Children's Theater

Win a Family Four-Pack of Tickets to "Ivy + Bean: The Musical" at Marin Theatre Company

March 16, 2013

Ivy and BeanThe fun and fantastic Ivy + Bean: The Musical is coming to Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley! Produced by Bay Area Children's Theater, Ivy + Bean: The Musical is a fun and faithful adaptation of the first book in the New York Times-best-selling series about two second graders, outgoing Bean and quiet but imaginitive Ivy, who were sure they wouldn't like each other but end up best friends.

You can read our review of Ivy + Bean: The Musical here. It was one of our favorite productions from Bay Area Children's Theater!

While the tickets for the Marin Theatre Company production are already sold out, we're happy to announce that we're giving away a family four-pack of tickets to the opening-day performance to one lucky Marin Mommies reader! Tickets are good for the Saturday, March 23, 10:30 am show only.

To enter the giveaway, send an email with "Ivy + Bean" in the subject line to by 11:59 pm on Sunday, March 17, 2013. We'll choose a winner at random on Monday, March 18. Good luck!

An Enchanting "Ivy + Bean: The Musical"

February 12, 2013

Ivy and BeanMy daughter is a huge fan of the Ivy + Bean book series by local author Annie Barrows, so we were really excited to hear that a new children's theater production of Ivy + Bean: The Musical opening at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage. Produced by Bay Area Children's Theater, Ivy + Bean: The Musical is a fun and faithful adaptation of the first book in the New York Times-best-selling series about two second graders, outgoing Bean and quiet but imaginitive Ivy, who were sure they wouldn't like each other but end up best friends.

We were lucky enough to attend the world premiere performance of this delightful children's musical, and we had a great time. The production follows the plot of the first Ivy + Bean book very closely, and shows how Ivy and Bean—two girls with opposite personalities—become forever friends after Ivy helps Bean out of a bind and manages to help infuriate Bean's bossy older sister, Nancy, in the process.

This fast-paced play lasts approximately an hour with no intermission, and is recommended for kids ages 4 and up. The action moves quickly, keeping little ones entertained and enthralled, and Megan Putnam and Catherine Gloria are perfectly cast as the title characters. The other actors handle multiple roles with aplomb (It took my kids—and my husband—a while to figure out that most of the supporting actors had dual roles!)

The Insider's Guide to the 2012 Mountain Play: The Music Man

May 15, 2012

The Music Man at the 2011 Mountain PlayOne of Marin County's most beloved and unique events is the famous Mountain Play—an outdoor theater experience high on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais that's been going strong for nearly a century—99 years to be exact. 2012's Mountain Play production is Meredith Wilson's The Music Man, the musical tale of fast-talking and charming con man Harold Hill and his scheme to sell the citizens of River City, Iowa on a boys' marching band.

The Mountain Play's production of The Music Man features a professional cast including local singer/songwriter and children's performer Susan Zelinsky, AKA Susan Z, as in the starring role of River City's librarian Marian Paroo and Robert Moorhead as Harold Hill. This year's play is the 30th and final production for Marin County theater legend and Mountain Play veteran James Dunn, too.

Performances take place at 2 pm at Mt. Tam's Cushing Memorial Amphitheater on May 20 and 27, and June 3, 10, 16, and 17. General seating ticket prices range from $30–$40. New this year is half-price general seating admission ($15) for children ages 4–13, and children 3 and under are free. Reserved seats are available for Mountain Play Fan Club members (starting at $56); higher membership levels include perks like reserved parking and special shuttle passes. Order tickets online here or by phone at (415) 383-1100.

Youth in Arts Presents "Photosynthesis—Living Sunlight" at Marin Center

May 2, 2012

Photosynthesis—Living SunlightLocal arts eduction group Youth in Arts presents its new musicl production Photosynthesis—Living Sunlight this Thursday and Friday at the Marin Center Showcase Theater. This world premiere, created in collaboration with the Marin Carbon Project, explains and illustrates the incredible process of photosynthesis through music and theater. The show provides a powerful message about how living close to the earth can save our global environment.

Photosynthesis—Living Sunlight is recommended for children ages 8–12, and runs just under an hour with no intermission.Two performances for local students will be offered on Thursday, May 3 at 9:30 and 11 am and a family performance takes place Friday evening, May 4, at 7 pm.

Tickets for the family performance are $8.50 each and are available at the Marin Center Box Office online or at (415) 473-6800. Tickets to the Thursday student performances can be reserved here.

Masque Unit Junior Theatre's Wizard of Oz Comes to Marin Center This Weekend

March 7, 2012

L. Frank Baum's classic story The Wizard of Oz comes to life in Masque Unit Junior Theatre’s annual live theater production for young children at Marin Center this weekend. Masque Unit’s production and Jim Eiler and Jeanne Bargy’s musical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz introduces children to this timeless masterpiece and offers an afternoon of delightful entertainment. The colorful characters, fast-paced action, and hysterical humor will please not only children of all ages, but adults as well.

After a tornado whisks Dorothy away from her farm in Kansas to the magical land of Oz, the Munchkins and Glinda the Good Witch send her on an adventure to find the mighty Wizard. On her way, Dorothy meets a brainless Scarecrow, a heartless Tin Woodsman, and a Cowardly Lion. Dorothy must avoid the clutches of the Wicked Witch of the West and find the Wizard who will help her get home.

CTA Presents Rumpelstiltskin at the Legion of Honor

January 4, 2012

RumpelstiltskinThe Children's Theatre Association of San Francisco (CTA) presents its winter 2012 production Rumpelstiltskin. This live musical stage play for children ages 4–10 runs on Saturdays from January 7–February 11, 2012 at the historic Florence Gould Theater in the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco.

Rumpelstiltskin tells the classic story a poor young girl raised to be a princess, thanks to an odd little man and his magic. Later, she must guess his name or lose her most precious treasure.

The CTA was formed 75 years ago with the support of the Junior League of San Francisco, the San Francisco Board of Education, and the San Francisco Opera and Ballet with the goal of presenting live musical theater to the children of the San Francisco Bay Area. Since 1981, it's been part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco's cultural programs for schools, presenting its productions to more than 6,000 elementary schoolchildren annually.

There are two performances each Saturday, at 10:30 am and 1 pm, and tickets are $12 each. For more information, and to order tickets online, visit or call (415) 248-2677. The Legion of Honor is located in San Francisco's Lincoln Park at 34th Avenue and Clement Street. For more information and directions to the museum, visit

A Funny and Energetic Circus Adventure at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage

August 12, 2011

Circus Adventure"How many of you have ever been to a circus?" asks Regina the Ringmaster (Felicity Hesed) asks at the start of Bay Area Children's Theatre world premiere production of Circus Adventure, at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage weekends through August 21. If your answer is "no", you're in for a hliarous and exciting introduction to the arts of the circus. If it's "yes", you're still in for a great time at this enjoyable production for the whole family.

In Circus Adventure, KaiKu the Clown (Calvin Kai Ku) finds himself shot halfway around the world from a circus cannon, far away from his home and friends at Circus Familia. In his effort to get back home, he encounters numerous fascinating and funny characters, who perform often amazing circus acts to help move along the story. There's plenty of audience participation, with cast members heading out into the aisles to interact with everyone (this is helped by the Freight & Salvage's small and intimate setting).

Bay Area Children's Theatre Presents Circus Adventure, Opening August 6

August 5, 2011

Circus AdventureBay Area Children's Theatre's newest production, Circus Adventure, opens at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage this Saturday, August 6. Circus Adventure, created and directed by master clown and Cirque du Soleil artist Jeff Raz, tells the story of KaiKu the Clown, whose curiosity sends him halfway around the world. Inspired by the epic tale of the hero seeking to return to his roots, this world premiere production blends toe-tapping music, the thrill and skill of the circus, and the excitement of live theatre.

The mission of Bay Area Children's Theatre is to inspire young audiences with imaginative productions, introduce children of all backgrounds to the excitement of live theatre, and create an engaging, entertaining, and educational environment in which children and their families can explore and enjoy the arts.

Performances of Circus Adventure take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm from August 6–21, 2011. Tickets are $15 for children, $17 for seniors, and $20 for adults. To order, call the Bay Area Children's Theatre box office at (510) 296-4433 or visit

Puff the Magic Dragon at Mill Valley's 142 Throckmorton Theatre

July 5, 2011

Puff the Magic Dragon from the Puppets & Players Little Theatre at 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill ValleyBeloved characters Puff the Magic Dragon and Little Jackie Paper return to the magical land of Honalee in a performance by the Puppets & Players Little Theatre at downtown Mill Valley's 142 Throckmorton Theater, on Tuesday, July 5 at 6 pm. Join Puff and Jackie on their quest to recover the Magic Box of King Cobwebs. During their journey, the heroes fight a duel onboard a pirate ship with Captain Bilgewater and his sidekick Grog, face a fearful storm at sea, and travel to the bottom of the ocean, where they meet a friendly octopus named Rastapus, who helps Jackie discover that the Magic Box contains "the most powerful magic of all"—the magic of his own imagination.

This delightful 30-minute show features marionettes and hand puppets, delightful songs, and an energetic live performance by Gil Olin, who doubles as a storyteller and a pirate. Tickets for Puff the Magic Dragon can be purchased for a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $8 for children; order them by phone at (415) 383-9600 or online.

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