It is becoming trickier and trickier to entice my previously theatre-enthused nine-year-old son in attending a weekend play or musical with Mom. But all I had to say were two words, BIG NATE, and Charlie was totally into it. He loves this series of New York Times best-selling comic book compilations about a troublesome but loveable, cartoon-drawing-drums-playing tween. Christopher Youstra and Jason Loewith have excellently adapted Big Nate for the stage.
So Charlie’s new, cool guy persona is what brought him through the doors of the Adventure Theatre Musical Theatre Center this past weekend…
But Big Nate’s production quality, actors and storytelling fully reactivated Charlie’s love of the theatre.
Yes! 2 points to Director Michael Baron. Thank you.
Nine-year-old Charlie, seven-year-old Eve and I attended this children’s musical Saturday and all three of us were enraptured. The cast is top notch. Led by the unbelievably charismatic Sam Ludwig as the title character, it is impossible not to fall a little in love with his zany, joyous portrayal of the detention-prone Renaissance Man. Well, unless you are Jenny, the sweet blonde dope of a junior high character who can’t see the awesome that is in front of her eye lashes and instead bats them at blandly nice Artur, an exchange student from Belarus. (Note to fictional Jenny: Don’t wait until you are 32 to realize it is the Nates of the world who rule the hot.)
But I digress.
Parents and children alike will love the humor, the catchy songs, and the Adventure Theatre’s patented style of cast members playing multiple parts and creative use of the compact set. The actors’ voices and choreography are of the highest quality. I heard one mother on the walk behind us to the parking lot liken Big Nate to “Rent for kids.” Hmmm. I think it was more You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, but I agree that it was totally enjoyable.
Just as I enjoyed bringing my toddler Alice to the perfect-for-her-age Winnie the Poohearlier this season, and introducing my first grade daughter to the world of Laura Ingalls with A Little House Christmas, it was fabulous to be able to bring my third grade son to a play that evokes his daily life as a student. Charlie completely connected with it and had a spring in his step for the rest of the day, even goofing along with me as we danced Singin’ in the Rain-style with our umbrellas after the show.
Tell me, will you get that kind of reaction from a nine-year-old after Iron Man 3? I think not.
The play is great for kids age kindergarten through middle school, and high school theatre kids will dig it too.
The only downside to Big Nate is that there are only a few performances left! Get your tickets before the show closes on Sunday June 2. Note that there are special Monday performances on Memorial Day.
Thank you to the Adventure Theatre MCT for providing media passes for my family and me. No additional compensation was received. I take responsibility for all opinions and dorking out. Photo credit Bruce Douglas for Adventure Theatre.
Bring your kids to this free event to taste healthy school lunch recipes…developed by kid chefs!
Real Food for Kids Montgomery, a “grass-roots, parent advocacy group promoting whole, delicious, fresh and nutrient-rich foods in the Montgomery County Public Schools” is hosting what sounds like a fun and tasty event. On Saturday May 18 at Piney Branch School in Takoma Park (7510 Maple Avenue) from 12-2 p.m. families are invited to taste five finalists’ menu creations. Everyone can taste but only kids vote on their favorite selections. The winning recipe will be submitted to MCPS for their consideration as a new menu item!
Other activities for all ages of attendees will include Guess What Food?, Knife Skills Demo, Food Trivia and My Plate Coloring. Tickets are $5/person or $15/family. Free or reduced price entry is available at the door for families who qualify for free or reduced priced lunches.
Here are the top 5 finalists’ recipes for a healthy school lunch…the kids’ tasting menu, if you will:
Turkey Wrap with Mixed Vegetables, Apple and Popcorn
Chef: Marina Bowsher
Kale, Bean and Fruit Pita Pockets
Chef: Aura Triana
MC Old Bay Fish Soft Whole Grain Corn Tacos with Tropical Fruit Salsa, Crunchy Spinach Salad with Cilantro Lime Yogurt Dressing and Garden Patch Quinoa
Chef: Diane Ganci
Whole Wheat Pita Bread, Hummus, Apple and Classy Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad
Chefs: Rebecca Letsinger (6th grade) and Nancy Letsinger
Happy Bean Pancake with Mango Chefs: Josie James-Le (5th grade) and Cait James
Entrants will be competing for cash and gift cards to further their passions for cooking.
Partners in Preservation (PiP), American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s announced the recipients of the $1M in preservation grants. Thank you so much to all of you who voted, Tweeted, Instagramed and attended the local events to raise public awareness and support local historic places!
Washington National Cathedral won the popular vote with 1,386,990 points. The Cathedral will receive the entire $100K requested, which will go towards inspecting and repairing nave vaulting damaged by the 2011 earthquake in DC.
Other restoration projects that will be funded:
All Souls Church Unitarian, Adams Morgan, D.C. : $50,000 to repair historic bell tower, including clock, stonework and windows.
Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site, Shaw, D.C.: $75,000 to rebuild front and rear façade in order to stabilize home for public access.
Colvin Run Mill, Great Falls, Va.: $75,000 to bring the 18th century grain elevator into working order.
Congressional Cemetery, Barney Circle, D.C.: $50,000 to replace and reconstruct a row of 26 mausoleum vault roofs.
Dumbarton Oaks Park, Georgetown, D.C.: $50,000 repair garden’s original built structures including viewing platform, stone houses, and retaining wall.
The GALA Hispanic Theatre at The Tivoli, Columbia Heights, D.C.: $35,000 to restore three ornate interior domes.
Greenbelt Theatre, Greenbelt, Md.: $75,000 to renovate art deco lobby.
LAMB at Military Road School, Brightwood, D.C.: $60,000 to repair exterior of school building including columns and cupola.
Meridian Hill Park, Columbia Heights, D.C.: $50,000 to stabilize and repair exposed aggregate concrete grotto.
Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Scott Circle, D.C.: $90,000 to restore stained glass windows on church’s primary facade.
Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, Va.: $100,000 to paint, plaster and restore Washington’s Large Dining Room.
Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, Mount Vernon Square, D.C.: $75,000 to repair and preserve a dozen of the Synagogue’s stained glass windows.
And all the participating historic places received $5,000 grants!