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The Jungle Book at Encore Stage & Studio

DSC_0242From left to right: Bagheera (Gia Jackson), Baloo (Kyra Radomsky), Mowgli (Ryely Rogers), Kaa (Tara Hall), King Monkey (Declan Roberts).  Photo by Aileen Pangan.

The Jungle Book is a classic that my oldest daughter Clara and I have enjoyed reading and watching on screen together many times. When I saw that the show would be playing at Encore, I knew she would be excited to go see it live at the theater. It’s always inspiring for her to see other children performing on stage. Encore’s adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is creative, entertaining and makes for a fun family outing to the theatre.

Mowgli is taught the ways of the jungle by a bear named Baloo and Bagheera, a panther, and Kaa the snake. When father wolf becomes too old to rule his animal kingdom, an angry Tiger named Shere Khan who has been out to get Mowgli since he was a young boy, tries to name himself the new king. Mowgli, with the help of the nearby villagers and a treasure given to him from ancient ruins, must stop the tiger from becoming the new king, and help restore order in the jungle again.

DSC_0035The wolf pack teaches Mowgli the way of the Jungle. From left to right: Wolf 1 (Sam Regardie), Wolf 4 (Riley Dennis), Wolf 2 (Caroline Raymond) and Wolf 3 (Kylen Davis). Photo by Larry McClemons

The set was simple but effective with tall trees, vines, and boulders to create the jungle scene. The costumes were creative and interpretive. We thought the kids all did a great job delivering their lines and providing humor throughout the performance. The show was a bit shorter than Encore’s previous productions (about 1 hour 15 minutes with an intermission). So I would recommend this for ages 4+. Go see it this weekend for a nice air conditioned break from the heat. There are four performances remaining:

Friday, June 9th 7:30pm
Saturday, June 10th 11am and 3pm
Sunday, June 11th 3pm

Tickets may be purchased online or at the door.

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Tips for your visit:
•Ticket prices: $15 adults, $12 children, students, seniors, and military.
•Concessions can be purchased and enjoyed in the lobby before the show and during intermission.
•There is free and ample parking at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, where all Encore productions are located.
•Encore offers a birthday party package.
•Encore also offers a variety of classes and camps.

Also, Encore Stage & Studio announced their 2017/2018 season last weekend. They have some great shows lined up. I’m especially looking forward to Disney’s The Lion King Jr. and James and the Giant Peach!



A Little Princess at Encore Stage & Studio

Encore Stage & Studio
125 S Old Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22204
www.encorestageva.org
 
 

My oldest daughter, Clara and I saw a performance of A Little Princess last weekend at Encore Stage & Studio. It was the perfect momma-daughter outing for a cold and snowy afternoon. Clara was especially excited that she got to wear her princess dress to the show! Encore’s productions have always captivated my daughter because the actors are all kids who do a great job of entertaining. And this one was no exception!

Sara Crewe, a young heiress to a diamond mine fortune, leaves her home and father in India to go to school at Miss Michin’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies in London. When adversity strikes, Sara’s imaginative powers come to the rescue, transforming a drab institution into a place of magic and mystery. Using the grace and virtue of ‘a little princess,’ Sara proves that kindness always wins.

 dsc_0111The Cast of A Little Princess. Photo by Larry McClemons.

There is a lot of talent in the cast of young actors. We especially loved the musical numbers and “Sunny Day in London” was definitely a favorite. Clara has been singing the song ever since! They did a great job with designing the set and using effects. Overall, we thought this was a great performance and told a wonderful story. Take your daughters for fun date next weekend!

dsc_0281-apThe case of A Little Princess. Photo by Aileen Pangan.

img_3168There are 4 more performances remaining: Friday, January 13, 2017 at 7:30pm, Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 11am and 3pm, and Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 3pm. Also, after the 11am performance on January 14th, Encore is hosting a Princess Ball. Dress up in your prince/princess best and make your theatre experience a lasting family memory! There will be royalty sweets and treats, fun activities, creative crafts, and a chance to interact with the cast of A Little Princess! Tickets are $20 and are sold separately.

Tips for your visit:

•The show is recommended for ages 4 and older.
•Ticket prices: $15 adults, $10 children, students, seniors, and military. You can purchase tickets online or at the door.
•The shows last approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.
•Concessions can be purchased and enjoyed in the lobby before the show and during intermission.
•There is free and ample parking at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, where all Encore productions are located.
•Encore offers a birthday party package.
•Encore also offers a variety of classes and camps.



SenSations Party Designs + Giveaway!

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As parents, we want our children to have fun, unique and memorable parties to celebrate their birthdays. But the party planning process can be stressful with all the time and money it takes. I’m all for anything that saves time and simplifies things for me, so I was excited to hear about a new local party design company.

SenSations Party Designs was started by an Arlington mom who has a passion for entertaining. She was tired of the generic themes at the party supply chain stores and decided to make her own party-ware and decorations. Now, her goal is to help other busy parents plan and deliver the perfect, one-of-a-kind social event that will leave you and your guests delighted. SenSations focuses on attention to detail and high quality products to make every party special on any budget. Check out the website to see some of the adorable creations by the owner, Meredith. The options are endless as she will take any theme or idea you bring her and make something truly unique.

We are giving away this fun SenSations “Trick-or-Treat” banner and 8 personalized goodie bags! This is perfect for anyone who is throwing a Halloween party. It would also be cute to have as a decoration in your home and the goodie bags could be used for your children’s friends! Just leave a comment on this post to enter! A winner will be selected and notified on October 18th.

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Mary Poppins – Encore Stage & Studio

 Encore Stage & Studio
125 S Old Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22204
www.encorestageva.org
 

We have been to many Encore Stage & Studio shows in the past but Mary Poppins was the first show we saw that incorporated professional adult performers. This show had a different feel since the adults were played by actual adults! It is definitely at the top of my list as one of my favorites by Encore. Everything about it was Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

 

Mary Poppins is a practically perfect, spoonful of sugar nanny that unexpectedly arrives in the Banks household one blustery day. Using lessons disguised as games, she helps to teach the Banks children how to be their best selves. But, is Mary Poppins’ magic enough to save this family from drifting apart? Enjoy your favorite Disney melodies and watch Mary Poppins soar across the stage in this Broadway adaptation that won seven TONY awards, including Best Musical.

SupercaliPhoto by Larry McClemons.

One thing my daughter and I loved about this performance is that Mary (played by 23-year-old Kaely Clapper) actually flew across the stage several times using cables. And Bert even did a few flips mid-air during “Step in Time”. There were a lot of talented actors with great vocals. The set in Mary Poppins was also quite impressive compared to their other shows.

MaryPoppinsMary Poppins (Kaely Clapper) soars over London. Photo by Larry McClemons.

Encore Stage & Studio should be super proud of this performance! And it turns out this was their highest attended summer production since 2007 (with High School Musical!) at over 3400 patrons! Bravo Encore!

Mary Poppins has ended but make sure to catch the next show at Encore this fall – The Best Haunted House Ever, October 14-23.

Good to Know:

•The show is recommended for ages 6 and older. However, my  5 year old absolutely loved the show.
•Ticket prices: $15 adults, $10 children, students, seniors, and military.
•The show lasts approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.
•Concessions can be purchased and enjoyed in the lobby before the show and during intermission.
•There is free and ample parking at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, where all Encore productions are located.
•Encore offers a birthday party package.
•Encore also offers a variety of classes and camps.

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Treasure Island – Encore Stage & Studio

Encore Stage & Studio
125 S Old Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22204
www.encorestageva.org
 

 If you have been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that we attend several Encore shows each year. They never disappoint and there is something so special about children watching other children perform on stage. My daughter seems to really connect with the characters and she stay’s engaged throughout the show. It’s very unique from most other children’s theaters in the area where the actors are all adults.

We were very excited to see Encore Stage & Studio’s World Premiere of Treasure Island on Saturday:

What starts as a mystery turns into an adventure in a brand new Encore adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel. Young Jemma Hawkins escapes a dull life to search for where “X” marks the spot on a mysterious treasure map left behind by an old sea captain. Jemma meets a slew of thrill seeking sea farers as she races to find the treasure before any pirates do.
 

 The show was really entertaining and I especially enjoyed the pop culture references that had me laughing out loud. The set was impressive and included a mock ship. The young actors all did an amazing job and I especially loved their catchy sea shanties.

McClemons 102“The crew of pirates hoist sail. Photo by Larry McClemons”
McClemons 100“From left to right: Anne Dieulevent (Miranda Tonsetic), Christina Anne Skyette (Colleen Jackson), Elizabeth Killigrew (Abi Burkholder), Annie Bonney (Cecelia Haislmaier), Grace O’Malley (Isabella Russo), and Jeanne de Clisson (Holly Durham). Photo by Larry McClemons” 
McClemons 101“From left to right: Captain Smollett (Annie Wood), Dr. Livesey (Liam Clancy) and Squire Trelawney (Brian Metcalf) board the ship to Treasure Island. Photo by Larry McClemons”
 

After the performance, we attended the Pirate’s Party and enjoyed food, games, and crafts. The cast of the show mingled with the party guests and posed for photos.

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At the “Arggs & Crafts” station, the kids made their own pirate hooks out of cups and foil. They also decorated swords and bandannas.

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At the Combat Class, Clara learned all about stage fighting and practiced sword fighting using socks with some of the Treasure Island cast.

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The fun continued when a group of pirates taught Clara a sea shanty.

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We both really enjoyed the show and Pirate’s Party. Clara has been pretending to be a pirate at home ever since!

Good to Know:

•The show is recommended for ages 6 and older. However, my almost 5 year old absolutely loved the show.
•Ticket prices: $15 adults, $10 children, students, seniors, and military.
•The shows last approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.
•Concessions can be purchased and enjoyed in the lobby before the show and during intermission.
•There is free and ample parking at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, where all Encore productions are located.
•Encore offers a birthday party package.
•Encore also offers a variety of classes and camps.



Snow White – Encore Stage & Studio

Encore Stage & Studio
125 S Old Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22204
www.encorestageva.org
 

Encore Stage & Studio’s productions have been on our family calendar regularly over the past year. We always look forward to the shows as they are consistently fun and entertaining. The best part is that my daughter gets to watch other kids perform and that seems to really captivate her attention. They also include many of the classic fairy tales in their schedule which are perfect for small children. This past weekend we saw the musical adaptation of Snow White come alive on the Encore stage.

Snow White is a beautiful young princess who lives with her jealous stepmother, the Queen. When the Queen discovers that Snow White is truly “the fairest of them all,” she devises a plan to continue her reign permanently. After being banished to the woods, Snow White happens upon seven new friends that give her a place to call home.

QueenThe Queen (Nadya Steare) asks the Magic Mirror (Ella McHugh) who is the fairest of them all. Photo courtesy of Encore by Larry McClemons
DSC_0693The seven dwarves welcomes Snow White! Photo courtesy of Encore by Aileen Pangan.
Prince and Snow WhiteSnow White (Zoe Rocchio) and the Prince (James Brady). Photo courtesy of Encore by Larry McClemons.

The cast included 22 young students who put on a very impressive performance!

After the show, we attended Snow White’s Winter Ball where we were able to talk to the cast members, enjoy treats, and make a couple of fun crafts.

Aren’t the seven dwarfs just adorable? They sang a very catchy song called “Work, Work, Work” during the show that my daughter is still singing at home now!

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The Vixen was another favorite character of Clara’s.

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The caramel apple station was a big hit!

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At the craft stations the kids decorated magic mirrors, crowns, and dwarf masks.

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The Snow White’s Winter Ball was only held after the 11am performance last Saturday but you still have several opportunities to catch a show next weekend:

Friday, January 15, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 3 p.m.

Up next, Encore Stage & Studio will be presenting Treasure Island, February 27 – March 6.

Good to Know:

•Ticket prices: $15 adults, $10 children, students, seniors, and military.
•The shows last approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.
•Concessions can be purchased and enjoyed in the lobby before the show and during intermission.
•There is free and ample parking at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, where all Encore productions are located.
•Encore offers a birthday party package.
•Encore also offers a variety of classes and camps.

 

 



Hansel and Gretel – Encore Stage & Studio

Encore Stage & Studio
125 S Old Glebe Road
Arlington, Virginia 22204
www.encorestageva.org
 

We have attended several shows at Encore Stage & Studio and are always very entertained by their productions. My daughter was so excited she began asking a few days in advance if it was time to go see Hansel and Gretel. One reason she loves Encore’s shows is because the cast is made up of a group of passionate young performers ages 9-18. I read the classic fairy tale story to my daughter before attending the performance so she would understand the storyline:

Deep in a German forest awaits the Gingerbread Witch and her hobgoblin henchmen ready to transform children into tasty treats. Siblings Hansel, Gretel and friends go into the woods and find themselves in the path of the witch. To return home to their parents, this brother and sister duo will have to use their smarts to outwit the evil Witch.

The stage was transformed into a forest with a wonderful gingerbread house and an oven that actually emitted smoke. The costume designer did a great job with creating an ensemble of fairy tale characters that were all easily recognizable.

DSC_0156“Frick (Grace Gent) and the Gingerbread Witch (Jessica Layton) prepare gingerbread cookies. Photo by Larry McClemons”
DSC_0150The Gingerbread Witch (Jessica Layton) welcomes the children to her gingerbread home. Photo by Larry McClemons”
 DSC_0088“Hansel and Gretel meet a family of trolls in the Black Forest.” (From left to right: Miranda Tonsetic, Nick Boone, Kelly McArdle)

After the shows, the cast gathers in the lobby to sign autographs and take pictures. My daughter always looks forward to this part and decides which character she wants to get her picture taken with before we even exit the auditorium! This time it was Hansel and Gretel’s mother played by Izabella Porter, Gretel played by Lynn Loftus, and the Gingerbread Witch played by Jessica Layton.

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Treat your kids to a showing of Hansel and Gretel! You’ll have a great time! There are four performances remaining:

Friday, November 13th 7:30pm
Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 11am and 3pm
Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 3pm

Good to Know:

•Ticket prices: $15 adults, $10 children, students, seniors, and military.
•The shows last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.
•Concessions can be purchased and enjoyed in the lobby before the show and during intermission.
•There is free and ample parking at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, where all Encore productions are located.
•Encore offers a birthday party package.
•Encore also offers a variety of classes and camps.

 



Alice in Wonderland – Encore Stage & Studio

Encore Stage & Studio
125 S Old Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22204
www.encorestageva.org

We attended our third Encore Stage & Studio show on Sunday and like the previous two performances, we were thoroughly entertained. But before the performance of Alice in Wonderland began, we first attended the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. This was a special event held only before the final performance.

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To enter the party, we had to go through the rabbit hole, just like how the story begins. This was such a cute idea and Clara got a kick out of crawling through the tunnel.

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Then we had the chance to meet Alice along with other characters and join them at the table for tea.

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The hat making station was Clara’s favorite part. There were various types of hats to decorate with stickers, feathers, jewels, pom-poms, and ribbon.

AIWhatmaking

There was a curious version of croquet being played by the children, with flamingo mallets and hedgehogs as the balls. We also enjoyed tea treats and drinks appropriately labeled “Eat Me” and “Drink Me”. The tea party was a really fun event and got us in the spirit of wonder before the show started.

We took our seats in the theater and before the show started I read the storyline to Clara:

When curious Alice falls down, down, down the rabbit hole, she discovers the magical world of Wonderland where cats can talk and cards play croquet. But, Alice is sure to miss her birthday party if she can’t convince the Queen of Hearts to let her go! With the help of the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and a whole cast of wacky companions, Alice must unleash the full power of her imagination to find her way home.

The stage was transformed into a bright and fanciful wonderland with cut-outs of flowers, stuffed toadstools, and a house of cards.

http://www.encorestageva.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSC_0092.jpgcourtesy of Encore by Larry McClemons

The cast included over thirty young actors and there was so much talent in this group! You can tell they have a passion for acting. My daughter especially loves watching other children perform. She has really enjoyed the act-it-out classes at her preschool and watching Encore’s performances is inspiring her to want to perform on stage.

AliceinWonderland2(1)courtesy of Encore by Larry McClemons
AliceinWonderland6(1)courtesy of Encore by Larry McClemons

Encore’s performance of Alice in Wonderland has come to an end but I highly recommend attending one of their upcoming shows; you will not be disappointed! Up next is Shrek, showing July 17-26.

Good to Know:

•Ticket prices: $12 adults ($15 for Shrek), $10 children, students, seniors, and military ($12 for Shrek).
•The shows last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.
•Concessions can be purchased and enjoyed in the lobby before the show and during intermission.
•There is free and ample parking at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, where all Encore productions are located.
•Encore offers a birthday party package.
•Encore also offers a variety of classes and camps.



The Three Musketeers – Encore Stage & Studio

Encore Stage & Studio
125 S. Old Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22204
www.encorestageva.org
 

If you haven’t taken your children to an Encore Stage & Studio production yet, you should add it to your entertainment must-do list! The Three Musketeers was the second Encore show my daughter Clara and I have had the pleasure of watching. What I love about Encore’s productions is that the actors are all children. It seems to really capture my daughter’s attention to watch other children perform on stage. In The Three Musketeers ensemble there were over 25 talented young actors.

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The story was fun and entertaining with a twist on the classic Alexandre Dumas adventure:  In 17th century France, a poor young nobleman named D’Artagnan leaves home to join the famous Musketeers of the Guard – defenders of the King and masters of the rapier! On his journey, D’Artagnan befriends three famous Musketeers: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. As the foursome roams the countryside, they encounter a dastardly plot to kidnap the King’s favorite dog…and realize they’ll need the help of three swashbuckling ladies to save the day.

From left to right, D'Artagnan (Christopher Wagner), Porthos (Colin Meek), Aramis (Brody Karton), Athos (Zach Longsworth). Photo by Larry McClemons  courtesy of Encore by Larry McClemons

The script included plenty of humor that had both my daughter and I laughing throughout the show. The stage set and costumes were creative and well done. Some of our favorite parts of the show were the sword fighting scenes and the toy poodle, Piper! He definitely thrilled the audience!

 Encore Stage & Studio's production of The Three Musketeers is full of action, comedy and adventure for the entire family. Photo by Larry McClemons.
                                                                                 courtesy of Encore by Larry McClemons

Clara was particularly fond of Milady de Winter so she was super excited to pose for a photo with her after the performance!

EncoreMilady

We are looking forward to attending Encore’s upcoming performances this summer: Alice in Wonderland, June 5-14 and Shrek, July 17-26.

Good to Know:

•Ticket prices: $12 adults ($15 for Shrek), $10 children, students, seniors, and military ($12 for Shrek).
•The shows last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.
•Concessions can be purchased and enjoyed in the lobby before the show and during intermission.
•There is free and ample parking at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, where all Encore productions are located.
•Encore offers a birthday party package.
•Encore also offers a variety of classes and camps.