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Performances for Young Audiences: 2009-2010 Season

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Sat., Oct. 3, 2009 - NSO Teddy Bear Concert: The Tale of Teddy and the Ten Hats!

[NSO Teddy Bear Concert: <i>The Tale of Teddy and the Ten Hats!</i>.]

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Back by popular demand!
The Tale of Teddy and the Ten Hats
 
What's the perfect concert for me, if I'm "barely" 3?
 
Teddy Bear Concerts! These performances by NSO members invite kids to bring their favorite stuffed animal to join in the fun of these playful and interactive programs. Lasting approximately 45 minutes, they're perfect for even the youngest music lovers in your family.
 
Little kids love dress-up as do these playful musicians spinning The Tale of Teddy and the Ten Hats, a story about a teddy bear whose zany collection of hats represents a wide variety of music from Haydn to Sousa and beyond. Presented by NSO musicians Aaron Goldman, flute, William Wielgus, oboe, and Janet Frank, cello, this program actively engages children as listeners in an atmosphere of fun.
 
Come early for "musical playtime." Starting a half hour before each Teddy Bear Concert, enjoy music and movement activities especially designed for small children. A project of the Women's Committee for the NSO.

Sun., Oct. 4, 2009 - NSO Ensemble Concert: Connections: MORE Math and Music

[NSO Ensemble Concert: <i>Connections: MORE Math and Music</i>.]

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Connections: MORE Math and Music
 
Yvonne Caruthers, cello
Aaron Goldman, flute
Daniel Villanueva, percussion
 
Counting…number lines…ratios. Must be math class, right? Guess again--it's music! For the next installment of this Connections program created by NSO cellist Yvonne Caruthers, kids learn even more ways that math and music are linked as they listen to classic and contemporary works for cello, flute, and percussion. From symbols to proportions, get ready for music as you've never heard it before. You just may come away singing about math! For age 9 and up.

Oct. 10 - 11, 2009 - Hobey Ford's Animalia

[Hobey Ford's <i>Animalia</i>.]

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Hobey Ford's Animalia

What's life like underwater with dolphins and whales, in the sky with birds and butterflies, and roaming the earth with wolves and a menagerie of other animals?
 
Popular puppeteer Hobey Ford has all sorts of answers when he brings the Family Theater roaring to life with Animalia. Together with his team of adorable "Foamies," Hobey makes animals of all sorts emerge in movement and music to form a full-on puppet ballet. Watch as the habits and habitats of the world's mightiest beasts and tiniest bugs come into furry focus right before your eyes.

Oct. 24 - Nov. 15, 2009 - Barrio Grrrl!: A New Musical

[<i>Barrio Grrrl!</i>: A New Musical.]

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World Premiere Kennedy Center Commission
Barrio Grrrl!: A New Musical
 
Book and Lyrics by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Music by Bill Sherman
Directed by Peter Flynn
Choreographed by Devanand Janki
 
Do we have to grow up?
 
Spunky 9-year-old Ana is faced with this very big decision. On the one hand, as her alter-ego Barrio Grrrl with her invisible sidekick Amazing Voice, she's pretty busy preserving justice in the barrio and protecting her neighborhood. On the other hand, in the world where Ana lives with her abuelo (grandfather) and misses her mom who is far, far away in Iraq, reality is sneaking up on her. It's time for Ana to decide what's most important: being a superhero or a girl who works little miracles in real life. Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominee Quiara Alegría Hudes (In the Heights) and Grammy-winning music director for PBS's new Electric Company Bill Sherman give audiences a funny and warmly truthful play that will make hearts sing. For age 9 and up.

Sun., Nov. 1, 2009 - NSO Family Concert: Spooky Sounds and Scary Tales

[Kennedy Center Logo.]

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Spooky Sounds and Scary Tales
Brad Lubman, conductor
Lynda Carter, narrator
 
Where do vampires, werewolves, and mummies hide out during the day?
 
On this day, they're hiding behind their instruments on the Concert Hall stage. Keep the Halloween costume party going and come dressed in your spookiest get-up for this "spirited" Sunday afternoon concert event. Conductor Brad Lubman and the NSO will be wearing their own trick-or-treat outfits as they perform Steven Reineke's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with narrator Lynda Carter and music from other scary tales. It's guaranteed to be a ghoulish good time! For age 5 and up.
 
Come early for the Musical Instrument "Petting Zoo." An hour before each NSO Family Concert, young concertgoers can get up close and hands-on with the instruments they'll see played on the stage--from violins, trumpets, and oboes to trombones and percussion--in the Kennedy Center Atrium. A project of the Women's Committee for the NSO.
 
Stay after the 3 p.m. concerts for a Kids' Chat. Following the 3 p.m. concert, young audience members can ask questions and hear engaging stories in an up-close-and-personal talk with the concert artists.

Sat., Nov. 21, 2009 - NSO Kinderkonzert: Making Music with Friends

[NSO Kinderkonzert: <i>Making Music with Friends</i>.]

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Making Music with Friends
 
Don't miss the newest concert by the Kennedy String Quartet of Strings and Stories fame--an interactive program for children that explores the connections between the way we feel and act and the way music is composed and performed. The musicians of the Kennedy String Quartet (Holly Hamilton and Jane Bowyer Stewart, violins; James Deighan, viola; David Teie, cello) will lead you through music by Haydn, Bartók, and…you! That's right, the audience will help build (or compose) a piece with the quartet. Be among the first to see this new show! For age 4 and up.
Please Note:  These performances take place in the Family Theater.

Come early for the Musical Instrument "Petting Zoo." Starting one hour before each Kinderkonzert, this hands-on activity in the Kennedy Center Hall of States gives kids a chance to get up close with the instruments they'll see played on stage--from violins and trumpets to oboes and flutes. A project of the Women's Committee for the NSO.

Dec. 5 - 30, 2009 - Teddy Roosevelt and the Ghostly Mistletoe

[<i>Teddy Roosevelt and the Ghostly Mistletoe</i>.]

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World Premiere Kennedy Center Commission
Teddy Roosevelt and the Ghostly Mistletoe
 
Script by Tom Isbell
Songs by Mark Russell
Directed by Gregg Henry
Choreographed by Ilona Kessell
 
Will the kids in the White House get a Christmas tree?
 
Wouldn't Ethel, Kermit, and Archie like to know! What they do know is that they want one badly, but their dad, President Teddy Roosevelt, doesn't think chopping down a tree sets a good example of conservation for the nation. His answer is "no," but that's one executive order these kids aren't going to obey. In this holiday sequel to the 2006 hit Teddy Roosevelt and the Treasure of Ursa Major, a zany plot of comic haunting unfolds as doors slam, "ghosts" moan, and laughter mixes with song throughout the White House. But is it enough to convince ol' T.R. to "Deck the Halls" after all? Inspired by Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, playwright Tom Isbell and political satirist/songwriter Mark Russell re-team to settle the score in a presidential musical that can't be missed. For age 7 and up.

Sat., Jan. 9, 2010 - NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Bears, Bears Everywhere

[NSO Teddy Bear Concert: <i>Bears, Bears Everywhere</i>.]

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Bears, Bears Everywhere
 
What's the perfect concert for me, if I'm "barely" 3?
 
Teddy Bear Concerts! These performances by NSO members invite kids to bring their favorite stuffed animal to join in the fun of these playful and interactive programs. Lasting approximately 45 minutes, they're perfect for even the youngest music lovers in your family.
 
It's a big bear world out there, and every sort of bear has its own look and growl. Bears, Bears Everywhere is a new Teddy Bear Concert that takes a peek at these adorable creatures and the sounds of their homelands--music that is as unique as they are. With NSO musicians Paula Akbar, violin, Lewis Lipnick, bassoon, and Joe Connell, percussion, this performance assembles a wild combination of instruments in order to create music from around the world. Children will also be introduced to an out-of-this-world instrument, the theremin, which is used to create the crazy sounds in a lot of classic films.
 
Come early for "musical playtime." Starting a half hour before each Teddy Bear Concert, enjoy music and movement activities especially designed for small children. A project of the Women's Committee for the NSO.

Sun., Jan. 10, 2010 - NSO Ensemble Concert: Connections: MORE Science and Music

[NSO Ensemble Concert: <i>Connections: MORE Science and Music</i>.]

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Connections: MORE Science and Music
 
Yvonne Caruthers, cello
Natasha Bogachek, violin
Stephen Dumaine, tuba
 
Endangered species, synapses, neurons, condensation, and precipitation--are these terms from a science course or a music class? In this new fast-paced, multimedia performance, students hear and see how a melody can be played on a laundry hose (or a tuba); how instrument makers are responding to the near-extinction of their favorite trees; and whether a violinist can break a world speed record. It's science with excitement! For age 9 and up.

Jan. 22 - 23, 2010 - Galumpha's The Human Jungle Gym

[Galumpha's <i>The Human Jungle Gym</i>.]

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Can people fly?
 
They can if they're Galumpha. Combining stunning acrobatics, striking visual effects, physical comedy, and inventive choreography, Galumpha transforms three human bodies into one floating, flying, and gravity-defying piece of art, The Human Jungle Gym. Winners of the Edinburgh Festival Critics' Choice Award, world-class acrobatic choreographers Andy Horowitz, Marlon Torres, and Kate Vollrath cause an unknown world of bodily movement to literally take shape. This is no special effect or digital trickery. Galumpha calls on imagination, muscle, and merriment to create a sensory feast of images, turning the human body into shapes and structural forms that seem to break all the laws of physics. Audiences young and old are caught up in this whirlwind of movement that consistently brings spectators to their feet and takes Galumpha off theirs. For age 7 and up.

Sun., Jan. 24, 2010 - NSO Children's Concert with Iván Fischer

[Kennedy Center Logo.]

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When and how much should we clap?
 
Iván Fischer lets us know in an interactive concert that answers kids' questions about music appreciation. Bringing all the fun and insight from his popular children's concerts in Europe, the NSO's Principal Conductor steps off the podium and into fun in this charming 50-minute journey through the art of listening, applause, and great music! As NSO musicians perform engaging selections of kid-friendly works, Fischer moves around the stage and among the audience, asking such questions as "how does the music make you feel" and "what instrument sounds like a bird chirping?" The Washington Post calls these concerts "a well-conceived program of music-making and conversation…the children listened in delight as the flowing melodies formed a colorful weave." No wonder they've quickly sold out for the past two seasons!

Sat., Jan. 30, 2010 - NSO Kinderkonzerts: Magical Mozart

[NSO Kinderkonzerts: <i>Magical Mozart</i>.]

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Back by popular demand!
Magical Mozart
 
A child prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was composing and performing for European royalty when he was only six years old. Showing all the fun he must have had creating and playing his music, the Unlikely Trio--NSO musicians Carole Bean, flute, Dotian Levalier, harp, and William Wielgus, oboe--performs a wonderful array of Mozart's greatest works, including instrumental selections from his opera The Magic Flute. For age 4 and up.
 
Come early for the Musical Instrument "Petting Zoo." Starting one hour before each Kinderkonzert, this hands-on activity in the Kennedy Center Hall of States gives kids a chance to get up close with the instruments they'll see played on stage--from violins and trumpets to oboes and flutes. A project of the Women's Committee for the NSO.

Sun., Feb. 14, 2010 - NSO Family Concert: Peter and the Wolf

[Kennedy Center Logo.]

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Back by popular demand!
Peter and the Wolf
David Amado, conductor
Magic Circle Mime Company
 
Who can protect us from the big, bad wolf?
 
The Magic Circle Mime Company returns to take on the task in one of its most cherished and acclaimed productions. Sergei Prokofiev's classic work for children--a symphonic fairy tale in which each character is represented by a different orchestral instrument--becomes a dazzling theatrical and musical event. Replacing narration with movement, the concert follows conductor's assistant Peter as he tries to capture a menacing wolf that threatens orchestra and audience alike. With conductor David Amado and the NSO musicians' help, good triumphs over evil in a production that one Seattle Times reviewer calls "the most musically excellent, audience-involving show I've ever seen!" For age 5 and up. Part of Focus on Russia.
 
Come early for the Musical Instrument "Petting Zoo." An hour before each NSO Family Concert, young concertgoers can get up close and hands-on with the instruments they'll see played on the stage--from violins, trumpets, and oboes to trombones and percussion--in the Kennedy Center Atrium. A project of the Women's Committee for the NSO.
 
Stay after the 3 p.m. concerts for a Kids' Chat. Following the 3 p.m. concert, young audience members can ask questions and hear engaging stories in an up-close-and-personal talk with the concert artists.

Feb. 20 - 21, 2010 - NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Fancy That!

[NSO Teddy Bear Concert: <i>Fancy That!</i>.]

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Fancy That!
 
What's the perfect concert for me, if I'm "barely" 3?
 
Teddy Bear Concerts! These performances by NSO members invite kids to bring their favorite stuffed animal to join in the fun of these playful and interactive programs. Lasting approximately 45 minutes, they're perfect for even the youngest music lovers in your family.
 
Sometimes it's fun to look fancy, but did you know that you can fancy up music? In Fancy That!, NSO violinist Marissa Regni plays a one-woman show about how to decorate music in the form of ornamentation and variations. To help "illustrate" this idea, the program is presented alongside graphic artist Marie Cheek, who will put children's imaginings of fancy music into images. Music by Bach, Mozart, and Prokofiev is featured in this program that proves that both teddy bears and musicians love to accessorize.
 
Come early for "musical playtime." Starting a half hour before each Teddy Bear Concert, enjoy music and movement activities especially designed for small children. A project of the Women's Committee for the NSO.

Sun., Feb. 28, 2010 - NSO Ensemble Concert: Connections: MORE History and Music

[NSO Ensemble Concert: <i>Connections: MORE History and Music</i>.]

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Connections: MORE History and Music
 
Yvonne Caruthers, cello
Aaron Goldman, flute
Jeffrey Weisner, bass
 
While nearly everyone is taught that the "Star-Spangled Banner" was written during the War of 1812, and the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" was a favorite song during the Civil War, how many people realize there is a link between the Erie Canal and Beethoven's "Ode to Joy"? How about "Jingle Bells," the Dred Scott decision, and Bessemer's process to make steel? Or "Joy to the World" and the John Deere plow? In this multimedia program, Yvonne Caruthers and several of her NSO colleagues integrate many of today's most recognizable musical works alongside landmarks in 19th-century American history. For age 9 and up.

Apr. 23 - 25, 2010 - Nubian Gents + Feminine Fire Gospel Step Teams

[Nubian Gents + Feminine Fire Gospel Step Teams.]

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Who knew staying in step could be so uplifting?
 
New York–based gospel step teams Nubian Gents + Feminine Fire bring rhythm, slides, dips, and dives to the simplest of movements--taking a step. Born out of the longstanding tradition of African American college fraternity and sorority step competitions, the Nubian Gents + Feminine Fire are stepping it up to the next level. These men and women perform synchronized routines that go beyond entertainment and into art. With all their moves set to soaring gospel music, both of these incredible groups inspire wonder. Winners of competitions and major acclaim the world over, they bring their fancy feet to D.C. as part of the Kennedy Center's Gospel Across America celebration. For age 5 and up.

May 8 - 23, 2010 - Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical

[<i>Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical</i>.]

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World Premiere Kennedy Center Commission
Knuffle Bunny:
A Cautionary Musical

 
Based on the book Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems
Script and Lyrics by Mo Willems
Music by Michael Silversher
Directed by Rosemary Newcott
Choreographed by Paige Hernandez
 
What does lost feel like?
 
If you've ever felt lost, then you'll know just how Trixie's favorite stuffed Knuffle Bunny feels when he's left all alone. If you've ever felt loved, then you'll know just how Trixie, Knuffle Bunny, and their family feel when they're together.
 
It sounds so simple, just a quick trip to the Laundromat with Daddy, Trixie, and her beloved Knuffle Bunny. But, before you know it things go horribly, hilariously wrong. Chock full of adventure, song, and gigantic dancing laundry, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical tells a tale of firsts: a stuffed animal's first trip in the laundry, a little girl's first words, and a Daddy's first time dealing with his child going "boneless."

Based on his beloved Caldecott Honor–winning picture book, six-time Emmy Award winner Mo Willems joins Grammy Award–winning composer Michael Silversher to lovingly celebrate the heart and heartache that can only come from a family visit to the local Laundromat. Casting includes Tony Award nominee Stephanie D'Abruzzo (Kate Monster, Avenue Q) as Trixie, Michael John Casey as Dad, Matthew McGloin as a Puppeteer, Gia Mora as a Puppeteer, and Erika Rose as Mom.  We mentioned the giant dancing laundry, right? For age 4 and up.

Sun., May 9, 2010 - NSO Family Concert: The Composer is Dead

[Kennedy Center Logo.]

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The Composer is Dead
Music by Nathaniel Stookey
Lyrics by Lemony Snicket
Edwin Outwater, conductor
 
What's the difference between composing and decomposing?
 
That's a mystery for the inspector to figure out in The Composer Is Dead, a gripping whodunit that makes every member of the Orchestra a suspect in their composer's untimely finale. Acclaimed composer Nathaniel Stookey brings his uproarious collaboration with best-selling children's writer Lemony Snicket, which engages listeners to join the inspector as he interrogates the entire symphonic arrangement regarding their whereabouts at the time of the crime. Starting with the strings and working his way to the percussion, the inspector finds sound alibis and dead ends down every sonic avenue. But one thing's for sure: nobody is leaving the Concert Hall until this mystery is solved!
 
Come early for the Musical Instrument "Petting Zoo." An hour before each NSO Family Concert, young concertgoers can get up close and hands-on with the instruments they'll see played on the stage--from violins, trumpets, and oboes to trombones and percussion--in the Kennedy Center Atrium. A project of the Women's Committee for the NSO.
 
Stay after the 3 p.m. concerts for a Kids' Chat. Following the 3 p.m. concert, young audience members can ask questions and hear engaging stories in an up-close-and-personal talk with the concert artists.