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Review: The Enchanted Bookshop at Encore Stage & Studio

EnchantedBookshopEncore

Last weekend as the snow flurries were just starting to fall, my daughter and I saw The Enchanted Bookshop at Encore Stage & Studio. It was the perfect activity for a cold winter afternoon and the show did not disappoint! The 26 child actors delivered a fabulous performance and we were entertained throughout. It was playful and exciting; a perfect show for the whole family to enjoy!

During the day, A Likely Story may look like any other used bookstore.  But at night, it’s a place where magic happens.  That’s when the characters inside the books come alive.  Six of those characters — Dorothy Gale, Robin Hood, Pollyanna, Sherlock Holmes, Heidi, and Tom Sawyer — long to help Margie, the scatterbrained owner, save her struggling store.  But they’re not allowed to leave the building or be seen by human eyes.  So when a pair of smugglers comes looking for a stolen necklace hidden inside one of the books, the characters are torn.  Should they warn Margie and risk disappearing forever?  Or can they find a way to defeat the crooks without being seen?  Featuring additional appearances by such beloved literary characters as the Queen of Hearts, Long John Silver, and Doctor Dolittle, this charming comedy celebrates the joy of reading in a fresh, fun-filled way. We recommend this production for ages 4 and older.

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WHEN:  January 11-20, 2019

Performance Dates and Showtimes:
Fridays, January 11 & 18, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Saturdays, January 12 & 19, 2019 at 11 am and 3 pm
Sundays, January 13 & 20, 2019 at 3 pm

WHERE: Gunston Arts Center – Theatre One, 2700 S. Lang St. Arlington, VA 22207

TICKETS: $15 Adults, $12 Children, Students, Military, and Seniors. Tickets are available online at www.encorestage.org or by calling the box office at (703) 548-1154.



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 Sidewalk Stroll by Encore Stage & Studio

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A Sidewalk Stroll is Encore’s second play in their new preschool series. I took my girls to a performance this weekend and they loved it! The show stars “professional artists who bring park adventures and friendly animals to life, all while teaching your little one about navigating through life’s surprises.”

A Sidewalk Stroll (2)

At this show, the audience members sit on the floor, right in front of the actors. It really keep the kids engaged and feel as though they are a part of the performance too. The play is only about 20 minutes long, so it’s perfect for the tiniest of theatre goers. After the show, the actors invite the children up on stage to interact with them and play with their props. My girls especially loved this part! It’s not often they get the chance to do this at other children’s theaters!

A Sidewalk Stroll (5)

Grab your friends and head to the show for a fun little play date!  There is even a playground right outside the church where the performances are held.

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Remaining performances:

Friday, May 19, 2017 at 10:30am
Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 10:30 & 11:45am
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 4:00pm
Friday, May 26, 2017 at 10:30 & 11:45am

Location:
All performances are held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (4000 Lorcom Ln Arlington, VA 22207)

Tickets:

$10 general admission. Includes all box office fees. Purchase tickets online here.

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A Night at the Wax Museum – Encore Stage & Studio

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Photo courtesy of Encore Stage & Studio.

My oldest daughter Clara and I always look forward to our momma/daughter theatre dates at Encore Stage & Studio. Last weekend we saw a performance of their latest show – A Night at the Wax Museum. This theatre company that is “for kids, by kids!” is always so entertaining and this production was no exception!

For six students, class is back in session when they take a summer school trip with their teacher to the local wax museum to help preserve the past. Between a hilarious love triangle involving Cleopatra and Henry VIII and a widespread hunt for buried treasure with Blackbeard and Butch Cassidy, it will be a trip for the history books!

DSC_0113Photo courtesy of Encore Stage & Studio.

This production includes a large cast of over 20 actors and there is never a shortage of action on the stage as the historical wax figures come to life and race to uncover an ancient treasure rumored to be hidden somewhere in the museum. There are sword fights and lots of humor woven into this performance as the students work together to save the wax museum. The set and costumes are also very well done and overall this is a fun family show not to be missed! There are four more performances remaining this weekend:

• Friday, March 17, 2017 at 7:30pm
• Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 11am and 3pm
• Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 3pm

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Tips for your visit:

•The show is recommended for ages 6 and older.
•Ticket prices: $15 adults, $12 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.



Kitchen Adventures – A new play series for preschoolers by Encore Stage & Studio

Kidsinthekitchen

My oldest daughter and I have been enjoying Encore Stage & Studio performances for a couple of years. Theatre was something I introduced her to when she was just a toddler and she has grown to really love and appreciate it. We always look forward to our momma-daughter theatre dates.  Now as Encore launched a new series for younger children (ages 1 and up) I was able to also introduce my youngest daughter to their theater as well.

Last weekend we saw a performance of Kitchen Adventures, the first show in the new play series for preschoolers. When we first arrived there were a couple of tables of healthy foods for the kids to play with and interact with each other. It was a great little spot to help the kids get some energy out before the show.

IMG_3549 IMG_3546The show was held at St. Andrews Episcopal Church and it was an intimate setting designed to make small children feel comfortable and also a part of the interactive performance. Bright colored carpets were placed right in front of the stage area where kids sat front and center for the show. There was space to move around and snacks and drinks were completely acceptable too. It was definitely designed with the comfort of the kids in mind.

In Kids in the Kitchen, two siblings, with their mom at their side, explore the wonder, excitement, temptation, and nutrition that their kitchen has to offer. On their journey, they encounter fantastic creatures, breakfast mixups, and must face difficult decisions. Ultimately, through cooperation and play, the brother and sister discover the joy in healthy choices and learn the beauty of “everything in moderation.”

The show was mostly non-verbal, there was no speaking just sounds but it really captivated the children and they watched intently. The actors were silly and brought a “tablespoon of fun” to the theatre experience. The show lasted about 30 minutes so it was the perfect length for the little ones.

Kitchen Adventures (1) Kitchen Adventures (2) Kitchen Adventures (3)

Photos by Encore Stage & Studio

After the show, the children were invited up to the stage to explore the set and props and interact with the actors. My girls were excited to take a look into the giant refrigerator and sit at the table.

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I can’t wait to see what Encore offers next in their new Theatre for the Very Young series! Kitchen Adventures was such a fun and cute show. I definitely recommend checking out the next performance. Tickets are just $10. It’s a great way to introduce your little ones to the magic of live theater!



Encore Stage & Studio Presents Kids in the Kitchen

Kidsinthekitchen

Something’s sizzling at Encore! In its newest play series for preschoolers, Encore Stage & Studio presents Kids in the Kitchen— starring professional artists Francesca Chilcote, Carol Spring and Adrian Iglesias who bring kitchen adventures and colorful foods to life, all the while teaching your little one about healthy choices. With more than a tablespoon of fun, Encore has the recipe for an exciting theatre-going experience for you and your child! The show is recommended for ages 1 and older.

I have partnered with Encore to giveaway a family 4-pack of tickets to see the show! The winner can choose from any of the performance dates below. Just leave a comment below to enter! I’ll notify a winner on Monday, February 13th!

Performance Dates and Showtimes:

Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 10:30 am
Friday, February 10, 2017 at 10:30 am
Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 10:30 am & 11:45 am
Friday, February 17, 2017 at 10:30 am & 11:45am
Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 10:30 am
Friday, February 24, 2017 at 10:30 am
Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 10:30 am & 11:45 am

TICKETS: $10 General Admission. Tickets are available online at www.encorestage.org or by calling our box office at (703) 548-1154.



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.



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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Cul de Sac – Encore Stage & Studio

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

Encore Stage & Studio is delighted to present Cul de Sac, the world premiere play adaption based on the nationally syndicated Cul de Sac comic strip by Richard Thompson. Thompson and his comic strip won the 2010 Reuben Award, the highest honor given by the National Cartoonists Society. The play follows four-year-old Alice Otterloop and her older brother, Petey, as they learn about friendship and the importance of being yourself. When Alice decides to help Petey become more exciting she risks sending Petey further into his shell. With the help of their parents, teachers, and new and old friends the Otterloop children just might be able to learn something from each other.

My daughter Clara and I saw the show last weekend and thoroughly enjoyed the entertaining performance by the young cast of actors. We have been attending Encore shows for the past couple of years and it’s always so special for my daughter to watch other children perform on stage. Even more so with Cul de Sac, because the main character is four-year-old Alice who is funny, energetic, and has a great imagination much like my 5-year-old Clara.

I love how the comic strip was brought to life and a great effort was made to preserve the look and feel of it on stage. The set was designed to look like a drawing and included the recognizable Otterloop house, Mr. Otterloop’s tiny red car, Dill’s kiddie car, and Alice’s manhole cover.

AliceOtterloopAlice Otterloop is played by Gabriella Flanagan. Photo by Encore.
OtterloopFamilyFrom left to right: Mr. Otterloop (Henry Hubbard), Alice (Gabriella Flanagan), Petey (Xander Tilock), and Mrs. Otterloop (Caitlyn Knittig). Photo by Encore.

Cul de Sac is a wonderful performance that can be enjoyed by the whole family! Best for ages 4+.

Remaining Performance Dates and Show times:

Friday June 10, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday 11, 2016 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Sunday, June 12,2016 at 3 p.m

Tickets are $15 for Adults; $10 for Children, Students, Military and Seniors. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at www.encorestage.org or by calling our box office at (703) 548-1154.

IMG_0798Clara with Alice Otterloop after the performace.


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.