Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Wizard of Oz is coming to the National Theatre + Giveaway!

National Touring Production of the Wizard of Oz.

“We’re off to see…”

The most magical adventure of them all.

The Wizard of Oz is coming to the National Theatre May 3 – 15. I am thrilled to announce that I am giving away a pair of tickets to see the opening night show on Tuesday, May 3rd at 7:30pm. Just leave a comment below for a chance to win! I’ll be selecting and notifying a winner on Sunday, April 17th.

This new production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally reconceived for the stage.

Developed from the ever popular MGM screenplay, this production contains the beloved songs from the Oscar® – winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they journey through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts’ desires. Watch out for the Wicked Witch of the West and her winged monkeys as you rediscover the real story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat for the whole family.

16 Performances:
Tuesday, May 3: 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 4: 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 5: 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 6: 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 7: 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 8: 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 10: 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 11: 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 12: 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 13: 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 14: 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 15: 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

 



Annie at the National Theatre – Review

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“The sun will come out tomorrow….”. Clara and I will be singing the iconic Annie songs for quite a while after watching the opening night show at the National Theatre! It is the world’s best musical for good reason and the performance Tuesday evening was nothing short of spectacular!

HardKnockLifeHeidi Gray as Annie and Macy as Sandy in Annie at the National Theatre March 15 – 20, 2016. www.thenationaldc.com © Joan Marcus

We were captivated right from the start. “It’s the Hard Knock Life” was the second scene in the first act and it was amazing! There was so much talent among the cast that it is hard to pick our favorites but Annie is of course at the top of the list. Heidi Gray was a joy to watch; there is serious talent packed into that adorable little girl. Lynn Andrews as Miss Hannigan had us laughing out loud and Mr. Warbucks played by Gilgamesh Taggest was another favorite. And the scenes with Sandy the dog were definitely loved by Clara.

AnniexmasThe Company in “A New Deal for Christmas” in Annie at the National Theatre March 15 – 20, 2016. www.thenationaldc.com © Joan Marcus

The set, the costumes, the music, and the acting was all so, so good. I can’t recommend it enough! The show lasted about 2 hours and 30 minutes with an intermission. It was a really late night for Clara, so I packed her pajamas and changed her when we got to the car and she was fast asleep. But it was so worth the tired eyes the next morning! We both absolutely loved the show and it made for a memorable momma-daughter date night!

Annie&SandyMacy as Sandy and Heidi Gray as Annie in Annie at the National Theatre March 15 – 20, 2016. www.thenationaldc.com © Joan Marcus

There are just 6 performances remaining, so hurry up and grab your tickets:

• Thursday, March 17 7:30pm
• Friday, March 18 8:00pm
• Saturday, March 19 2:00pm
• Saturday, March 19 8:00pm
• Sunday, March 20 1:00pm
• Sunday, March 20 6:30pm

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Here is the official show blurb if you would like to learn more about the cast and production:

WASHINGTON, DC (January 12, 2016) Leapin’ lizards! With more than 400 performances under her belt, the new U.S. National Tour of Annie will play the National Theatre for one week only, March 15 – 20, 2016. Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin for the 19th time, this production of Annie is a brand new physical incarnation of the iconic 1977 Tony Award®-winning original.

Tickets are on sale now and start at $48 plus applicable service charges. Tickets are available at the National Theatre box office, online at TheNationalDC.com, or by calling (800) 514-3849. A day-of-performance lottery for a limited number of best available tickets at $25 each – cash only – will be held at the theater two hours before each performance. Orders for groups of 10 or more may be placed by calling (202) 628-6161 ext. 227. For more information, call (202) 628-6161 or visit TheNationalDC.com.

After touring the production to 41 cities across the nation, Troika Entertainment, LLC is pleased to announce select new lead cast members for the 2016 leg of the tour.

The new production features a 25-member company: newly cast in the title role of Annie is Heidi Gray, an 11-year-old actress from the Augusta, GA area, making her tour debut. Also new to the Orphanage are Sage Bentley as Tessie, Bridget Carly Marsh as July, Annabelle Wachtel as Molly, and Casey Watkins as Duffy. They join Molly Rose Meredith as Pepper, and Emily Moreland as Kate. Chloe Tiso joins the company as Grace Farrell.

Continuing to star in the company are Gilgamesh Taggett as Oliver Warbucks, Lynn Andrews as Miss Hannigan, Garrett Deagon as Rooster, Lucy Werner as Lily, and Jeffrey B. Duncan as FDR. Sunny and Macy, rescue terrier mixes, star as Sandy.

The featured ensemble includes Chelsey Lynn Alfredo, Jonathan Cobrda, Ruby Day, Todd Fenstermaker, Madisen Johnson, Brianne Kennedy, Tyler Lenhart, Brendan Malafronte, Theresa Rowley, Kelsey Shaw, Connor Simpson, and Daniel Forest Sullivan.

Annie has a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, and lyrics by Martin Charnin. All three authors received 1977 Tony Awards® for their work. Choreography is by Liza Gennaro, who incorporates selections from her father Peter Gennaro’s 1977 Tony Award®-winning choreography.

The original production of Annie opened April 21, 1977 at the Alvin Theatre and went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album, and seven Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, Best Book (Thomas Meehan) and Best Score (Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin). The first national touring company of Annie played National Theatre for 18 weeks in 1978. The show remains one of the biggest Broadway musical hits ever. It ran for 2,377 performances after it first opened, has been performed in 28 languages, and has been running somewhere around the world for 38 years.

The beloved score for Annie includes “Maybe,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” and the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”

The celebrated design team includes scenic design by Tony Award® winner Beowulf Boritt (Act One, The Scottsboro Boys, Rock of Ages), costume design by Costume Designer’s Guild Award winner Suzy Benzinger (Blue Jasmine, Movin’ Out, Miss Saigon), lighting design by Tony Award® winner Ken Billington (Chicago, Annie, White Christmas), and sound design by Tony Award® nominee Peter Hylenski (Rocky, Bullets Over Broadway, Motown). The lovable mutt “Sandy” is once again trained by Tony Award® Honoree William Berloni (Annie, A Christmas Story, Legally Blonde). Musical supervision and additional orchestrations are by Keith Levenson (Annie, She Loves Me, Dreamgirls). Casting is by Joy Dewing CSA and Holly Buczek CSA, Joy Dewing Casting (Soul Doctor, Wonderland, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). The tour is produced by TROIKA Entertainment, LLC.



Clara’s Birthday Party at BusyBees!

5 years old! FIVE YEARS! I can’t believe the one who made me a momma is now 5, a whole hand big! Clara started talking about her birthday a couple months ago and likes to make a big deal out it. But I can’t blame her. I’ve realized these years go by in the blink of an eye and are so precious when they are little, so full of life, and excited about everything! It only seemed fitting that we celebrate her 5th birthday at BusyBees, one of her favorite indoor playgrounds in the DC area.

If you haven’t yet been to BusyBees, then check out this article with all the details. You will definitely want to take your kids to play there soon because it’s a happy place to play for both kids and parents!

Planning the party at BusyBees was so easy and stress-free. We chose the private party option so that we would have the entire space to enjoy with all of Clara’s classmates and friends. They offer four different party packages with weekday and weekend options and exclusive or shared playground space. More information can be found here.

As an added bonus, I didn’t even have to plan the party decor and tableware! That was all taken care of by Simply Genie – a DC based company that offers designer parties in a box. They partnered with BusyBees to offer a personalized BuzzytheBee party package option. As you can see from the photos, it was absolutely adorable and they didn’t miss a detail. Stripes and polka-dots happen to be one of my favorite combinations! And better yet, the prices are so reasonable. They had everything set up when we arrived, so we felt like we could fully enjoy our guests.

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The package included customized water bottle wrappers, bamboo cutlery, plates, cups, straws, and napkins. It also included the adorable place mats featuring BuzzytheBee himself. And these place mats have a coloring page on the backside, so the staff wiped them down after the kids ate and everyone got to take theirs home! How cool is that?

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The party package by Simply Genie also included customized cupcake toppers. Seriously, adorable!

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The customized Happy Birthday banner and bright pom poms added a festive punch to the party room.

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Pure joy!

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The embarrassing little sister!

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The kids all had a blast playing together in the playground and didn’t want to leave when the party was over. It was the best feeling in the world to watch Clara having fun with all of her friends. We made some wonderful memories at Clara’s 5th birthday party thanks to BusyBees and Simply Genie! I really can’t recommend them highly enough! The owner of BusyBees is truly a wonderful person who sincerely cares about creating the best party experience for her guests. They offer a complimentary party concierge service to handle all the planning and will even order the food if you prefer. Or if you are a party planning extraordinaire, you can always bring in all your own stuff.  You really can get the exact party you are looking for at BusyBees!

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Coloring Sheet

Here’s a fun coloring sheet for your little ones to enjoy with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey coming to the Verizon Center later this month! My girls both love to color and this is getting them even more excited about seeing the show!

Don’t forget, you can still enter to win 4 tickets to see the opening night show on Thursday, March 31! Just comment on this previous blog post for a chance to win! I will be selecting and notifying a winner on 3/17/16.

 

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Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum

Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum
21668 Heritage Farm Lane
Sterling, VA 20164
www.loudounmuseum.com

 

The Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum is one of the best hidden gems for entertaining little ones in the Washington, D.C. area. It’s located on the grounds of the Claude Moore Park in Sterling, Virginia, about 25 miles outside of the city. It has traditional museum exhibits that highlight the 250 years of Loudoun county’s agricultural history and interactive exhibits for kids, which is why I was drawn to visit the museum with my girls. The exhibits encourage role playing and are geared towards children under age 7. Here is what we loved about the hands on exhibits:

Claude Moore Children’s Farm

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In this exhibit children get to learn what it’s like to be a farmer. They can dress up in overalls and straw hats and get to work milking a life-like cow and collecting eggs from the play chickens. Kids love riding the equi-ponies in this area and learning how to care for them. There is a puppet stage where children can create and perform their own farm story. They can also go for a ride on the pedal tractors in the open space in front of the barn. This was definitely the favorite activity for my energetic girls!

The Waxpool General Store

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Another fantastic exhibit for children who like to role-play. In the Waxpool General store, kids can play shopkeeper, shopper, or postmaster. There are shelves and baskets full of play food and a charming antique cash register. This definitely beats the typical pretend grocery store found in children’s museums. My girls also loved sorting and delivering the mail in the post office area.

Grandma’s Kitchen

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In the back of the museum is the Grandma’s Kitchen exhibit, a replica of a century-old farm kitchen. My daughters loved using the old fashioned kitchen tools and wood burning stove to pretend to prepare and serve meals. Children who love play kitchens will definitely want to spend a good amount of time here.

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There is more to explore outside on the beautiful grounds surrounding the museum. The American Workhorse exhibit is located in a large barn behind the museum but it’s only available to view on select special events. If you keep walking along the path you will come to a pond. It has a few docks where you can feed the ducks and geese.

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In addition to the daily exhibits, the museum also holds popular annual events including Tractorpooloza, Bunny Bonanza, and the Princess for a Day Ice Cream Social. They also offer summer camps and Kids’ Night at the Museum drop off events the second Saturday of every month. Registration information can be found here.

We visited the museum on a regular Saturday morning and it wasn’t crowded at all. The museum is not a big place making it easy to manage multiple small children. It is the place to go if you are looking for a fun and low-key outing. There is enough to do here to keep your kids entertained for at least a couple of hours. After our visit I was asking myself why I didn’t hear about it sooner!

Good to Know:

• Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9:30 – 4:30pm, Sunday 11:30 – 4:30pm, Closed Mondays.
• Admission: Adults $5, Seniors and Military $4, Children 2-12 $3, FREE/Children Under 2
• Food and drinks are not allowed inside the museum but there are picnic tables outside where you can have a snack on a nice day.
• There is ample parking available in front of the museum.
• There are bathrooms with changing tables available as well as designated stroller parking.
• The museum is located near Dulles Town Center and Dulles 28 Centre which both have kid friendly options for lunch.



Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Discount Code!

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® is coming to DC on March 31-April 3 and I have an awesome discount code for you – use MOM2016 to save $8 per ticket!

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Circus XTREME

Newest Edition of The Greatest Show On Earth® Pushes the Limits with Extreme Acts & Offers Last Chance to See Asian Elephants Perform

 Washington, D.C. – February 18, 2016 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME, features artists who redefine the word extreme in everything they do, magnifying traditional elements of the circus and combining them with never-before-seen spectacles, original fast-paced performances and incredibly hilarious moments. Audiences will be dazzled and astounded by the beautiful Bengal tigers, double-humped dromedaries ridden by brave Mongolian women and, for the last time, the most popular members of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey familythe magnificent Asian elephants.

Circus XTREME will come to life at two arenas in the Washington, D.C. area. The show will be at Verizon Center from March 31-April 3, and the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Va., from April 6-17Circus XTREME will also perform at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Md., from March 16-27.

The ultimate family entertainment experience features high-wire wizards, spectacular strongmen, BMX trick riders, trampoline daredevils, inconceivable contortionists, a high-flying human cannonball, a bungee aerial skydiving display and an international assembly of more than 100 world-renowned artists.

The party starts an hour before the show with the All Access Pre-show, which is free with your ticket purchase. You and your family can meet performers and get up close to the menagerie of animals. Try on custom costumes, learn circus skills from the famous Ringling Bros. Clown Alley and even have the opportunity to win a one-of-a-kind masterpiece created by one of our very own Ringling Bros. painting pachyderms. Ticketholders can also purchase an upgrade and go backstage with a VIP Behind the Scenes Tour of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.

The show is also the last opportunity for local residents to see the treasured Asian elephants before they are moved to their permanent home at the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation® in Florida in May 2016. The elephants’ move to Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation will allow the company to focus on its Asian elephant conservation program and the pediatric cancer research partnership with Dr. Joshua Schiffman of Primary Children’s Hospital and The Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah.

You can only experience extreme thrills, exotic animals and extraordinary performers at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME, get your tickets for the thrilling entertainment experience today!

 WASHINGTON, D.C. SHOW

The Verizon Center | March 31 – April 3, 2016

Performance Schedule:

  • Thursday, March 31 | 7:30 pm
  • Friday, April 1 | 10:30 am, 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, April 2 | 11:30 am, 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, April 3 | 11:30 am, 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm

Ticket Information:

All seats are reserved, and tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 800-745-3000, via www.ticketmaster.com, and the Verizon Center or EagleBank Arena box office. For group rates and information, contact 202-661-5061. For more information, visit Ringling.com.

Prices: $75 Front Row, $55 VIP, $35.00 (Verizon Center only), $30.00, $20.00 & $15.00. Prices subject to market demand and may change. Service charges and additional fees may apply.

Use your SmarTrip Card to save $8 on tickets. Visit the box office and show your SmarTrip card at the venue box office.

Offer expires April 10, 2016. Savings coupon valid for up to six (6) tickets. Prices subject to market demand and may change. Discount applies to originally priced $30.00, $20.00 & $15.00 only. No double discounts. Offer subject to ticket availability. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Service charges, facility and handling fees may apply. Applies to all performances except Opening Night at each venue.

For the national tour schedule and to find out more about Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME, visit Ringling.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube — @RinglingBros.  Follow Producer Nicole Feld on Twitter @NicoleFeld.