Thursday, November 10, 2011

This week’s top picks for upcoming live entertainment

"Dancers' photo by Peter Griffin

Mark your calendar and save these dates for the following entertaining and diverse line-up of events in New York City, Amherst, Massachusetts and Santa Monica, California.

New York City

The Just Kidding at Symphony Space all-ages series will continue to provide New York City families with ground-breaking entertainment most Saturdays through April 2012, and on this Saturday, November 12, at 11:00 a.m. Just Kidding provides one of the nation's top "kindie rock" stars, Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights.

Leeds is one of those big, beautiful rock 'n roll sopranos whose voice goes full-out or soft and tender, and she uses both to full effect.

Her tuneful melodies and rich, funny and thoughtful child-respecting lyrics give depth and irresistible zip to songs about sunglasses at the beach, goodnight hugs, popcorn popping and creative blame-shifting.

Check out the video below from Leed’s YouTube channel to see her in action.

Then, on Saturday, November 17 at 11:00 a.m. Just Kidding offers a unique mix of multimedia performance art from the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players  when they present their "indie-vaudeville conceptual art-rock pop band" concert.

Originally from Seattle, and now based in Brooklyn, the Trachtenburgs are a domestic trio (dad Jason, mom Tina Piña, and 16-year-old daughter Rachel), who play quirky indie pop songs in the key of "unironic."

It's all good, clean fun with one major catch: All the songs and carefully rhyming lyrics come from the vintage slide collections they've found at estate or garage sales that accompany their performances.

The intrepid trio has appeared on Nick Jr. and the "Conan O'Brien Show," and they've taken their show on the road to Bonnaroo, the Edinburgh festival as well as comedy clubs around the nation - all the while winning over famous fans like Meg White (The White Stripes), Matt Groening ("The Simpsons") and John Waters ("Hairspray").

The Trachtenburgs have just released a new CD called Lost and Found.
and for your enjoyment below, the Players on Nick Jr.'s "Jack’s Big Music Show”.

This diverse line-up is part of the ongoing weekly shows aimed at children ages 3 to 9 and their families. For details about all of the shows, tickets and subscription information, visit Just Kidding online

Amherst, Massachusetts

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, Massachusetts, is presenting Picture Book Theatre featuring Eric Carle’s “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth and Rooster’s Off To See The World, Saturdays, November 12, 19, 26 and Friday, November 25 with 45-minutes performances at 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.. Tickets are $5 and can be reserved in advance by calling the Museum at 413-658-1126.

Directed by founder Therese Brady Donohue, Picture Book Theatre is now in its sixth season and is known for adapting picture books into puppets and dance productions suitable for all ages, especially the very young.

This year’s productions include the premiere of the stick puppet show “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth, with music composed by Karen A. Tarlow.
The story includes 27 puppets representing endangered rain forest species. Norton Juster voices a recorded introductory message from Eric Carle and Onawumi Jean Moss is the storyteller.

Double cast local puppeteers include Margaret Arsenault, Frances Caparello, Joan Hanson, Naomi Ossar, Diane Westfall, and Karin Wilburn and professionally designed lighting is by Steve Morgan and operated by Dan Fedora of Harrison Digital Productions.

Each family will receive a copy of Carle’s “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth during the show (like a libretto) to reread and relive what they have seen.
A grant from the Amherst Cultural Council administered by the Massachusetts Cultural Council has helped to underwrite this new show.

The second show is a revival of Carle’s Rooster’s Off To See The World that showcases young dancers from Amherst Ballet. Sharing the title role are Isabel Wardlaw and Stone Dresser. The dancing role of two cats is shared between Amy Benedetto and Isabela Gomez, and Madeline Poole and Rachel Oram-Brown. Music is again by Karen Tarlow and the recorded narration is by Museum Chief Curator Nick Clark.

All puppets in the show exactly replicate the illustrations in the Carle books.

For further information about these performances and current exhibitions in the Museum’s galleries and many other ongoing events visit the Museum’s website at

Santa Monica, California

To celebrate the launch of her newest CD, Everyday Adventures, award-winning singer/songwriter Deborah Poppink (a/k/a affectionately known by her fans as “DidiPop”) is appearing at the legendary McCabe’s Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Boulevard., at 31st Street, Santa Monica, California on Sunday, November 13 at 11:00 a.m.

The performance includes a 5-piece band (not too loud) costume changes and magic. Plus, there will be Mardi Gras beads for the kids, and a chance for them to do the hula with the magnificent BoBo Bernstein on pedal steel.

 DidiPop will play spoons, piano, guitar, ukulele and even some mock accordion.

Ticket price is $8 (kids under 2 get in free). To purchase tickets online, connect to McCabe’s website at

Below, for your enjoyment, is a sample of DidiPop’s The Cool Alphabet Song, which she’ll be performing at McCabe’s.

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