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‘Kids & Co.’ set to open season

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This year’s “Kids & Company” entertainment series is set to open this Monday, with an exciting lineup in store.

“I’m really excited about this season,” enthused committee chair Tara Tolley, noting she feels they’ve secured a good variety of acts for this season—from circus arts and a puppet show to dancing and artistic story-telling.

She said Monday night’s opening show, entitled “DADA,” is a unique dramatic production from Quebec that showcases music and circus arts.

“It follows Leopold Minute, a clock-maker by profession, who becomes lost in a daydream,” Tolley explained.

“He is then suddenly filled with a sweet insanity that he expresses through dance, juggling, and acrobatics.

“It should be a lot of fun,” she added.

The second show—slated for Nov. 23 and entitled “Peg and the Yeti”—features a theatrical performance based on the book by Kenneth Oppel.

Produced by Carousel Players in association with Manitoba Theatre for Young People, the show tells of a brave young girl named “Peg” who sets out on a great adventure to climb Mount Everest.

“She travels across the world by boat, train, and water buffalo until she reaches the Himalayas,” Tolley noted, adding she befriends a mysterious Yeti who helps her reach the top of the mountain.

“Led by Peg’s parents, the audience participates in the expedition by creating the imaginary events and places along the way,” she explained.

The “Great Jazz History Mystery” is the third performance set for Jan. 20.

Performed by Decidedly Jazz Danceworks of Calgary, the show takes the audience around the globe, and back and forth through time, as “The Detective” searches for clues to find the missing jazz.

“There is a wedding, a funeral, a robbery, a graduation, many crazy characters, and, of course, a lot of dancing,” Tolley remarked.

“Certainly a must-see show.”

Then on Feb. 29, a puppet show entitled “Everybody Loves Pirates” will hit the Townshend Theatre stage.

Performed by Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers from Bar Harbor, Maine, the story is about eight-year-old Lucy and her goofy pal, Little Chucky, who are searching for buried treasure.

But a gang of bumbling pirates keeps getting in the way.

Tolley said that show features 15 hand-crafted mouth and rod puppets, as well as an eight-foot papier maché pirate ship.

The final show on April 25, called “Queen of Colours,” showcases artistic story-telling based on the book by Jutta Bauer.

“Much like an animated picture book developed before your very eyes, the ‘Queen of Colours’ combines shadow

puppets, music, and live painted projections,” noted an article from The Sydney Morning Herald.

“We had a great year last year and we are hoping for another one this year,” Tolley enthused.

We just want to keep expanding our audience,” she stressed.

All shows take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Townshend Theatre.

Season passes cost $35 each, with individual show tickets costing $10 each.

Children three and under are free.

Passports are available at the Fort Frances Public Library, Betty’s, and Revco Carpet here, as well as The Coffee Landing in International Falls.

“Tickets and passports are always available at the door—they never completely sell-out,” Tolley noted.

“We want to introduce children and families to a wide spectrum of diverse entertainment to both foster an appreciation of the arts and to enhance the quality of life within our northern community through unique and creative music, dance, and drama,” she reasoned.

“Kids of all ages are welcome,” Tolley added. “The performances are tailored to families and kids.

“They only last about an hour, often including audience involvement, and kids are welcome to wiggle, dance, and move in the aisles,” she remarked.

“It’s a great introduction to live entertainment for kids.”

For more information on “Kids & Co.,” visit www.kidsandco.ca or call Tolley at 271-0320.

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