Tag Archives: Imagination Stage

Review: Mr. Popper’s Penguins at Imagination Stage

[Note:  This review was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of two young children.  She’s written about both her explorations with her kids around DC, as well as recommendation for products to enhance kids’ and family experiences.  Read more of her articles hereherehereherehere,  and here.]

 

Mr. Popper’s Penguins have waddled onto Imagination Stage, delighting audiences as only these loveable creatures can. The whimsical tale about dreaming as big as an Antarctic adventure, even in bleak times, sends a timely message to kids and adults alike. And while the plot about a painter-turned-traveling-circus-act holds true to the children’s book, the novelty is the custom-built, mechanical penguins (including, spoiler alert: twenty baby penguins) that are maneuvered around stage by multi-talented, multi-role-playing actors.

This musical play, featuring puppetry, song, and dance, is recommended for ages 3-10, but some of the dialogue skews to the upper end of that range. I brought my five and three-year-olds, and while my youngest was more patiently watching the storyline build up (on his best behavior for his “first show”), my daughter was able to grasp what was happening. Once the first penguin, Captain Cook, makes his entrance, all ages are captivated. One tip: Read the book with your kids before the show to prepare them!

The show runs for 75 minutes without intermission on weekdays, and 90 minutes with a 15-minute intermission on weekends. Bring snacks for intermission, and dress warmly as the theater runs cold. Proof of vaccination for ages 5+ is required at the ticket booth, and masks are required in the theater. Read more about COVID precautions here.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins is showing now through August 7 at Imagination Stage, located at 4908 Auburn Avenue in Bethesda, MD. Tickets are $12-$39.

 

Comparing penguin/little human height

 

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Filed under 2022, Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Preschoolers, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

Save Your Seats for Mr. Popper’s Penguins at Imagination Stage!

 

Does your child have a summer birthday?  Imagination Stage offers Birthday Party Packages that include a party room, 20% off show tickets, on site staff, and personalized shout-outs for the birthday kid!

 

This post is paid for by Imagination Stage, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2022, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Summer

“P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical” Opens at Imagination Stage this Weekend!

 

This post is paid for by Imagination Stage, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

 

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Filed under 2022, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Weekend, Winter

{Review!} Thumbelina at Imagination Stage

Photo courtesy of Imagination Stage

[Note: This review is by KFDC contributor Emily Moise.]

Young theater-goers can experience the art of storytelling like never before at Imagination Stage’s Thumbelina, playing now through April 5. The classic Hans Christian Andersen tale about a girl trying to find her place in the world is reimagined with artistry inspired by Kamishibai, a form of Japanese street theater. Along with traditional acting performances, this unique production utilizes live video projections of small-scale puppetry and dioramas to bring the story of a thumb-sized girl to life.

Thumbelina employs the same ensemble of actors as Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth, a musical currently playing in repertory, in this contrasting brand of theater. [You can read the KFDC review of Zomo here.] If you happen to see both shows, the versatility of these actors is awe-inducing — once rapping and hip-hop dancing in Zomo, now maneuvering mini puppets along mini video-projected sets on right and left stage, then moving center stage for their life-sized roles in Thumbelina.

Photo courtesy of Imagination Stage

Thumbelina, like Zomo, offers lessons abound for young audience members just beginning to learn about the world and their place in it. Most importantly: you have the power to create your own story, and you will eventually find your people and place, just be kind to those that are different along the way.

The multi-media aspect of the production adds a whole other layer to the lessons, as Thumbelina certainly writes its own category of theater. And look at all of the different skill-sets needed to bring it to life!

Zomo is a tough act to follow with its high-energy and audience engagement. But Thumbelina captivates with its creative production methods, flawless lead performance, a climactic act with a villainous mole, and a touching ending that’s a reminder to kids and adults alike that the rest is still unwritten.

Photo courtesy of Imagination Stage

Thumbelina is playing now through April 5 at Imagination Stage, located at 4908 Auburn Avenue, Bethesda, MD. Tickets are $15 – $35. Recommended for ages 4+.


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Filed under 2020, DC, Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Middle Schoolers, Preschoolers, Seasonal, Theatre, Weekend, Winter

{Review!} Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth at Imagination Stage

Photo courtesy of Imagination Stage

[Note: This review is by KFDC contributor Emily Moise, who saw a performance of Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth with her 3-year-old daughter.]

Come for the Adidas sweat suit-clad, hip-hopping rabbit, stay for the life lessons. I had no idea what to expect at Imagination Stage’s Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth; I had only skimmed the Nigerian folktale (which has an entirely different ending) and the brief show description online (which doesn’t do it justice!). But a special opening night showing, where many kids were likely out past their bedtimes, made me think my daughter and I were about to see something special. And indeed it was.

From the start, that aforementioned rabbit named Zomo captivates the audience with nothing but his Run DMC-inspired energy and ensemble. He engages children and adults alike in his locally-spun, ill-fated quest for power that takes him through Washington, DC — complete with Metro rides and a dash of political humor. You will find yourself compelled to immediately start clapping and foot stomping along with the beat of his rhymes, and that continues until the end as the audience participates eagerly, both solicited and unsolicited. My preschooler lit up when it was her (and every kid’s) turn to stand up and show off her hip-hop moves.

Photo courtesy of Imagination Stage

Zomo’s journey involves a series of suspenseful, young-child-relatable wrongdoings. Namely, taking things that aren’t his. We follow him to the DC Waterfront for a dance-off with a breakdancing fish, to the National Zoo for an encounter with a graffiti artist cow, and to Adams Morgan for a jam session with a DJ leopard. He does some soul searching along the way, contemplating whether or not he’ll have more with the power he’s seeking or the friendships he’s building (that now need repair). Find out what he decides — and what your children decide for him — and how cultural barrier-breaking hip-hop was born according to the legend of Zomo.

Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth is running now through March 22 at Imagination Stage, located at 4908 Auburn Avenue, Bethesda, MD. Tickets are $15-$35. Recommended for ages 4+.

PS: Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth is playing in repertory with Thumbelina, opening next weekend. Stay tuned for a review!


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Filed under 2020, Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Preschoolers, Theatre, Tweens, Weekend, Winter