By Lynn Reese Lambert
If the National Arts Centre’s Family Adventures series is a good gauge by which to measure, the answer is a cymbal-pinging, timpani-rolling YES!
The TD-sponsored series features a few throwbacks to early classical pieces and a couple of newer interpretations to much-loved works.
Plus, there are puppets. And a wolf. And a hockey sweater.
The lineup this year kicked off November 16 with Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery, the story of Katarina, a musically-gifted orphan who becomes the student of the famed composer Antonio Vivaldi. Hockey fans are in for a treat January 11 when author Roch Carrier narrates The Hockey Sweater, about a boy who dreads wearing a Maple Leafs sweater in a Montreal Canadiens-only circle of friends. Co-host is none other than Ken Dryden, a bone fide Habs veteran. How cool is that?
A new take on Prokofiev’s classic tale Peter and the Wolf is “guaranteed” to keep kids on the edge of their seats; it plays February 8. Finally, May 31, Roald Dahl’s Little Red Riding Hood provides a revamp of the fairy tale that includes puppets, bold costumes, comedy and a dramatic score under conductor Alain Trudel.
Just how much fun are these shows? Take it from someone who knows: Ottawa uber-blogger Julie Harrison took her daughter, Stella, to see the Green Eggs and Hamadeus concert last year. It proved to be a highlight for the 10-year-old, who provided a review on her mother’s blog, coffeewithjulie.ca. “The lights died down and the conductor and the concert master came out. The show started with music by Mozart (which was cool because I could recognize most of it). Then the green eggs and ham part came. There were two actors and they sung everything they said. It was pretty funny because they were very emotional about the ham. Eventually the grown-up tried the ham and decided that it was the best thing she had ever tasted. I think that this is the best concert I have ever seen and I would definitely recommend it to any one from ages 4-12.”
So there you have it. Best. Concert. Ever.
The one-hour concerts run without an intermission Saturday afternoons in Southam Hall, at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Cost for all four concerts is $50 for children and $82 for adults. A free pre-concert learn-and-play activity is held 45 minutes prior to the concerts in the lobby. To order, visit nac-cna.ca or call 613 947-7000, ext. 620. The box office at 53 Elgin Street is open Monday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.