A Fun Introduction to Improv at Oregon Children's Theatre
Review of NWCT's "Sleeping Beauty with Puppets"
The Buzz on "Fly Guy"
Classical Ballet Academy's "The Nutcracker" a Magical Holiday Treat
Festive Holiday Fun: Oregon Ballet Theatre Performs “The Nutcracker”
Creative, Whimsical "La Belle" Charms at Imago Theatre
Incredible Aerial Dancing & Quirky Superheroes at Echo Theatre
A Visit to the Merry Old Land of Oz at NWCT!
"Rock the Presidents" Review: Captivating, Covertly Educational Fun
A childhood favorite comes to life on stage
From start to finish, an impressive group of youth performers from Echo Theater.
REVIEW: OCT's "James and the Giant Peach"
Review: NWCT "Snow White"
There was no happy ending, but there was a satisfying one.
Review: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
A purr-fect show for kids and adults alike.
Awesome and also Double Awesome. Five stars!
Inventive props and costumes make for jazzy entertainment in this musical rendition of a classic favorite.
"THIS THE BEST SHOW I HAVE EVER SEEN ON A STAGE! Mom, we HAVE to go see it again!"
Oregon Children’s Theatre (OCT) has created an adaption that lets children see their favorite book characters up close and personal.
A world premiere adaptation of the best-selling book series, with an astronomical cyber threat adventure!
Tumble down the rabbit hole as Alice’s adventures through Wonderland are transformed into a spectacular jazz odyssey!
Northwest Children's Theater is proud to present one of their most beloved adaptations, January 30 - February 28, 2016.
This production is a great intro to the famous ballet and an inspiring showcase of young talent.
A venerable a tradition in Portland as the Pioneer Courthouse Square Christmas Tree.
Part dance, part mime, part circus of beautifully masked creatures and creations, ZooZoo is something completely unique.
If you fell in love with the animated film you are going to love the live version!
“Most songs have a story of their own, and you can hear the stories in your head as you listen."
We left the rain behind and traveled to where our imagination took us, guided by musicians of PYP.
Oregon Children’s Theatre’s production of Junie B. Jones is more than a musical, it’s an experience that warms the heart and lifts the spirits.
The Sun Serpent is a very thought-provoking play, one that could teach any child—and many adults—about early Mexican history through a vivid, memorable story.
The humor and wit is subtle and silly, but embedded in themes that kids and adults can both relate to and appreciate.
Combining dance, music, aerial dance, trapeze, and all-around fun, this show is inspiring and breathtaking.
Our reviewer, and her tiny cohort, get resoundingly positive responses about OCT's Ramona Quimby.
Our review was "blown away" by NWCT's final performance of the season - "The Little Mermaid"
If you have been hesitating to take your kids to a symphony because you think they might be bored, know that PYP concerts are always appropriate for kids ages 7+, featuring fun and accessible music.
Tears of Joy Theatre's When Animals Were People excels with both a celebration of different cultures and the achievement of ever new levels of creativity.
Lots has changed since us parents were kids but a noun is still a person, place or thing and three is still a magic number.
Lovely, rousing, beautiful and gentle ... these are just a few of the ways our reviewer describes the music from PYP's Cushion Concert on March 15th.
Exhilarating. Intense. Furious. Dreamy. Exquisite. Our reviewer was enchanted at PYP's 2015 Winter Concert.
Of opening weekend, our reviewer says "Timmy Failure is a complete success!"
Circus Zirkus exhibit at PCM gives kids the chance to be the stars of the show.
"The action on the stage was constant and the colors so vivid it had the kids dancing in their seats."
"Improv that appeals "to the youngest audience members, and were also funny enough to slay some jaded adults."
Those familiar with the Skippyjon Jones books won't be disappointed with this good hearted musical adaptation.
Stillwater, the panda, brings Zen for all to Imago Theatre.
New family-friendly cafe has opened in Sellwood, and this one's worth checking out.
Tear it up on a trick bike at The Lumberyard, the oh-so-Portland indoor bike park that's great for rainy day play.
Featuring musicians from alumni to under 13, the PYP Concert at Christmas wowed our reviewer, MaryJo Monroe, and her son.
This December, experience a different kind of performance. With acrobatics, clowning, and amazing physical feats, Make It Home at Echo Theater is a treat.
We had fun getting messy with three kids at Portland Child Art Studio in NW Portland.
It’s the holidays. Your extended family is in town. Everyone is feeling wiped out from the relentless festivities of the last two weeks. Perhaps you just want to go somewhere peaceful where you can sit down, breathe deep, and remember the beauty of the season. That’s why I recommend you attend the Portland Youth Philharmonic’s Concert-At-Christmas on Friday, December 26 at 7:30pm. The Portland Youth Philharmonic (PYP) isn’t just any orchestra. What makes it unique is that it is comprised entirely of kids between the ages of 12-19. (Only Musical Director David Hattner is an adult.) The music they make
Imagine the headline, “Alexander T. Wolf Claims Innocence-Persecuted Because of Misunderstanding,” and it’s all played out in court, with the audience as the jury. That’s the premise of the most recent Oregon Children’s Theater’s (OCT) production by their Young Professionals Company. The Young Professionals (YP) Company is part of the OCT. It is an advanced program for students 14-18 years old. Those selected participate in a yearlong mentoring program. Students participate in advanced theater training and stage experiences. Based on the beloved fractured fairy tale written by Jon Scieszka, in this musical we get to see what really happened that
I have to admit I didn’t know any history behind the Revels or that it’s a countrywide group until I read their (professionally done) program. If the performance I went to is even a minor glimpse of their bigger picture then clearly they are in the business of spreading cheer no matter the time of year. Now, the first thing I want to get out of the way, knowing this could make or break it for some of you parental units from the get go, is that the Christmas Revels is a full 3 hours long. There’s an intermission of
About an hour south of Portland, on the border of Silverton, Oregon sits a garden respite. The Oregon Garden, an 80-acre botanical garden, opened in 1999. Since welcoming its first visitors, it has grown to include over twenty different specialized gardens. This time of year, The Oregon Garden transforms itself into a holiday wonderland. It's Rediscovery Gardens are adorned with lights, while artists and vendors sell handmade crafts and food. Fire pits are scattered along the path for visitors to warm their toes and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, hot apple cider, or for the adults gluhwien that are
After the first few minutes of FROGZ, the new holiday production at Imago Theatre, my six-year-old daughter turned to me, puzzled. “Where are the words?” she asked. There are no words, my dear, and that’s the beauty of the thing. Instead, FROGZ is more a series of performances, with dance, costumes, lighting and puppetry as the common denominator. It’s a lovely display of how much can be communicated without saying a word. And because talking by the audience isn’t going to drown out any of the script, it’s also a perfect show for kids who dig audience participation (which is
The Clinton Street Theater was an appropriate venue for the sold-out premiere of the pilot episode of Red Yarn’s The Deep Woods, funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, on Saturday December 6th. Like the theater’s midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, kindie musician Red Yarn has developed quite the cult following. And it’s easy to see why. Red Yarn (aka musician and educator Andy Fergeson) has a folksy, easy manner that makes fans of all ages feel instantly welcome. Combine that with a twangy voice, expressive movements, and a few puppets and you’ve got yourself
Somethin’ special is brewing on Cherry Tree Lane! More precisely, on NW Everett Street. The Northwest Children’s Theater production of Mary Poppins has blown into town and it is not be missed. Mary Poppins has always been a favorite in our house, so when our boys (ages 5 and 9) found out we were going to see a live performance of the show, they were over the moon- and it did not disappoint. As with most NWCT productions, the set caught our attention right as we walked in- a dingy rendering of the rooftops of London, complete with animated smoke
Walking along the chilly waterfront on this gorgeous Saturday morning to board the Cinnamon Bear Cruise, we were excited to share the experience with our now 6 year old son Marshall and his friend Addie. Marshall has been on this particular adventure before, while, for Addie, it was a completely new experience. Watching their eyes shine as we were greeted by Captain Tintop and Captain Taffy for our "Welcome Aboard" photo was just the beginning of our magical adventure. As we walked down the gangplank to board the cruise, the questions were numerous. Where were we going? Who would be
Make your own terrarium, fit for a fairy, at Artemisia in SE Portland.
Beer for you, a healthy kids' menue for the littles at Ecliptic Brewing, the latest offerings among PDX's family-friendly brewpubs.
On Friday, my twin 7-year-old daughters and I headed to Imago Theatre for opening night of Tears of Joy Theatre's latest production of "Alice in Wonderland." We love the arts in our house, especially the theatre. This is the 23rd year Tears of Joy Theatre has put on a version of “Alice in Wonderland,” with each season being a little different from the previous season. The award-winning puppet theatre wowed us with its original adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” (based on the book by Lewis Carroll) by playwright and director Tim Giugni. With enlarged puppets and masks, four performers from
The Portland Youth Philharmonic opened its 91st season with its Fall Concert. The Portland Youth Philharmonic (PYP) and its director, David Hattner, played in the historic and spectacular Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on November 8th. The Schnitz is a gorgeous venue and perfect for the superb young musicians who make up our city’s youth philharmonic. This was my family’s first visit to the PYP. It was easy to feel we were in the presence of exemplary talent, even before the concert began, as we watched them warm up and prepare for the concert to begin. If one didn’t know their
Mini Robin Hoods and wanna-be Merias unite at a new indoor archery range with family-friendly hours.
Noodle Nirvana for kids and grownups alike at Grassa, in downtown PDX.
Ignore all the radio and print ads for Ivy + Bean: The Musical (this is the season opener for Oregon Children’s Theatre). Here’s a sample of one of the ads: “A story of two very different young girls who learn the value of being good neighbors and working together.” Ugh. Values? Working together!? No kid is going to want to see a preachy show that kills any fun with heavy-handed messages that basically say “this show teaches you to be nice.” As Bean would say, “Nice is short for BORING!” Instead, the kids in your life will want to come
The game is afoot at 1819 NW Everett! Young Sherlock Holmes, and his compadre Watson, are on the trail of a thief in the halls of their prestigious prep school. The players of Northwest Children’s Theater (NWCT) have brought their world premiere Sherlock Holmes to the stage with much delight. At my family’s personal favorite venue to see children’s theater in Portland, the Northwest Cultural Center, we attended the play, Sherlock Holmes, during its opening weekend. If you’ve not been, it is in a lovely building in Northwest Portland, built in 1908. When you walk in, the rich old wood
Are you a good witch or a bad witch? The Children’s Museum is the Portland area parent’s supreme tool for fun and learning. Whether your child enjoys the construction house, pet hospital, clay studio or the water room, it’s a time to step back and let them explore. The new Wizard of Oz exhibit at the museum, around through January 18, 2015, and provides fun, education, spots to investigate and, best of all, a chance for parents to share the love of the most watched movie ever with their kids. On our way to the museum I wondered, “What will
Field Trip! Pumpkin patches and October go together like tricking and treating. A select guide to a few of our area favorites.
Thin-crust goodness, plus a kiddo play area in Clackamas? Sign us up.
It’s been more than six years since the day my not-quite-two-year-old son and I walked into our first Music Together class, unsure of what to expect but excited to do something new together in our new home of Portland. Since then, much has happened … a new house, preschool, a baby sister, kindergarten, grade school, preschool for her, and just starting kindergarten herself. But through that all, my weekly visit to the musical circle that this program creates has been a constant pleasure for me and one or both of my kids to look forward to. It hasn’t quite sunk
Paleo Bites, fit for small fry, at Cultured Caveman in NoPo.
We walked around the corner and into the crowded St. Johns studio. We were offered chairs and were taken to out of our element and into scenes from the creative, live rehearsal of The Digits. The actors were not in costume, but it was amazing to see them in character. We got to hear their projected, confident voices even as they held their scripts, sometimes reading from them. It was really cool to see how it all worked including the actors playing their parts, the narrator holding the story together, and the sound effects. Scotty Iseri, the creator and director
Oregon Children’s Theatre brings to life the precocious and beloved children’s storybook character Fancy Nancy in its spring production of Fancy Nancy the Musical. Originally produced in New York by Vital Children’s Theatre, Fancy Nancy the Musical is based on a Fancy Nancy children’s book by author Jane O’Connor and illustrated by. Vital Theatre’s other children’s productions include Pinkalicious the Musical and Angelina Ballerina the Musical. It’s time for the school play, and Nancy and her schoolmates Wanda, Rhonda, Bree, and Lionel are excited to get roles in the recital. In the Deep Sea Dances-themed show, Nancy is sure she
My son and I had the opportunity to attend the Oregon Children’s Theatre (OCT) original stage production of Lois Lowry’s iconic Newbery Award-winning novel, The Giver, in the beautiful and intimate Winningstad Theatre in downtown Portland. As fairly recent newcomers to the Portland area, this was our first experience attending an OCT production. The venue was amazing and beautiful! Winningstad Theatre has a unique and intimate seating arrangement with floor seating as well as two levels of balcony seating which allows all theater patrons to enjoy great stage viewing. We were in the second row of the 2nd tier and
The world premiere of Little Red “Riding Hood” at Northwest Children’s Theater is an entertaining romp through the 1950s with a pointed message. The quotation marks around “Riding Hood” are the key in this story of a teen girl, Ruby Miller, who charts her own path to overcome 1950s gender stereotypes to pursue her love of cars. The focus may be on female empowerment, but the fun is in a trip back to yesteryear that shows just how far we’ve come. Viewing the show with my 7 year-old son and 10 and 13 year-old daughters, we noticed the production had
My daughters and I joined Queen Melissa of Maybeland, from the children’s book The Cinnamon Bear, for a springtime “High Tea” cruise aboard the Portland Spirit last Saturday. All three girls (ages 6, 6, and 8) loved this adventure. Upon boarding the Portland Spirit, we were greeted by Maybeland Fairies who checked our name on the ship’s manifest, and then helped us choose our own magic teapot for our 2-hour afternoon high tea along the Willamette River. The children were encouraged to invent a story about their magic teapot’s origin, which they had the option to share and have read
A sensory experience for the whole family When I was a kid, I loved going to the circus. The sights, sounds (and yes, smells!) of the entire circus experience was enough to make any child wide-eyed with wonder and amazement. I always marveled over the feats of the acrobats, and, of course, the antics of the clowns. To me, the circus was always a huge family event, but always seemed like a show geared towards the imagination of the little ones. That was then... As an adult, the allure of the circus faded. Though the thought of watching amazing feats
Many children go through their whole childhood with their only exposure to puppetry coming from The Muppet movies. They never get to experience the full range of puppetry out there: Marionettes, shadow puppets, glove puppets, rod puppets, and on and on. This is full-on Puppet Deficit Disorder. What is the solution? Easy. Portland is fortunate enough to be home to one of the best puppet theater groups in nation, Tears of Joy Theater. And their most recent puppet show, Raven Stories, is a testament to how clever and brilliant this theater group is. Raven Stories is a 60-minute show that
Bricks Cascade: Sounds like a builder’s convention focusing on masonry techniques unique to the Pacific Northwest, right? "Totally wrong, Mom," my 8-year-old son informed me with a snort. “Bricks” is slang for “LEGOS.” And Bricks Cascade is a convention adult LEGO fans (and a few lucky kids) hold to show off their amazing creations. Were you surprised to learn that there are adults who love LEGOs so much that they have formed clubs devoted to all things LEGO all over the world? I was. These AFOLs (Adult Fans Of LEGOS) have formed LUGs (LEGO User Groups) to show off their
Now in their 90th season, the Portland Youth Philharmonic gave an ambitious concert of celebration Saturday night that began with a bang, and ended with a bang…and, a whisper. On tap: Oregon Composer, Kevin Walczyk’s Celebration Fanfare, the Bartok Viola Concerto, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4. Each was thrilling, and each was magnificent in its own way. The PYP concerts are a fun Saturday night out for families with middle school or older-age kids. In an otherwise super casual town, my 10 and 12 year-old girls used it as a chance to dress up. We sat in the Mezzanine level
The Zombie Gets The Girl A fun, lively production of Zombie in Love made its world debut Saturday in Portland at the Oregon Children's Theater. A cross between the original illustrated story and High School Musical, the show brings to life the story of Mortimer, a lonely zombie looking for love in all the wrong places. Determined to find a date for the Cupid's Ball, Mortimer struggles to find a girl who doesn't run screaming at the sight of him. Mortimer writes an ad for his perfect girl and waits not so patiently at the punch bowl for her to
Review by Melissa Cook - local mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer There’s a new exhibit at the Portland Children’s Museum that has Portland written all over it. It’s called Cycle City and it’s at the museum January 31st through April 27th. The museum has an area filled with different bike activities for kids of all ages. If you thought that bikes were just for riding, this exhibit might just have you thinking again. The Cycle City Exhibit proves that bikes can be so much more, by exploring the idea of using them for more than just transportation. Older kids
We love the story of Goodnight Moon in my house. We’ve probably read it over 500 times in the past four years, and we still enjoy it. If it’s a favorite story in your house then you won’t want to miss the Northwest Children’s Theater’s production of “Goodnight Moon,” which is running now through now through March 2. Before the show we took our seats and were impressed that the stage was set as an exact replica of the “Great Green Room” from the book. We spent several minutes pointing to “two little kittens” and “mittens” and everything else that
Where Flying Monkeys Are A Good Thing Just in time to celebrate the Chinese New Year, Monkey King opened at Tears of Joy Theatre. All of my kids wanted to see it, which is quite the rarity since the teen, tween and kindergartener don't often want to do the same things. We'd seen Tears of Joy perform downtown, but hadn't caught a show since they set up at the Imago Theater in southeast Portland. Parking was easy to find at the afternoon show, and free. Do watch your footing on the steps coming in and out of the building. Once
Welcome to Chinese New Year! It’s the year of the horse and what better way to celebrate the most important Chinese holiday than going to see one of its treasured tales, The Monkey King, performed at the Imago Theater by the Tears of Joy puppeteers. Translated from Mandarin Chinese, the three master performers bring life into this spellbinding 16th century quest story about a heroic Monkey King, his comedic sidekick, and their stoic Monk master as they travel to receive sacred scriptures. Along the way they encounter an evil skeleton demon that deceives and separates the trio, in hopes of
review by Crystal Wood - local mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer When it comes to children’s chapter books, E.B. White is of the highest echelon and “Charlotte’s Web” may be his most beloved book. Having read it to my six year-old daughter not that long ago, we attended the Oregon Children’s Theatre’s performance of “Charlotte’s Web” at the Newmark Theater with high hopes and excitement. The story revolves around Wilbur, a pig runt and his quest to escape becoming the Christmas ham. For some children, the idea of killing a baby animal may be a bit frightening. But the
Review by Melissa Cook - local mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer The Portland Youth Philharmonic Concert at Christmas was held at the Arlene Schnitzer Hall December 26th and my daughter and I were happy to attend. The concert proved to be quite a tradition for many Portland area families as the seats were filled all around us. The Concert at Christmas is a little different than other Portland Youth Philharmonic performances because not only do all of the PYP students have the opportunity to perform, but PYP Alumni are invited back to play as well. The concert opened with
review by Amy Seaholt - local mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer. The premise of the Echo Theater Company's new production, Tess on an Alien Planet, may be a bit cerebral for young kids, but the visual entertainment in the show is appropriate for all. Crashed on an unfamiliar planet, space traveler Tesla must contemplate spending the rest of her life alone, aside from the companionship of her computer, Flo. But is she really alone? A variety of opening acts are scheduled during the production run. The night I went with my seven year old daughter, four year old son
review by Eric Houghton - local dad, Metro Parent staffer and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer Imago Theatre’s Frogz has been their signature work for many years now, and has appeared locally, on Broadway, and toured the world to great acclaim. My family had heard of it, but this was our first time seeing the production, now starting a new run at their venue on SE 8th, half a block south of Burnside. It’s clear, having now experienced the show, why it’s been so successful…its themes are universal, its appeal crosses generations, and its humor is timeless. As you enter the
review by Brendon Bassett - local dad and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer The Northwest Children’s Theater website proudly proclaims Peter Pan to be “the most popular show in NWCT history”. After attending the opening night of the show’s second run in Portland- it’s easy to see why. NWCT has long stood out among Portland’s family theater companies, but this production is clearly their flagship. From the stunning costumes to the surprisingly elaborate sets, the entire show is as visually engaging as it is entertaining. However, I find the best way to measure a children’s production is less by what I
review by Jenny Lind - local mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer Tears of Joy Theatre presented an enjoyable and version of The Shoemaker and the Elves at Markham Elementary School in SW Portland. The original story is a German folktale that was written and published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812. The classic Grimms’ fairy tale is the launching point for an “updated” version set in 1940s New York, complete with references to 42nd street, lox and delis, and accompanied by a vintage radio playing jazz music. The Markham Elementary School stage was transformed into a lowly cobbler shop
review by Abby Wyers - local mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer Walking with my mom and my 2 sons (ages 9 and 7) from the frozen evening into the warmth and crowds of smiling faces in the Scottish Rites Center was uplifting to start. My sons both enjoyed a chocolate chip cookie purchased for $1 before we made our way through the many people to our floor seats in the beautiful theater. My younger son was worried that he wouldn't be able to see very well as we were back quite a ways, but it turned out he could
Review by MaryJo Monroe I have a secret to confess: I don’t really like the zoo. I think it is due to one too many times of following an eager toddler/preschooler down to the bottom of the hill inside the zoo only to have him stage a fit, which means I had to carry him all the way back what felt like a mile uphill in the hot summer sun while he screamed in my ear. So I have been a Zoo Grinch for years. But then I had the opportunity to go to the Oregon Zoo’s annual ZooLights Festival,
Review by Debbie Tofte Since 1988, a favored holiday tradition has dazzled Portland families. Initially started grassroots, volunteers built the displays and worked the event. Today, the Oregon Zoo’s Zoolights Winter Festival is a must-do on many people’s December itinerary. We ventured to Zoolights on one of our chilliest nights in December. Sipping hot cocoa, bundled up in our coats, hats, and gloves, viewing the beautiful lights, it was perfect to put us in the holiday frame of mind. We were thrilled to see some of our favorite displays: the brilliant red and green walk-thru wreath, trees strung with thousands
Review by Ang Campbell As newcomers to the Portland area we’ve been excited to explore activities that are available to do as a family during our first holiday season here. When we heard about ZooLights we were doubly excited because we hadn’t yet had the opportunity to visit the Oregon Zoo and we love visiting zoos that are new to us! We were thrilled with the chance to attend ZooLights as our first holiday outing as a family in 2013. ZooLights gates open at 5 p.m. We arrived shortly after that on one of the coldest nights of the season
Review by Abby Wyers We had arrived early, around 5pm to see the ZooLights. It was a cold evening and we were all bundled up and ready to be amazed. The beautiful tree, illuminated in green and purple was a show stopper before we even entered the Zoo. "This is going to be our new Christmas ritual" said my 9 year old son as we approached the gorgeous entry. Once past the ticket window, we were greeted by several festively dressed staff members including one in a tiger costume. Since my younger son loves tigers, we had to get a
review by Rachaey May - local mom to Aden, 7, Carter 5, and Adella 2 and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer The Cinnamon Bear Cruise is something I’ve only known about since moving to Portland 3 ½ years ago. The Cinnamon Bear tradition goes back to the 1940s, when it was a national radio show that aired weekly from November 25th until December 25th. While other parts of the country may not treasure the story about the adventures of Judy and Jimmy Barton, here in Portlandia you’ll have no problem coming across a stranger who has their own memories of Cinnamon
review by Crystal Wood This was my daughter’s first ballet. Not her first ballet class or recital but the first time she ever sat in the audience enraptured by the dancers, costumes, story and live music. I am so glad her initial exposure to a ballet performance was The Portland Ballet’s recent presentation of Firebird and The Enchanted Toyshop. Firebird is based on the Slavic tale of the fantastical bird from a land far away. And though the bird’s plumage glows red, orange and yellow is a blessing for its captor it can also bring disaster. Prince Ivan comes upon
review by Ang Campbell -- local mom and PDX Kids Calendar Reviewer I had the opportunity to go with my 8 year old son and 5 year old daughter to the opening night performance of “The Reluctant Dragon” which is part of the 2013-2014 Family Series of puppet theatre performances by Tears of Joy Theatre and which has upcoming performances on Saturday November 23rd at 11:00 a.m. and 1 p.m. as well as Sunday November 24th at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. What a perfectly enjoyable night and experience for all three of us! We arrived early at the Imago
review by Melissa Cook - local mom and blogger at Willamette Valley Wonder Woman I had the pleasure of taking my ten year old daughter to the Portland Youth Philharmonic’s Fall Concert, which was held at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on November 9th. Neither of us had ever attended a PYP performance before and we quickly discovered we were in for a delightful experience that proved not only pleasant to our ears, but educational as well. The concert began as the musical conductor David Hattner introduced us to the world premiere of a beautiful piece called Supermaximum created by
Mary Pope Osborne’s award-winning children’s series The Magic Tree House comes to life on stage in the latest musical production by Oregon Children’s Theatre, playing at the Newark Theatre through November 10. If you have school-aged children that enjoy her series, this jazz musical is a must-see show! The jazz musical, Magic Tree House: A Night in New Orleans, is based on Osborne’s Magic Tree House #42: A Good Night for Ghosts. The musical was created by Osborne’s playwright and musician husband, Will Osborne, in collaboration with Murray Horwitz (co-creator of the Broadway hit Ain’t Misbehavin’) and Allen Toussaint (legendary
In the wild world of Portland kindie rock, there are quite a few colorful characters. Artists like The Alphabeticians, Mr. Ben, and Mo Phillips can be found rocking coffee shops and other family-friendly venues all across Stumptown on any given afternoon. But in the arena of Portland's 'colorful' kid-friendly musicians, there is perhaps none more colorful in spirit (and appearance) than the crimson-bearded Andy Furgeson, otherwise known as Red Yarn. Since 2011, Red Yarn Productions has been bringing his unique blend of musical puppet shows and educational programs to schools, libraries, community events, and other venues across the PDX. Red
review by Roger Porter - local father and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer Hola amigos! Hoy vamos a viajar en una nave espacial y aprender a cuidar de algunos animales en una clínica veterinaria! And so started our adventure at the Portland Children’s Museum’s newest traveling exhibit, Dora and Diego- Let’s Explore! Most young kids are familiar with Dora and Diego, and their very popular TV shows. One of the draws of the tv show is that it teaches the kids some spanish, and a few of the stations kept the bilingual theme by having instructions in both languages. While this
The gray rainy days are back in Portland. Fall is here and summer is over. But don’t feel glum about the inevitable clouds; instead focus on a vibrant, colossal peach that belongs to James and his bug pals – Grasshopper, Ladybug, Worm, Centipede, Glowworm (unseen), and Spider. In James and the Giant Peach now on stage at Northwest Children’s Theater, it’s all about having adventures, building friendships, creatively solving problems, and one delicious piece of fruit. Fans of Roald Dahl’s classic book published in 1961, as well as those fans of Disney’s 1996 film, will notice plot differences. But the
review by Laura Riggs - local mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer. Last night my husband and I took the girls to see The Wiggles "Taking Off". Lucy, who is 4, was extremely excited. Maddie, who is 13, was not so excited. She actually asked if she could stay home. I was glad we dragged her along because she was a huge help in encouraging Lucy to participate in the fun. You see, The Wiggles shows are completely interactive. Parents and grandparents were singing as loud as the children and everyone was dancing in their seats - or in the
Review by Michelle Porter - local area mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer Oh, Portland Summers, how I love thee. The cool mornings, long warm nights and outdoor concerts a plenty. The Oregon Zoo is one of our favorite summer concert venues. Sunset at the Zoo is the Zoo's latest addition to their summer concert series. Every other Wednesday in July and August they are opening their gates from 5pm until 8pm (zoo grounds remain open until 9:30) to let people enjoy an evening of animal watching, summer festival style fun and music. My family was delighted to attend the
review by Michelle Porter - local mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer. Portland Children's Museum has been a family favorite of our since we moved to Portland in 1999, back when they were in their old location in Lair Hill. As our family has grown - both in age and in size - we have been back again and again, enjoying the museum's permanent exhibits like the "Grasshopper Grocery" and the "Play it Again Theater" as well as the wide variety of traveling exhibits. Last week the Museum opened their latest traveling exhibit, Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice, open
Review by Michelle Porter - local mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer As a mom of 5, I'm always looking for new and fun things for my kids to do. During the rainy months, which can really be just about all of them, I'm especially interested in fun indoor options. Double points for indoor fun that has the option of coffee and free wi-fi for me. Dizzy Castle is the area's newest installment of indoor playgrounds. Located in Vancouver, it's a quick and easy drive from Portland. This place has it all: tons of slides, ramps, space to run for
review by Ali Wilkinson - local mom and kindie music connoisseur We Portland parents may differ on a lot of things, but there are at least two things we can all agree on: we want to preserve and protect our environment for our kiddos and we love the kids’ music scene in this town. With the new compilation album Songs for Johnson Creek, we can support both! Songs for Johnson Creek is the brainchild of kids’ musician Matt Clark, who happens to have an alternate career as Executive Director of the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, an environmental non-profit based in
Reviewed by Scott Corwin, local Dad and PDX Kids Calendar Reviewer The internationally acclaimed Portland Youth Philharmonic closed out its 89th season on Sunday by showcasing the virtuosity of an electrifying 16 year-old violinist and offering several works that spanned the 20th Century to highlight the immense talent of the entire orchestra. It was the first concert for PYP since the passing of composer and conductor, Jacob Avshalomov, Musical Director from 1954 to 1995. The event provided an elegant tribute to the excellence and tradition created by "Mr. A" and by his predecessor, the creator of PYP, Jacques Gershkovitch, who
review by Julia Silverman - mom to 4 year old twins and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer The new production at Oregon Children's Theatre, "A Year with Frog and Toad," has a fizzy, jazzy feel to it, a Roaring Twenties throwback vibe, that leaves you feeling like anyone might break into the Charleston or run off to join the circus at a moment's notice. Even better, beneath the Cheaper by the Dozen gaiety, there's a sweetly sincere message at the core of the musical: The differences between us are what make our friendships truly sing. Almost anyone with kids will be
review by Shannon Milliman - local mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer Northwest Children's Theater's Cinderella is not your mother’s, or daughter's, or mega-mass-produced's Cinderella, but a charming, bright, spirited one that any tap-dancer-at-heart will enjoy! On opening day, little and big girls flocked to NWCT with their Sunday- or costume-best. My one regret was that I did not bring my son, instead my three daughters and I made it a 'girls night out.' When the house lights dimmed, I was completely surprised to hear a Gershwin-type swing song playing. Cinderella with curly red hair, in the likes of a
review by Grace Hermes, age 14. Local student and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer. As I walked into the Winningstad Theater at the Performing Arts Center with my friend, Rebecca, I knew we were in for a good show. Right away we could see the leafy green and brown set that represented the village in which the story takes place. Both Rebecca and I are fans of Lois Lowry's books, so we were excited to see a theater interpretation of her work. Before the play began, I took a look through the program and was happy to see several young actors
Review by Michelle Porter - PDX Kids Calendar reviewer My family and I have been fans of Tears of Joy Theatre since we moved here to Portland in 1999. We have seen a countless number of their shows and we have never been disappointed. They have a style of storytelling that is relaxed and accessible, yet always powerful and vivid. When I heard that they were doing an original adaptation of the Jules Verne classic, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, I was giddy with anticipation. This epic underwater tale seemed a perfect pairing for TOJ style of puppetry and I
Review by Michelle Porter - PDX Kids Calendar reviewer and Portland area mom Last night I took two of my daughters (9 and 11) to see Oregon Children's Theater's Impulse! - an improv troupe presented by the OCT Young Professionals Company. The troupe is comprised of 7 vibrant and talented teen actors and actresses. If you are familiar with the current children's theater scene in town, you will recognize some of these faces from recent shows including OCT's The Magic School Bus and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as well as NWCT's Willy Wonka and The BFG. There are some newer faces as well, but none
Review by Amy Seaholt - PDX Kids Calendar reviewer and local mom High tea sounds fancy. So sophisticated, in fact, that one cannot enjoy it at home. A seven-year-old must take her tea in a posh setting. A five star hotel would qualify ... or aboard a boat ... or with the queen! Jolly luck for you if you're in Portland, because every Saturday in April and May you can accomplish the latter two in one outing. Four of us attended the Queen Melissa Tea Cruise aboard the Portland Spirit, hoping for some cheer to combat these rainy days of
Review by Julia Silverman - Portland area mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer For our family, Oregon Children's Theatre's current production, The Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales was pretty much a complete unknown. Usually, when we head off to the theater, it's to see a show based on a book that we've read and re-read and read again, like Pinkalicious, or Richard Scarry's Busy Town. But somehow, we've managed to miss Stinky Cheese Man, the book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, on which this particular musical comedy is based. So I wasn't sure what to expect
review by Michelle Porter - Portland mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer On Sunday I took two of my children (Opal 9 and Ezra 4) to see Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!: Get the Sillies Out! at the Rose Garden's Theater of the Clouds. We are big Yo Gabba Gabba fans around here. And when I say "we", you can read that as heavy on the "me". The TV show has all the elements I love in a kids show ... catchy (yet not too high-pitched) music, sweet and kind characters, and a healthy dose of quirkiness. When I got the chance
Review by Scott Corwin - Portland dad and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer The Winter Concert of the Portland Youth Philharmonic had elements of a mythological journey, with passion, intrigue, and multiple tests of skill and bravery to challenge the performers before their eventual triumph. This may be just how the talented conductor and music director, David Hattner, likes it as he chose pieces that move from the contemporary to the majestic to the passionate, all just within range of the collective capability of these talented young musicians. The first challenge of our voyage was created by commission for the Portland
As documented throughout this website, my son Grady (almost 3) is a huge fan of music. He loves the local kindie music scene, Music Together, and has been enjoying the Oregon Symphony youth concert series lately as well. So of course we were thrilled to learn about the Portland Youth Philharmonic Cushion Concert at the World Forestry Center, an annual concert aimed at Portland’s youngest music fans. Grady and I arrived at the World Forestry Center a bit early so that we could take part in the instrument “petting zoo.” This is a fun idea, allowing kids to touch and
review by Brendon Bassett - Portland-area dad and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer In 2001, the Portland Children’s Museum relocated to the old OMSI site in Washington Park. Just over a decade later, the Museum has grown and matured into one of Portland’s finest family attractions. Families who frequent PCM are no doubt aware of the great permanent installations such as the water play room, theater space, and dress up areas; but the museum is kept truly fresh by a steady rotation of innovative and intriguing traveling exhibits that educate as much as they entertain. “Storyland: A Trip through Childhood Favorites”
review by Jennifer Bevacqua - Portland area mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer My husband said it best as we were walking out of the Monster Truck Jam today: “Well, that was never on my bucket list, but I’m glad that I went.” My husband and I are not Monster Truck fans, NASCAR fans, or any similar type of fans. However somehow our oldest son (5 years old) is extremely infatuated with monster trucks and race cars! I’m originally from the rural Midwest and wonder if love for these things somehow skips a generation genetically! Anyway, our experience was entertaining.
Review by Abby Wyers - local mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer Our family had the pleasure of seeing the puppet show "Anansi the Spider" at the Tears of Joy Theatre this past Saturday. We were especially excited to see Anansi perform, as we have read many stories about him and always enjoy this fun trickster spider! The kids and I arrived early so they could take part in the pre-show activities, a fun craft where they made their very own Anansi finger puppets out of paper, pipe cleaners, and tape. The Winningstad Theatre is such a beautiful open space
review by Crystal Wood, PDX Kids Calendar mom to 5-year-old Allison In so many Dr. Seuss books, it’s all about standing out as an individual and not going along with the crowd. Following your heart and staying true to it, that’s where happiness lies. In Seussical, now on stage at Northwest Children’s Theater, these ideals still ring true. Before my daughter came along, I couldn’t wait to read the Doc’s books aloud to my little one. But after the millionth time of reading Fox in Socks, the mere thought of the bottle beetle battle made me cringe. Thankfully, this show
Review by Maya Barbon, age 14 I was so excited as I walked into Northwest Children’s Theater with my mom and my sister to see Seussical the Musical. After all, it’s a bunch of Dr. Seuss stories and characters combined into one big musical. What could be better? Once the curtain went up, the music began, and we saw the iconic red and white hat, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. Seussical takes us into the big, bright world of Dr. Seuss. There we meet beloved characters like Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Yertle the Turtle, and many others. As
Review by Maya Barbon, PDX Kids Calendar reviewer. Age 14 As I walked into the Newmark Theatre to see Oregon Children Theatre's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with my sister and my friend Grace, we were greeted by a welcoming, kid-friendly environment. Three tables were set up in the lobby for children to make their own masks and crowns while helpers walked around giving out coloring pages. Many of the kids at the show had fun taking pictures on the big throne statue and doing the arts and crafts. Once in the theater, we were each given a
Review by Scott Corwin (with Hadley, Ruby, and Theo Corwin) - local parent and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer C.S. Lewis’ classic tale, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, comes to life in a thoroughly enjoyable production by Oregon Children’s Theatre playing at the Newmark Theatre through February 17. The book about the magical land of Narnia, discovered by the Pevensie children when they enter a wardrobe in the English country home they are sent to during World War II, is faithfully recreated by OCT through the use of soaring sets and richly adorned costumes. Decades before it was published,
Review by Scott Corwin The day after Christmas may be a good time to collapse in exhaustion. But, it is also a very good time to have a family night out in an ornate venue, enveloped in exquisite music created by the region’s most talented young musicians. The Concert-At-Christmas is the only Portland Youth Philharmonic event of the year showcasing all orchestras and ensembles of the PYP program. The result is breathtaking. The theme this year was theatrical composers, and the Alumni Orchestra led off wonderfully with Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène, highlighted by magnificent woodwinds playing. The several generations of
review by Tabitha Rhodes Like many PDX families, we were very excited about the opening of the Portland Aquarium in Milwaukie. An aquarium - just a stone's throw away? AWESOME! And after seeing numerous ticket deals and opting for the 1/2 off membership, we were very excited to check out a place that certainly looked amazing in the photos! We went to the Aquarium on the 2nd day after they opened for the members only preview - a week prior to their public opening. I have to admit, I've been to a lot of openings of new spots in our
review by Krista Swan - local mom and blogger at Mostly Mommyhood The Velveteen Rabbit is a bittersweet story. While excited to take Anna and Eric to see it, I was also a little apprehensive because I remember it being so sad. But I love going to Tears of Joy Theatre with the kids, so I knew it would be a good production. PDX Kids Calendar had a photo booth set up, so each of the kids chose a favorite toy to bring to the show and have their picture taken with. Anna chose Cherry Nose the bunny, and Eric
review by Kristen Corwin - Portland-area mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer The new Northwest Children’s Theater and School (NWCTS) production of Peter Pan is a beautiful yet accessible escape for the holidays that is suitable for all ages. A professional yet friendly production, Peter Pan’s success is built on excellent singing and acting, beautiful sets, and some very clever writing in this new adaption. While the show is two hours with a fifteen-minute intermission, the action onstage is so captivating that even the youngest audience members were attentive. Our five, nine, and eleven-year old reviewers were raptly engaged. And,
review by Abby Wyers - local mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer What an amazing experience today. The performance of Oregon Children's Theatre's Young Professionals Company's WWll Radio Christmas was truly moving and thought provoking. The actors were incredibly professional and sang so beautifully that it was almost impossible to believe that they were all in high school. My dad, husband, 6 and 8 year old boys and I all attended. I didn't really know what to expect. What I found was an extremely sad and heavy reenactment of a radio show for the country and the soldiers at Christmastime
review by Abby Wyers ~ PDX Kids Calendar reader and local Portland area mom On a rainy and windy Sunday afternoon my family found its way to the Portland Spirit for the Cinnamon Bear Cruise. What we found was warmth, fun, and a true welcoming spirit. As we boarded the ship our photo was taken and offered later for purchase (with no pressure). All the employees were dressed as characters: Candy Cane, Snowy, Sugar, Spice, Presto and many others from the Cinnamon Bear book. They all welcomed us aboard and let us know where we could sit and what to
review by Olivia Pflanz - local mom and PDX Kids Calendar reader Kids and adults alike will be mesmerized by the beautiful and sometimes whimsical light displays at the Oregon Zoo. Even if light displays aren’t quite your thing, you can’t help but marvel at the artistry these displays require (the zoo website advises they use more than a million lights). My husband, a working artist, was skeptical but even he was impressed with the quality and amount of the displays. We took our 6 1/2-year-old daughter (who admittedly already loves holiday light displays of any kind) and she thoroughly
review by Sonia Marie Leikam - local mom and member of the Congregation Shir Tikvah As a Jewish mom, I am always looking for community events this time of year geared towards our family traditions. That is why I was so excited to be able to go see JTC's The Power of Light with my 4 year old son and 6 year old nephew. That said, don't shy away from this lovely show if you are not Jewish - all faiths allowed! We headed over to the appropriately named Miracle Theatre and settled in for a thoroughly enjoyable time. I
review by Shannon Milliman - local Portland area mom and PDX Kids Calendar reviewer A break in rain found my three lip-glossed daughters and I headed to The Portland Ballet's 2012 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, with Mendelssohn's music played live at every performance by the PSU Orchestra and opera singers. The orchestra tuned, the curtain rose and entrance into a dreamland ensued. An intriguing forest painted by Liliya Drubetskaya formed the backdrop that changed with lighting and layers creating a rich ambiance and magical quality. My seven-year-old, Adrianna, delightfully noticed the subtle changes and whispered in my ear
Review by Julia Silverman Confession time: Though it is one of my kids' perennial favorites, I am not particularly fond of "Pinkalicious: The Book." I mean, really. What's the moral of the story there? All green vegetables taste repulsive, but one must gag them down in order to avoid turning a particularly violent shade of magenta? Please. But "Pinkalicious: The Play," back by popular demand for an extended run at Oregon Children's Theatre? That's another story. This is one of those rare instances in which the live action version far, far surpasses the written word. The play - and I