Tag Archives: The Magic Paintbrush

Still Time to See The Magic Paintbrush at Synetic Family Theater

Synetic Family Theater’s production of The Magic Paintbrush has experienced such great success, the theater is extending its run for an additional two weeks.  The play, based on the the classic Chinese folktale of the same name, has been selling out shows all season and recently received the Helen 
Hayes
 Awards 
Recommended© honor.

I just included my take on the show in the latest weekend round-up, so here is a repost:  The Magic Paintbrush takes the audience on a dramatic adventure through China. Owen and I saw the play a couple of weeks ago, and we were both enchanted.  Performed completely through pantomime (or physical storytelling, as the theater calls it) I was unsure how Owen would respond.  But while he couldn’t quite follow the story, he was nonetheless captivated by the expressive actors performing along with beautiful Chinese music and action-packed scenes, including Cirque de Soleil-like choreography, as actors whirled mid-air on suspended curtains. I’d recommend reading the story with your kids prior to the show, so they have a better understanding of the plot, but even if you don’t have an opportunity, they’ll likely be mesmerized all the same.

You can read another, more thorough review here.

Tickets for The Magic Paintbrush are $12 and available for purchase through the Synetic Theater website.  Click the following links to buy tickets for specific dates:

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Filed under Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Preschoolers, Preteens, Spring, Theatre, Toddlers, Weekend

A Weather-Dependent Weekend

Right now I’ve got a line from the Stone Temple Pilots song “Plush” playing on repeat in my head:  “And I feel so much depends on the weather.”  Those lyrics could be the theme for this post. Some of this weekend’s best activities take place outdoors, but with rain in the forecast for tomorrow they may not live up to their potential.  Luckily, there’s plenty going on for a great time indoors, too.  (And we’ve learned by now that the forecast isn’t always reliable, anyway.)  Here’s what’s happening around town, indoor and out, rain or shine.  Happy Weekend!

The Tidal Basin was lovely and crowd-free on a chilly weekday evening

A Peek at the Peak – It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year when the cherry trees are in bloom, and they are at their best right now.  The National Mall and Tidal Basin are sure to be teeming with blossom oglers if the weather cooperates, but braving the crowds is worth it.  Our family went for a sunset stroll by the Jefferson Memorial a few evenings ago and found the scene as spectacular as ever.  If you’re planning to partake in the blossom experience this weekend, check out these tips before you go.

Family Fun Day at the Yards ParkAs noted above and below, there two things to get excited about as spring begins in DC: Cherry blossoms and baseball.  On Saturday, you can celebrate both at the Yards Park, the centerpiece of the new Capitol Riverfront area that just opened last year. The Family Fun Day will include kids activities such as boat making and moonbouncing, lantern making for all ages, demos by the Trapeze School, Japanese performers and music, a variety of Japanese cuisine from Nooshi Sushi, and Sake tasting and a Japanese beer garden (for adults, of course) from Mie N Yu.  The event is free and open to the public from 11am – 4pm.

Nano Days – Celebrate nanotechnology at the National Museum of American History’s Spark!Lab with a day full of activities that teach all ages about nano science and invention and the role it plays in our lives. Staff will help visitors conducts experiments that include constructing a giant model of a carbon nanotube entirely from balloons, measuring height in nanometers, and creating a liquid crystal display that changes color.  The free event runs from 10am – 4pm Friday through Sunday.

Owen runs the bases after a Nats game last season

Nationals vs. BravesBaseball season is officially underway, and we can root for the hometeam this weekend as the Nats host the Braves for two more afternoon games on Saturday and Sunday.  Tickets are still available for both, and you can get a discount on select seats if you buy through Goldstar.  And don’t forget about Kids Run the Bases on Sunday after the game—children ages 4-12 can round the plates for an extra ballpark thrill.  For more about baseball games at Nationals Park, see this write up from last year.

Southwest Waterfront Fireworks FestivalThe National Cherry Blossom Festival’s annual event at the Southwest Waterfront is an all-day affair with live music and family festivities galore al kicking off at 1pm. Enjoy a variety of musical performances on three stages aong with face painting, balloon artists, strolling entertainment, mini-sailboat races,T-shirt screenings, fire boat water shows, and more. The grand finale will begin at 8:30pm when the fireworks show illuminates the evening sky and water.

Tots Rock! At Air & SpaceThe National Air & Space Museum is hosting one of its Tots Rock! Shows on Saturday from 10am – 3pm. Kids ages 3-8 can enjoy a mix of entertainment at one of their favorite museums. They can explore a Planetarium show starring Big Bird and Elmo, listen to a flight-themed story, craft shadow puppets or  build a rocket, and…drum roll…rock out at a Ryan Buckle and Friends concert as they perform their hit show Science You Can Sing To. Visit the website for a schedule of events, and note that tickets are required and seating is limited for planetarium shows.

House of Sweden Family Fun – Join the Swedish Embassy for a family day with activities for all ages. Enjoy the Space for Children interactive play room, craft your favorite animal out of fusible beads, take an interactive quiz walk where you will learn some Swedish, get a Swedish treat from the fishing pond (little red gummies, anyone?), and create a work of art in the painting corner.  The free event runs from 11am – 2pm on Saturday.

Shabbatots Passover Prep – The Sixth & I Historic Synagogue is hosting the first installment of Shabbatots, a new monthly Shabbat program for families with young children. Explore the intersection of Judaism and flexibility with Torah yoga, enjoy a light lunch, and learn fun ways to make a Passover seder family friendly. Each family will take home a “seder in a sack” and tools to create a personalized seder. Torah Yoga is free and runs from 10 – 10:30am. The lunch and activity portion runs from 10:30am – 12pm, and cost is $36 per family. The activity is appropriate for children ages 2-6, but siblings of different ages are welcome.

A Preschool Celebrates 50 YearsThe Learning Center for Young Children (LCYC) is celebrating its 50th year of serving the Kensington area with an Open House & Children’s Fair on Sunday from 2 – 5pm. Families can enjoy activity stations set up around the school including arts & crafts, storytelling, hands-on science projects, music, and dance.  LCYC’s ‘Young Music Makers’ will perform under the direction of John Horman.  There will also be door prizes, face painting, and snacks available.  Visit the website for more details, including location and directions.

The Magic Paintbrush – You have two more weekends to catch the Synetic Family Theater’s current production that takes the audience on a dramatic adventure through China. Owen and I saw the play a couple of weeks ago, and we were both enchanted.  Performed completely through pantomime (or phyiscal storytelling, as the theater calls it) I was unsure how Owen would respond.  But while he couldn’t quite follow the story, he was nonetheless captivated by the expressive actors performing along with beautiful Chinese music and action-packed scenes, including Cirque de Soleil-like choreography, as actors whirled mid-air on suspended curtains. I’d recommend reading the story with your kids prior to the show, so they have a better understanding of the plot, but even if you don’t have an opportunity, they’ll likely be mesmerized all the same.  Tickets for The Magic Paintbrush are $12 and available for purchase through the Synetic Theater website.

Show TimeSeveral more productions will be on stages this weekend, including Dr. Kaboom at the Kennedy Center and Cinderella at Alden Theatre. For more current performances, see this post on spring shows in the area.

Tiny Tots –Two puppet shows for the littlest ones will be performed at The Puppet Co. this weekend: Animal Crackers on Saturday and Dragon Bandwagon on Sunday.  Both start at 10am.  Tickets are $5 and available online or at the box office.   Tiny Tots shows are recommended for ages 0-4.

Portrait Story Days: Duke EllingtonDrop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Sunday from 1 – 4pm to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This week, learn about jazz composer, pianist, and big band leader Duke Ellington (1899-1974).

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Monuments & Memorials, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Sports, Spring, Theatre, Weekend

Washington (and Lincoln’s) Weekend

Celebrate our former Presidents, sharpen the science and engineering skills, take a cinematic tour of Arabia, catch some live entertainment.  There’s plenty to enjoy with the family this weekend — and you have an extra day to do it.  Happy Weekend!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Presidents From museum events to special activities at Washington’s old digs to a parade through Old Town, there are several family-friendly ways you can celebrate George and Abe’s big days.  See this post from yesterday for a round-up of area events.

Family Science DaysBrowse interactive tabletop exhibits, learn about cool science jobs, and have questions answered by experts convened by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This free event is open to all, but organized especially for middle- and high-school students.  All Family Science Days events will take place on Saturday and Sunday, February 19-20, in Exhibit Hall D of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  Visit the AAAS website for the program schedule.

Arabia 3DJourney through the Arabian Peninsula and its rich culture and history in the Smithsonian’s IMAX Johnson Theater’s newest film.  For a full review of the movie, see this post from yesterday.

Discover Engineering Family DayThe National Building Museum and the National Engineers Week Foundation invite you to debunk the myths of engineering and discover how professional engineers turn an idea into reality.  Celebrate National Engineers Week by participating in this free, hands-on and fun-filled festival.  Discover Engineering Family Day is a FREE, drop-in program, though a $5 donation is suggested. Recommended for children ages 5 to 13 with adult supervision.

Centennial of Airmail Family Festival – Games and activities at the National Postal Museum bring the first airmail flight to life on Saturday. Learn about daredevil pilot Fred Wiseman, the woman who received the first mail by airplane, and the differences between the Wright Brothers’ planes and the one Wiseman flew. This free event runs from 11am – 3pm.

Theater Time – At least two new shows opened this week – The Magic Paintbrush at Synetic Family Theater and Jack and the Beanstalk at The Puppet Co.  Check out this post for details and to see what else is playing on our local stages.

Billy Kelly & the Blah Bah Blahs in ConcertWith jaunty aplomb and a giddy inclination to rock out, Billy Kelly and his band The Blahblahblahs will bring The Billy Kelly Show to Café Nola in Frederick on Sunday, February 20.  Says Billy, “Our family show is all about dancing, shouting and laughing, both on stage and off.  It’s loose, it’s a hodgepodge, it’s friendly, comfortable, and just about anything goes!”  For  more information about the show, visit Billy’s website.

Discover StrathmoreLooking for something to do on the day off from school? This event on Monday, February 21, promises family fun in a terrific showcase featuring performers, music, workshops, sample classes, fine art and roving entertainment throughout the Mansion and Music Center.  This is part of Strathmore’s season-long Guitar Festival, celebrating the most influential instrument of the century.  No tickets are required for this free event. Open at 11am. Strollers are not allowed inside the buildings. Free parking in the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Garage.

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Win Tickets to See The Magic Paintbrush at Synetic Family Theater!

In honor of Punxsutawney Phil’s glorious prediction for an early spring, I am giving away tickets to see The Magic Paintbrush at the Synetic Family Theater.  All you have to do is leave a comment, telling me what springtime activities you can’t wait to enjoy, and you will be entered into a random drawing to win four tickets to a performance of the play.

Conceived and Directed by Elena Velasco, The Magic Paintbrush inspires the audience to use their imaginations, taking them on an adventure to ancient China, following the footsteps of an orphan and a dream.  Despite prejudices and position, the orphan aspires to become an artist.  That wish is answered when a mysterious old man presents a unique gift – a magic paintbrush.  The brush begins an enchanting journey that test the boundaries of humility and humanity.  What will become of the orphan, and how will this gift be used?  Through a blend of music, dance, gymnastics, Chinese theater traditions, and physical storytelling, Synetic Family Theater actors help young theater-goers understand that with power comes responsibility and wisdom.

The Magic Paintbrush opens on February 19 and will run through April 3, with performances on Saturdays and Sundays at 11am, plus two 4pm shows on Saturday, February 26, and Saturday, March 12.  Tickets are $12 in advance/$15 at the door and can be purchased through the Synetic Family Theater website or by calling 800.494.8497.

Of course, if you go leave your comment, your tickets might be free.  Good luck!

 

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Filed under All ages, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Theatre