jane perform at one of my son's friend's birthdays and knew she would be the perfect choice of entertainment. And she certainly delivered! Thanks again! ~Tanya C.
School Performance for Caedmon Discovery Camp in Manhattan on 7/20/16 We invite Penny and the Puppettes to join us each year at Caedmon Discovery Camp. Penny and her friends are a PERFECT activity for children of all ages. We book Penny and the Puppettes every year to perform for our younger campers, ages 3-5, and we plan on having her back next summer, the summer after that, and for the foreseeable future! Not only do children love the performance, but the campers got to hold and pet some puppets and she also provided follow-up coloring activities for the kids. Campers have been talking about the performance ever since she left! Can't wait for next year's show! ~Brad Slepian, Camp Director at the Caedmon Discovery Camp
Birthday Party for a 2 year old in Brooklyn on 6/11/16 Thank you for helping make my daughter's birthday party so special! She was so shy at first, and so to see her by the end of your show taking part in all of the songs was just lovely. I'm sure we'll see you at future parties! ~Brittany T.
Private Party for a corporate event in New Jersey on 5/2/16 Penny and the Puppettes was the perfect entertainment for our family day. We had about 100 kids over the course of the day, and having three back to back puppet shows was the best way to make sure that everyone got a chance to catch their act! The kids just loved them! ~Meredith Kessler, Program Director at The Shelly Institute
Birthday Party for an 8 year old in Brooklyn on 3/25/16 Jane was just fabulous at keeping my daughter and her friends entertained for her birthday party. The kids thought the puppets were hilarious and all wanted to share their favorite part of the show after Jane had been long gone. Thank you again! ~Cecilia B.
Birthday Party for a 3 year old in Manhattan on 1/3/16 Jane kept a group of 20 plus 3 year old toddlers at my son's birthday engaged and interested for 45 whole minutes! My son can't get the "Uh Oh!" song out of his head and keeps saying the puppet show was his favorite part of his birthday. Thank you Penny and the Puppettes! ~Lisa M.
Birthday Party for a 3 year old in Park Slope, NY, on 10/22/15 (review on parkslopeparents.com) We were so happy to have Merissa from Penny and the Puppettes perform at my son's 3rd birthday party. She came dressed as a cowgirl for my son's farm themed party. She kept all of my son's friends entertained for 50 minutes. The kids loved all of her songs and puppets. My son still talks about his farm party and the singing cowgirl! Definitely recommend Penny and the Puppettes! ~Kristin B.
Performances at the City and Country School Harvest Festival in Manhattan on 10/17/15 Penny and the Puppettes is a beloved favorite of our small West Village's elementary school students. Performing biannually for several years now, children as young as two and as old as ten delight in this wonderfully interactive and magical performance. Merissa brings her warmth and talents to perform her sweet show. This unique performance experience has become a tradition in our school that delights both parents and children. ~Sarah O'Connell, coordinator/organizer at the City and Country School
Private Party for a group of 2-6 year olds in Manhattan on 10/4/15 Penny and the Puppettes were the perfect entertainment for our party! Jane led the charge and put on a great show for our small group of kids aged 2-6. We had rowdy preschoolers that transformed into focused, attentive audience members participating in activities and songs with the puppets. They were captivated and loved the show. We hired Penny and the Puppettes for my husband's birthday brunch at an upscale Japanese restaurant with a private room to entertain the kids after their lunch while the adults relaxed and had a leisurely fun lunch. It was a success and great to so happy. The parents are still talking about it and the kids too! ~Kathy W.
Birthday Party for a 4 year old in Orange County, NY (originally booked on gigmasters.com on 10/5/13, but review posted on 8/10/15) Hello Merissa, I always wanted to write a review for the puppet show you and your mother Jane performed for my daughter, Alessandra's 4th birthday in Orange County, NY. I can't express how incredible the show was. My daughter and all of her friends had such a blast! They were entertained from beginning to end. You were funny, enthusiastic, and professional. You brought a real stage performance to our backyard! Even now, 2 years later, every guest, parents and children alike, are still raving about the amazing puppet show. My daughter will be 6 years old in October and she attends a day camp that caters to children ages 4-18 years old from New York City, Rockland, and Orange Counties. They host a bunch of activities for the children and I am recommending they contact Penny and the Puppets. Thank you for making my daughter's day so special and memorable. Please feel free to post this as a review. ~Samantha R.C.
Child Care Center in Elmsford, NY on 4/15/15 Penny and the Puppettes came to our child care center several times to perform for our children ages Infants- Pre K. Penny's performances are both entertaining and fun. The children participate and get excited as each puppet comes out. I strongly recommend Penny and the Puppettes for any occasion. You will not be disappointed. ~Deanna Intorcia, Director at Bright Horizons WEP
Birthday Party for a 1 year old in Manhattan, NY on 2/15/15 To keep the kids entertained we brought in Penny and the Puppettes who always do an amazing job with the little ones! Their 45 min show keeps them engaged and loving every second! We set out foam mats on the floor along with a bunch of Duplo blocks for the kids to play with. It looks like the adults had just as much fun as the kids! ~Little Miss Party Planner http://littlemisspartyplanner.com/blog/little-miss-party/party/brown-bear-brown-bear/
Birthday Party for a 4 year old in Manhattan, NY on 1/25/15 I wanted to thank you again for a wonderful puppet show! The kids really loved it and so did the adults! You are so fun and genuine and how you can grab the attention of so many little crazy and wild boys for 40+ minutes is still a miracle to me!!!! Thank you again! This was truly wonderful! ~Antje E.
Birthday Party for a 3 year old in Brooklyn, NY on 1/10/15 Thank you so much!! Everyone loved your performance! Truly. The kids had a blast and the parents were so impressed. Thank you!! You are so talented and professional. You made it super easy. I will be sure to recommend you to friends. ~Jackie G.
Birthday Party for a 1 year old in Brooklyn, NY on 12/12/14 I wanted to thank you again for an unbelievable puppet show! Marty had the greatest time and all the kids were mesmerized! You were really amazing! Thank you for making his birthday so special! ~Lynda S.
Birthday Party for a 2 year old in Glendale, NY on 12/7/14 After doing a lot of research, I chose Penny and the Puppettes to perform at my daughter's 2nd birthday party. The option of a smaller circle show was perfect for my budget and for the age group attending the party. I dealt with Merissa, who was punctual and professional. The show started on time and was highly captivating for such little kids. I was worried that the kids would be all over the place, but Merissa seamlessly moved from puppets to songs to instruments effortlessly. The kids' attention never waived! We had a 6 year old, older sibling, who Merissa incorporated into the show as her helper. The girl was thrilled! As a teacher, I especially loved that there were familiar, classic songs, other songs that taught concepts, and story lines that taught concepts as well. All of the parents in attendance were beyond pleased, also. I would HIGHLY recommend them to any and everyone!
Birthday Party for a 7 year old in Brooklyn, NY on 10/25/14
Jane and her puppet performance were the perfect entertainment for my son's party! He and his friends didn't want the show to end even as she was trying to pack up! Thank you so much!
Birthday Party for a 2 year old in Greenwich, CT on 9/21/14
Thank you for making Harper’s party an even more special day for her and a hit with all her little friends AND their parents. We got a lot of complements on doing a puppet show rather than dragging them and their kids to another usual birthday party at The Little Gym or a Bouncing Castle place! I will be sure to tell Verna how great you were as well so she makes sure to get you back at Little Friends next Summer and Harper can see Penny and all the Puppets again!
Birthday Party for a 4 year old in Selden, NY on 8/23/14 (review on gigmasters.com)
They were the perfect entertainment for my daughter's 4th bday celebration. My daughter and her friends were glued to them from beginning to end! I saw how her eyes lit up every segment change. She kept on raving about it the next day. Every time I asked her what she liked about her surprise party, she'd say "I love the puppets!". The parents liked it too. It was entertaining, educational, values-oriented, and FUN! Highly recommended! Hats off to Jane & Merissa!
Birthday Party for a 4 year old in Brooklyn, NY, on 7/26/14
I just wanted to thank you for such a wonderful show. Ava loved it and she especially loved being your helper. And it was timed perfectly so the kids could be under the canopy during the rain. Thank you for making her party so special.
Purim Celebration for all ages at Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, NY, on 3/16/14
Penny and the Puppettes were a pleasure to work with. They were very responsive to our needs and flexible. The show did a terrific job of engaging the children.
~Cindy Greenberg, Director of Programming
Birthday Party for a 2 year old in Manhattan, NY, on 3/8/14
We booked Penny & the Puppettes for my daughter's 2nd Birthday party and we LOVED LOVED LOVED the show. What initially sold it to us, was seeing our daughter's enjoyment for their online video clips. It was pure pleasure.. those little feet bouncing up and down to the music! From the moment I contacted the team, everything ran smoothly and nothing was too much trouble. It is such a nice touch that they send a CD in the post on booking. We have used it many times as our daughter loves to dance to it. They very kindly incorporated Old MacDonald Had a Farm into our performance. My daughter is still singing this days later.
All in all a huge hit. I won't be surprised at all if my friends start asking for contact details for Penny & the Puppettes, as a number raved about her party being the best they have been to. Thank you again so much! We have such fond memories of our daughter's 2nd Birthday.
Birthday Party for a 2 year old in Manhattan, NY, on 2/1/14
THANK YOU so so much for such a wonderful puppet show! My son and his little friends loved it. You are fantastic! I thought you created a really warm and inviting environment for the kids to enjoy. I also thought it was amazing how you held a group of toddler's attention for over 30 minutes!! That is a feat!! :)
Birthday Party for a 1 year old in Long Island City, NY, on 1/24/14 (review on thumbtack.com)
Merissa did such an amazing job at my daughters 1st birthday party, I couldn't have asked for more! She was brilliant with entertaining all the kids and also, adults. So many friends have asked for Merissa's contact info to book her for their children's birthdays. I would hire her again and recommend her to others without a doubt. Thanks for such a great show :)
Birthday Party for a 3 year old in Manhattan, NY, on 1/19/14
Thank you so much for your lovely show! It was so in tune with where the kids are at developmentally, so warm and so engaging. Lots of people who came told us they loved it.
Birthday Party for a 1 year old in Brooklyn, NY, on 10/8/13 (review on parkslopeparents.com) We hired Penny & the Puppettes for my daughters 1st bday party this July. I can't say enough how wonderful was and how much the kids enjoyed it! We had a group of 30-40 kids, who ranged from less than 1 t0 7 years old. Merissa had every single kid entertained for the full 45 minutes from beginning to end! It was truly amazing. We were very nervous since we had such a large group of kids with varying ages. Turned out better than we could have imagined and it was such a success. The show is interactive and Merissa has a great voice. Even the parents were entertained! I would highly recommend them- Merissa was as sweet as they come and we would recommend her for any party.
Birthday Party for a 2 year old in Brooklyn, NY, on 10/5/13
Chloe was awesome!!! My kids loved her and her beautiful singing voice. The show was so creative and unique, and just the right length to fit everything else in with the time frame we had. Thank you!
Festival Performances for all ages at Mercer County Italian American Festival in West Windsor, NJ on 9/27-29/13
Over the past several years, Penny and the Puppettes has performed at the Mercer County Italian American Festival (MCIAFA), held in West Windsor, New Jersey over the past 14 years. The event is scheduled the last weekend in September. The Festival is considered to be the 5th largest festival in the United States attracting approximately 100,000 visitors over a three day weekend. Merissa performs a total of ten shows over the three days, entertaining large crowds of children and their parents. Merissa is like family to the MCIAFA, extremely talented and caring for the children that she entertains. It is not often that one has the opportunity to make a recommendation of this type; however, we do it without reservation. Should you require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us at 609-586-9010.
~Carl Carabelli and Ann Lennon, Entertainer Committee Co-Chairs.
Camp Performance at Little Friends in Greenwich, CT, on 7/25/13
I just wanted to send a note to say THANK YOU! Once again this year your show was the talk of Little Friends. The children and teachers alike were all so excited and entranced by your characters, songs and f-u-n! We can't wait to take credit for introducing you to the Greenwich area ;). Wonderfully done - again!
~Verna E., Director of Little Friends
Camp Performance at Caedmon Discovery Camp in Manhattan, NY, on 7/24/13
Merissa has come to perform at The Caedmon School Discovery Camp for the past few summers for our 3-5 year old campers. She always puts on a fantastic performance for us and keeps the kids very entertained! They laugh, dance, and sign along with Merissa! We look forward to work with her again next summer and highly recommend Penny and the Puppettes!
~Melissa W., Camp Director of Caedmon Discovery Camp
Birthday Party for a 2 year old at Sprinkles Cupcakes in Manhattan, NY, on 5/19/13
Jane and her lovely band of puppets were a delight to the children for my daughter's 2nd bday. A very family friendly and entertaining show indeed. Well worth it!
~Lucy and Asa M.
School Performance at PS 262 in Brooklyn, NY, on 5/12/13
Penny and the Puppettes performed for our K through 2nd graders and were wonderful. The show was almost an hour long and the children were completely engaged the entire time. The puppets made learning fun. We look forward to seeing them again.
~Desiree Barter, Assistant Principal, PS 262
Birthday Party for a 5 year old in Jersey City, NJ, on 4/18/13
Jane was amazing! Such a joy for us to see all of the kids we invited to our son’s party completely riveted the whole time.
Public Performance at Books of Wonder in Manhattan, NY, on 3/5/13
The joy that I witnessed you [Jane and Merissa] bring to the little slice of heaven I'm lucky enough to check into everyday at Books of Wonder, that atmosphere you created, it defines the good times that you want to stay with you forever. I want to thank you for injecting that liveliness into the foundation of our store with hopes that one day our walls will talk and speak of the glories you composed! As I said on that day, there was never more energy and happiness on the amazing kids' faces as there were while you were orchestrating them. Being a bookseller of children's books, that is my only hope. It is all I strive for. The books are fantastic and inspiring and a vehicle of goodness- but it is a vehicle to get that very result that you achieved, seamlessly I might add, on that weekend afternoon. Emotions cannot be hidden, nor can they be contrived or fabricated. They are the sincerest reflection of ourselves. Those most positive and genuine emotions truly make this world a better place as well as the lives that are lucky enough to have you shared with them. It is true, I am only a bookseller, and do not speak as a spokesman or under the authority of Books of Wonder, but I have worked with children since I was still barely one, and so hopefully seen as a peer, you accept my appreciation for your work that, as I said, truly makes this world a better place.
~Joel Grayson, Books of Wonder Associate
Birthday Party for a 4 year old at Citibabes in Manhattan, NY, on 3/3/13
Penny and the Puppettes are a kid favorite! They performed at a party at Citibabes recently and blew the parents and children away- the birthday girl couldn't stop talking about Penny and her friends for days!
~Anne Lischwe, Birthday/Events Coordinator at CITIBABES, NY
Birthday Party for a 3 year old in Brooklyn, NY, on 3/2/13
Penny and Puppetes- Merissa was amazing. We had 12 three year olds in our apartment and she engaged them all in her puppet show. They sat quietly for a full hour enjoying monsters, animals and listening to songs. All kids could participate in the show hugging puppets etc. It was truly the best performance at the kids party I’ve ever seen. Merissa is an amazing performer: warm and fun and she knows her craft.
Birthday Party for a 3 year old in Manhattan, NY, on 2/11/13
We hired Merissa for our daughter's 3rd birthday party in our home. I am not exaggerating when I say that she and her puppettes "MADE our party!" Her puppet show was amazingly entertaining and engaging for the kids. It was so interactive, and in so many different and creative ways -- the types of interactions varied with every song. The kids were completely mesmerized and participating from start to finish, even though it was a relatively long show (~40 min). So many families sent me e-mails to tell me how much they and their children enjoyed the show. And even now, several weeks after the party, I have friends still commenting on it. I highly recommend Merissa if you want to provide your children and guests with a memorable experience that is much more unique than your standard kids' party.
Birthday Party for a 4 year old at Cowgirl Restaurant in Manhattan, NY, on 2/7/13
Merissa performed for our son's 4th birthday party and was an instant hit! She was able to engage a room of 20+ toddlers, aged 1 through 5 with her delightful puppets, her wonderful voice and her beautiful smile. This is not your ordinary puppet show... Penny sits in front of the theater and has the children touch and interact with the puppets, keeping them on the edge of their seats. The music is familiar enough that the children can participate, yet somehow new and exciting. She sent us a CD ahead of time and we still listen to it today. If you are looking for something fun and cool for your child's birthday party, you cannot go wrong with Penny and the Puppettes!
Birthday Party for a 1 year old at Pop Pub in Manhattan, NY, on 2/4/13
Merissa performed at my son's 1st birthday and she was amazing!!! We had a range of ages of kids from 0-5 and she was able to engage everyone. I would HIGHLY recommend penny & puppets for your child's party!
~Elyssa Sanders, GODFREY SANDERS PUBLIC RELATIONS
Birthday Party for a 2 year old in Manhattan, NY, on 1/28/13
I wanted to thank you for a wonderful puppet show. Everybody loved it and I was really impressed because you managed to keep a bunch of lively 2 year olds interested throughout the entire process and they obviously had tons of fun! You were GREAT! Thank you also for including my son’s brothers in your show. You were so flexible waiting for everybody to arrive and I was really thankful for that. I will make sure that I recommend you to everybody I know. The show was fun, loving, entertaining and you are wonderful! You are very talented :)
Birthday Party for a 3 year old in Manhattan, NY, on 12/10/12 (review on mommyshorts.com)
The party was awesome (I'll call it comfortably crowded), Mazzy had a blast (she singlehandedly ate about 3/4 of the cake pops), there were no major spills or tantrums (except a pink sprinkle incident that was thwarted quickly) and everyone LOVED the puppet show. So much so that I need to give Merissa, the very talented and funny woman behind Penny & the Puppettes a big shout-out...Penny & the Puppettes is an interactive musical customized for your occasion for kids 2-8. Merissa sings original songs using puppets, props, instruments and continuous audience participation to keep the kids fully engaged while also teaching age appropriate lessons about things like feelings, respect and peer pressure. Plus, Mazzy got to hug all the puppets, so that's what really counts. Honestly, I couldn't believe how well Merissa commanded a room of so many three-year-olds. If it wasn't for her, I'm sure someone would have tackled the dessert table and toppled the cake before we ever got to sing "Happy Birthday".
~Ilana Rosengarten, MOMMY SHORTS www.mommyshorts.com
Birthday Party for a 3 year old in Manhattan, NY, on 12/10/12 (review on littlemisspartyplanner.com)
For the entertainment we used Penny and the Puppettes. Merissa came in with an awesome stage, tons of puppets, an amp and a headphone and music to boot. The kids went wild for her show and she managed to keep the attention of 12 wild 3 year olds for 45 minutes straight!
~Seri Kertzner, LITTLE MISS PARTY PLANNER
Christening in Orangeburg, NY on 3/11/2012 (review on gigmasters.com)
Merissa and her Mom were so comfortable performing and being silly for our crowd of 50 plus kids. They captivated them despite the vast age range of 2-14. We were so pleased with them! Well worth it!
Birthday Party for a 5 year old in Newtown, CT on 1/28/2012 (review on gigmasters.com)
Penny and the Puppettes was the perfect addition to my daughter's 5th birthday party!! Madison and her friends were so amazed by the show!! And at the end of the night, when I asked Maddie what her favorite part of her party was, without hesitation she said, "the puppet show!!!!" Would highly recommend Penny and the Puppettes!!
Birthday Party for a 3 year old in Manhattan, NY, on 9/21/11 (review on thumbtack.com)
We had such a great experience with Penny and the Puppettes that my 3 year old said she wants it again for her next party! And adults also enjoyed it since many of our friends have asked me for her contact to book her for their kids party! A huge success! Will have Penny again next year for my baby 1st bday and my little girl's 4th party!
Birthday Party for a 6 year old in Manhattan, NY, on 9/20/11 (review on thumbtack.com)
Thank you for a fantastic show that was custom built for our son's cowboy themed birthday party. The music was great and performance kept adults and kids engaged for a long time. Performers arrived early to set up and helped with everything - they were so positive and sweet and professional. Thank you!
Family Reunion in East Meadow, NY on 6/12/2011 (review on gigmasters.com)
Penny and the Puppettes were by far the best entertainment we've used for kids. It was supposed to rain on the day we booked yet they were dedicated to keep the show going. It turned out to be a clear and sunny day, but I was impressed with their can-do spirit, punctuality, and ability to maintain the interest of a very diverse age group. This was for a family reunion, and by the end of their show our family was so grateful they could not help but invite them to eat as much as possible before they hit the road for the next group they were going to delight with their brilliant and original routines.
Community Event in Greenwich, CT on 6/11/2011 (review on gigmasters.com)
The Penny and the Puppettes show was very creative and interactive. The children enjoyed the puppets and responded to them when they asked questions. Our show was outside under a tent, so there was opportunity and space to dance and more with the music and songs.
Birthday Party for a 1 year old in Jamaica, NY on 5/8/2011 (review on gigmasters.com)
Merissa was awesome! The kids loved the circle of fun show. I highly recommend her puppet show...she's great.
Birthday Party for a 6 year old in New York City, NY on 4/3/2011 (review on gigmasters.com)
What a treat to have had Jane and Merissa at our party. They were at the venue an hour early to set up and test their sounds system. Show was unbelievable and kept all adults and kids glued to their seat and up on their feet at the same time! So much fun - i would recommend them to anyone anytime!! Thanks
Birthday Party for a 1 year old in Staten Island, NY on 9/18/2010 (review on gigmasters.com)
The show was great, She played the songs I picked and even performed two songs in Spanish like I asked her to... Everybody was captivated with the show, from my One year old son to even my husband's grandmother. We love it and strongly recommend it... Thanks Merissa...
Birthday Party for a 6 year old in Huntington, NY on 7/31/2010 (review on gigmasters.com)
Merissa was great. Everyone was late coming to the party and she cheerfully waited to start.all the children were enthralled by her performance and sat glued for the entire 50 minutes. We will strongly consider having her next year.
Birthday Party for a 1 year old in Kearny, NJ on 7/24/2010 (review on gigmasters.com)
Oh my god..let me tell you, i was really looking for a good puppet show for my son's 1st birthday party and penny and the puppettes did a wonderful job!! My son was sooo entertained and so were the rest of the kids..even the adults were entertained. I was very pleased with their performance.
Birthday Party for a 1 year old in Point Lookout, NY on 6/19/2010 (review on gigmasters.com)
Penny Sue and her puppet friends are awesome! We had them at my son's first birthday, and the young children as well as the adults had a blast! Can't wait to have see them again when he turns 2....Thank you!
Birthday Party for a 3 year old in Englewood Cliffs, NJ on 5/8/2010 (review on gigmasters.com)
The children and adults had a blast!
Birthday Party for a 5 year old in Great Neck, NY on 12/4/2009 (review on gigmasters.com)
What a fantastic experience! Penny and the Puppettes performed for my daughter's birthday party, and completely delighted the kids from beginning to end. My daughter was thrilled to be the special helper, and didn't want to let go of her designated 'birthday puppet' when the show ended. From the minute they started setting up, I knew they were going to wow everyone. Even our one year old wanted to participate throughout. Usually, all of the parents hang out in the kitchen when we hire entertainment, but everyone stayed in the living room to watch the show. My wife and I have already started recommending them to all of our friends.
Birthday Party for a 5 year old in Princeton, NJ on 11/30/2009 (review on gigmasters.com)