Based on the popular series of children’s books by Jeff Brown, The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley is a whirlwind sixty-minute musical travelogue that will have parents and children scouring the globe with Stanley, meeting new and diverse friends from South Africa, Mexico and beyond!
Stanley Lambchop is a normal, everyday, run-of-the-mill kid. But one night while he’s sleeping, the bulletin board on the wall above his head comes loose and falls right on top of Stanley. The next morning he wakes up flat! Not just flat… but really flat! Stanley thinks it isn’t too bad at first because he can slide under doors, he’s the best at playing Hide-and-Seek, and his friends can fly him as a kite, but finally Stanley decides to do something about his unusual condition. The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley will take the audience along with Stanley as he mails himself off in an envelope to travel the world in hopes of finding a solution to his very curious problem!
Join Thomas the Tank Engine, Percy, Sir Topham Hat, and the other denizens of the Island of Sodor at the Marin Center for Thomas & Friends Live! On Stage: A Circus Comes to Town. This 90-minute musical stage show extravaganza comes to San Rafael on Monday, March 9 at 7 pm and Tuesday, March 10 at 4 and 7 pm.
Tickets are on sale now. Ticket prices range from $12.50 to $55. For more information and to order tickets go to the Marin Center's website or call (415) 499-6800. Marin Center Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 11 am to 5 pm. You can also order tickets online via Ticketmaster.
Still looking for a great holiday gift for a special child? Want to find something out of the ordinary, with perhaps a touch of artiness? Look no further than your local museum store! Here in the Bay Area, we have a number of fine cultural institutions that not only can help enrich our lives with art, history, and science, but provide for great shopping as well. Museum stores carry great gift items for both children and adults that often are exclusive to the stores or inspired by and related to the museum's focus and collections.
Don't have time for a day at the museum? Don't fret—most of the time, you can shop at a museum store without having to pay museum admission. Better still, if you're a member of the museum, you usually receive a discount on your store purchases. Here are a few of our favorite local museum stores:
This weekend, June 14 and 15, San Francisco's de Young Museum is free to everyone, in celebration of the opening of their new exhibition, Chihuly at the de Young!The free weekend is sponsored by Target. In addition to the exhibition and the museum's permanent collections, there will be numerous performances and activities for families throughout the weekend, including hands-on art activities, live music, stilt walkers, circus arts performances, and industrial and fire arts demonstrations by The Crucible, an Oakland based non-profit educational facility, on their Educational Response Vehicle—a repurposed 1960 International Harvester fire truck.
San Anselmo's Stapleton Ballet presents a family-friendly show featuring two one-act story ballets based on children's favorites: Alice in Wonderland and Peter and the Wolf. Follow the story of Alice as she descends into Wonderland and encounters a variety of madcap characters, including the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Cheshire Cat, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, and the Queen of Hearts. After a brief intermission, there will be an encore performance of Peter and the Wolf. Both ballets feature lavish new sets and costumes. Since they're both short and filled with non-stop action, the performances are perfect for families with small children.
I’ve always wanted to experience one of the Mountain Plays up on beautiful Mount Tamalpais--with a picnic lunch, of course--but so far have just never made it. The 2008 production will be a family favorite, The Wizard of Oz. My son, who recently saw part of The Wizard of Oz on TV (we skipped the creepy flying monkeys and other scary stuff), noticed the Mountain Play flyer the other day, and decided that he wanted to go. Here is my chance to finally experience one of these unique productions!
Find out what happens after "happily ever after" to your favorite fairy tale characters, including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack (of the Beanstalk fame), and Little Red Riding Hood, in Stephen Sondheim's musical Into the Woods. This fractured fairy tales, at the 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa from April 18 to May 18, 2008, features an adult cast of experienced playeers, and is appropriate for children 5 and over. Directed by Gene Abravaya.
Masque Unit Junior Theatre of Marin celebrates its 46th anniversary of producing quality live musical theater for children, with a fun musical adaptation of The Wind in the Willows based on The Mad Adventure of Mr. Toad. The story of shared friendship among Mole, Water Rat, Badger and Toad is a timeless tale that takes place along a peaceful riverbank, however not all is peaceful! Mr. Toad is somewhat spoiled and gets himself into a lot of mischief. This treasured story is brought to life on stage with wonderful music and lessons of true friendship, kindness, patience and loyalty. The characters are familiar... the silly, impulsive Mr. Toad, the practical Water Rat, the emotional Mole and the stodgy Badger. Join Masque Unit Junior Theatre for this lively musical version of Kenneth Grahame's classic children's story.
One of our favorite relatively short road trips is to head down to the Monterey Peninsula. It's about a 2-1/2- to 3-hour drive from Marin, making it perfect for a day trip, overnight, or weekend. (What makes this easier for us is that we have good friends in Pacific Grove who are willing to put up with us every so often for a few days.) A favorite place to visit, especially with small children, is the Monterey Bay Aquarium
We paid a visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium and its Wild About Otters special exhibition last week. The aquarium is widely considered one of the best in the world, and I'm willing to bet that it is. The displays reflect the Monterey Bay Aquarium's mission to research the biodiversity of Monterey Bay and the California coast, and they're fascinating. Our favorites include the 28-foot-high Kelp Forest exhibit, with its leopard sharks, anchovies, and other fish; the sea otters; and the spectacular Outer Bay exhibit with its amazing 1.2 million-gallon tank, and featuring denizens of the deeper waters of outer Monterey Bay, including giant bluefin tuna, humongous ocean sunfish, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, and the world's only great white shark in captivity!