“Weekend” is the word?

Weekend” is indeed the word–unless you’re one of the young performers opening Valley Youth Theatre’s 2010-2011 season tonight with the musical “Grease,” first produced on Broadway in 1972. Or you’re set to see the show performed at Valley Youth Theatre between now and Aug 29–in which case the word is “fun.”

The word might be “win” if you get to tonight’s opening 30 minutes before the 7:30pm showtime and wow them with your 50s costume or dance abilities. Think poodle skirts and letter sweaters.

"Word Pointillism" from Childs Elementary School

The word is “audition” if your child wants to try out for Theater Works’ “Kids Alive” on Sat, Aug 14, between 1pm and 6pm. The performing troupe offers acting, singing and dance training to selected kids ages 6 to 19 with “a small tuition fee.”

Free” is the word if you attend the storytime being held at Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe on Sat, Aug 14, at 11am. They’ll be reading “The Sundae Scoop” by Stuart Murphy–and giving participants a coupon for a free ice cream cone from Baskin Robbins in Tempe Square. (They’ll also hold an afternoon writing workshop.)

The word is “farce” if you’re a fan of playwright Neil Simon, because Desert Stages Theatre in Scottsdale opens “Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party” tonight in their Actor’s Cafe. Depending on your take on love, you might find the play’s reputation as a “farcical romance” redundant.

Film” is the word if you head to the Phoenix Art Museum for the “high-seas adventure” film being presented by Arizona Opera. It’s “Captain Blood” starring Errol Flynn and Olivia De Havilland. Watching a classic with fellow film buffs in this setting may leave you feeling downright sorry for folks who settle for movies ala handheld device.

More word play from Childs Elementary School

The word is “rhythm” for families who make their way to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix on Sat, Aug 14, for a “Circle of Rhythms” event that gives children the opportunity to “explore various percussion instruments” in a facilitated drumming circle. Times vary by age and it’s free with museum admission–but space is limited.

Drums” is the word for folks who attend the “Bonga and Vodou Drums of Haiti” concert tonight at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix–which features “traditional Afro-Haitian roots music” complete with drums, chanting and other instuments that include the conch and didgeridoo. (Youth can sign up for a 10am workshop with Bonga that morning.)

Keeper” is the word for my hubby James–who not only makes the Buzzberry runs that fuel my wee hour wordsmithing, but also alerts me to stories of possible interest to RAK “Stage Mom” readers (click here to see his latest find on art and the immigration debate and here to see an article he sent me as a follow-up to a recent post titled “The Lion King–and leukemia”).

Whatever words you choose, I hope you’ll weave them into a story worthy of that charming back-to-school tradition–the “what I did this summer” essay.


Note: Always call ahead to confirm dates/times, locations, ages welcome, costs, registration requirements and such. For a comprehensive listing of family-friendly activities, visit the online calendar each day at www.raisingarizonakids.com.

Coming up: Real Rockettes of Radio City Music Hall 

Update: Enjoy an “Artist of the Month” reception (with DJs spinning vinyl) at Buffalo Exchange in Tempe on Sun, Aug 15, from 1-5pm–featuring Jake Michael, who “works primarily with recycled and reinvented materials.”


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