"How many of you have ever been to a circus?" asks Regina the Ringmaster (Felicity Hesed) asks at the start of Bay Area Children's Theatre world premiere production of Circus Adventure, at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage weekends through August 21. If your answer is "no", you're in for a hliarous and exciting introduction to the arts of the circus. If it's "yes", you're still in for a great time at this enjoyable production for the whole family.
In Circus Adventure, KaiKu the Clown (Calvin Kai Ku) finds himself shot halfway around the world from a circus cannon, far away from his home and friends at Circus Familia. In his effort to get back home, he encounters numerous fascinating and funny characters, who perform often amazing circus acts to help move along the story. There's plenty of audience participation, with cast members heading out into the aisles to interact with everyone (this is helped by the Freight & Salvage's small and intimate setting).
Bay Area Children's Theatre's newest production, Circus Adventure, opens at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage this Saturday, August 6. Circus Adventure, created and directed by master clown and Cirque du Soleil artist Jeff Raz, tells the story of KaiKu the Clown, whose curiosity sends him halfway around the world. Inspired by the epic tale of the hero seeking to return to his roots, this world premiere production blends toe-tapping music, the thrill and skill of the circus, and the excitement of live theatre.
The mission of Bay Area Children's Theatre is to inspire young audiences with imaginative productions, introduce children of all backgrounds to the excitement of live theatre, and create an engaging, entertaining, and educational environment in which children and their families can explore and enjoy the arts.
Performances of Circus Adventure take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm from August 6–21, 2011. Tickets are $15 for children, $17 for seniors, and $20 for adults. To order, call the Bay Area Children's Theatre box office at (510) 296-4433 or visit www.bactheater.org.
In honor its newest exhibit, Snakes & Lizards: The Summer of Slither, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is offering a special edition of its popular Penguins + Pajamas sleepover for kids ages 5 and older and their adult chaperones. These sleepovers feature an exclusive overnight stay at the Academy, special live animal presentations, access to all exhibits including Snakes & Lizards, a late night snack, and breakfast. Right now through August 20 you can save $20 by entering promo code PPAUG20 when you purchase your sleepover tickets online.
During your very own night at the museum, you can explore the entire Academy, take in an after-hours planetarium show and special animal presentations, and slither through Snakes & Lizards, where you’ll discover more than 60 reptiles from around the world with incredible adaptations like projectile tongues and remarkable camouflage. Before bedtime, whisper good night to Lemondrop the 15-foot-long albino python, and settle in for story time with cookies and milk to learn about Pierre—the Academy’s famous wetsuit-wearing penguin.
I haven't been to Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science since way back when I was in college, so when I learned about their new exhibit Dinosaurs Unearthed, it seemed like a great reason to visit this hands-on science center located in the hills high above the UC Berkeley campus. Since the focus of the show is dinosaurs—every kid's favorite science subject—my children thought it was a great idea for an outing, too.
Dinosaurs Unearthed, on view at the Lawrence Hall of Science through January 1, 2012, features lifelike animatronic dinosaurs that open their jaws, move the limbs and tails, blink their eyes, roar, stomp, and more. My son and daughter were both extremely excited to come explore the world of the dinosaurs here, and we were not disappointed. You can visit a variety of popular dinos, including Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Apatosaurus, Triceratops, and others.
As soon as your enter the building, we got a taste of what was in store with a life-size triceratops near the exhibition entrance. We were all amazed by how realistic it looked. The kids were so excited they insisted on seeing the dinosaur exhibit immediately.
This summer, Sausalito's Bay Area Discovery Museum is open late by popular demand on select Fridays for the Summer Sunsets Concert Series. Come to the museum from 5–7 pm tonight, July 8, and July 22, August 5 and 19 for an evening of family fun by the Bay with music, food, and the special exhibition Curious George: Let's Get Curious! Curious George himself makes a personal appearance at 5:30 pm (so don't forget your camera) and musical performances begin at 6 pm.
This year's Summer Sunsets lineup:
July 8: Rhythm Child introduces children and families to the basic elements of music in a drum circle experience. Come drum, dance, and sing in the museum's Festival Plaza.
July 22: Popular Bay Area children's entertainer Enzo Garcia brings his eclectic selection of instruments— including five-string banjo, musical saw, accordion, harmonica, and enzotar—and songs to the museum.
August 5: Dance and sing along with the Bloody Scupper Plunder Club as they perform songs of piracy, general mayhem, and high-seas adventure.
August 22: It's always a dance party with Asheba, the energetic singer, songwriter, and storyteller whose show is spiced with Caribbean and world beats inspired by his childhood on Trinidad.
Beloved characters Puff the Magic Dragon and Little Jackie Paper return to the magical land of Honalee in a performance by the Puppets & Players Little Theatre at downtown Mill Valley's 142 Throckmorton Theater, on Tuesday, July 5 at 6 pm. Join Puff and Jackie on their quest to recover the Magic Box of King Cobwebs. During their journey, the heroes fight a duel onboard a pirate ship with Captain Bilgewater and his sidekick Grog, face a fearful storm at sea, and travel to the bottom of the ocean, where they meet a friendly octopus named Rastapus, who helps Jackie discover that the Magic Box contains "the most powerful magic of all"—the magic of his own imagination.
This delightful 30-minute show features marionettes and hand puppets, delightful songs, and an energetic live performance by Gil Olin, who doubles as a storyteller and a pirate. Tickets for Puff the Magic Dragon can be purchased for a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $8 for children; order them by phone at (415) 383-9600 or online.
The curious little monkey whose adventures have captivated children and adults for 65 years is at the Bay Area Discovery Museum! Curious George: Let's Get Curious opens Saturday, June 18 and runs through September 11, 2011. The exhibition introduces children to the world of Curious George and leads them on a fun, interactive math, science, and engineering-based adventure.
Explore the neighborhood where George and the Man with the Yellow Hat live, and meet familiar characters from the classic books by Margret and H.A. Rey and the PBS KIDS animated series. Different areas to visit include:
The apartment building, where you can operate wheels to move George on pulleys from window to window, climb the fire escape, and play with color, light, and shadow.
The sidewalk produce stand, where kids can pretend to sell and shop and us fruits and vegetables to explore shapes, sorting, weighing, and counting.
The construction site, where you can design a building and get to work with building materials and machines.
The hot museum ticket this summer is for the de Young's exhibition Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée Picasso, Paris, which opens today and runs through October 9. Spanning the entirety of this 20th-century master's career, the exhibition presents 150 of "Picasso's Picassos"—paintings, sculptures, and works on paper kept by Picasso as part of his own personal collection. The works are part of the collection of the Musée Picasso in Paris, which was established to house the nearly 3,600 works given to the French government after Picasso's death in 1973.
Picasso is a fascinating look into the career of this important artist. Rooms in the exhibition cover every phase in his lengthy career, from his early Blue period in the 1900s to his experimentations with Cubism and Surrealism to late works from the 1960s and '70s. It's a fascinating look at the development of the artist's work over time.
One of Marin County's most beloved and unique events is the famous Mountain Play—an outdoor theater experience on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais that's been going strong for 98 years. 2011's Mountain Play production is the Tony Award-winning Hairspray, the story of self-proclaimed "pleasantly plump" teenager Tracy Turnblad as she simultaneously pursues stardom as a dancer on a local TV show and rallies against racial segregation in 1962 Baltimore. Winner of 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Hairspray features a heart pounding score of such favorites as Welcome to the '60s, Good Morning, Baltimore, Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now and You Can’t Stop the Beat. Hairspray is based on the 1988 movie of the same name written and directed by cult filmmaker John Waters.
The Mountain Play's production of Hairspray features a professional cast (including local singer/songwriter and children's performer Susan Zelinsky, AKA Susan Z, as Velma Von Tussle), and is directed by Marin drama legend and Mountain Play veteran James Dunn.