Save The Dates: EQT Children’s Theater Festival 2017

Save the dates for Fun and Fantastic Performances! Continue on to keep reading the Press Release from the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

PITTSBURGH CULTURAL TRUST ANNOUNCES  31st ANNUAL EQT CHILDREN’S THEATER FESTIVAL  FEATURING INTERNATIONAL AND AWARD-WINNING THEATER PERFORMANCES MAY 18-21

Source: Festival: EQT Children’s Theater Festival 2017, Cultural District on Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Pressroom

CULTURAL DISTRICT 

Pittsburgh, PA–The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the EQT Children’s Theater Festival will be held May 18-21, 2017 in the Cultural District in Downtown Pittsburgh. In the 31st annual celebration of international children’s programming, attendees are encouraged to enjoy six sensational performances, including a United States premiere, in addition to more than 35 family-friendly activities. The festival is presented by the Children’s Theater and Festival division of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Single tickets for the featured performances go on sale to the public on Monday, January 30, 2017.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating the 31st EQT Children’s Theater Festival with wonderful international performances and expanded programming for all ages,” shared Pamela Komar, Director of Theater, Music and Youth Programming and Executive Director of the Children’s Theater Series and Festival at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “Once again, we are excited to invite performers from around the globe to foster cultural exchange and wonder through the performing arts. From popular stories coming to life to interactive outdoor theater performances, festival activities are created to inspire and engage all ages. We look forward to creating memories at this year’s festival!”

The 31st EQT Children’s Theater Festival features ticketed performances by six award-winning theater companies from Australia, Mexico, the United States, Denmark and Northern Ireland. A mix of teen-focused performances, like Simple Gifts, and child-centric shows such as The Way Back Home, this year’s festival has something for everyone. The schedule includes the United States premier of Pulse, a theater experience carefully designed for the youngest of theatergoers using texture and lively games to invite infants and toddlers into a creative space. More than 35 free activities designed to complement featured performances, including hands-on activities, public art and music at numerous indoor and outdoor spaces will take place throughout the Cultural District.

For the fourth year, the EQT Foundation, the charitable affiliation of EQT Corporation, will serve as the lead and title sponsor of the Children’s Theater Festival. Established in 2003, the EQT Foundation provides educational opportunities for children, as well as adults, values the development of liveable communities, and is committed to the preservation of natural resources. The EQT Foundation prides itself on being a responsible corporate citizen and invests in programs that promote an understanding of culture and heritage.  www.eqt.com/our-communities/eqt-foundation

“The EQT Foundation is honored to return as underwriter of the EQT Children’s Theater Festival, an exceptional event that brings international performing and visual artists to the region for our children to experience first-hand,” said Charlene Petrelli, President, EQT Foundation.  “We are proud to share these outstanding arts and educational programs with our region’s youth and provide opportunities to promote awareness of global cultures, as well as local heritage.  The EQT Children’s Theater Festival never disappoints with its array of extraordinary events for the enrichment of all attendees.”

For 31 years, the EQT Children’s Theater Festival has brought the community the diversity and culture of international arts and entertainment without having to leave the Pittsburgh area! The festival has featured performing artists from around the world, spanning six continents, and is known for presenting unique, globally-inspired arts, music, one-of-a-kind installation, premiers and free hands-on activities for any age. The festival welcomes everyone to participate in the educational and cultural experiences that bring people together when enjoying elements of fun and surprise. The festival serves as a gateway for children of all ages to experience professional performing arts programming that inspires, challenges, educates, and stimulates respect for and an understanding of all cultures in an entertaining and enlightening way.

Featured Ticketed Performances
All ticketed performances will take place in the Cultural District.  Single tickets for the featured performances go on sale, Monday, January 30, 2017.  For tickets and information, please visit www.TrustArts.org/PGHKids, call 412-456-6666, or visit the Theater Square Box Office at 655 Penn Avenue.  Groups of 10 or more, please call 412-471-6930 or visit:http://pghkids.trustarts.org/kids/groups.

For a full description of each Featured Ticketed Performance, including performance times, please visit www.TrustArts.org/PGHKids. 

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters – An African Tale by Dallas Children’s Theater
United States
Ages 5-11 | 65 minutes
Venue: August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Avenue

When Mufaro learns that a great African king wants to meet the most worthy and beautiful women in order to choose a wife, he decides that both of his daughters should go.  During their journey to the King, Mufaro’s beautiful daughters Manyara and Nyasha encounter mysterious situations that test their courage, kindness and strength of spirit.  Celebrate goodness, generosity and love with traditional chanting, rhythmic drumming, and glorious African song in this beautiful Zimbabwe-based Cinderella tale based on the 1988 Caldecott Honor Award book by John Steptoe.  The story was adapted for the stage by Karen Abbott, with music and lyrics by S-Ankh Rasa.

The Way Back HomebyTeater Refleksion and Branar Theater

Denmark and Ireland
Ages 3-8 | 40 minutes
Venue: Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue

When a boy discovers a single-propeller airplane in his closet, he does what any young adventurer would do: he flies into outer space!  Millions of miles from earth, the plane begins to sputter and quake.  The boy makes a daring landing on the moon where he realizes he’s not alone up there.  Based on the book by Oliver Jeffers, The Way Back Home explores the boundless imagination of children through puppetry, wonderful music, and creative wordless storytelling. 

We Built This City by Polyglot Theatre
Australia
All Ages | 30 minutes
Venue: 7th Street & Penn Avenue, Outdoor interactive installation, with partial tent

The whole family will enjoy building the cities of their dreams in this giant cardboard construction site.  Thousands of cardboard boxes take over in this interactive performance where children build entire cities and towns of skyscrapers, tunnels, and sprawling estates that reflect the time and place of their immediate culture.  With a rocking soundtrack and Polyglot Theatre artists roaming the site, We Built This City is one of the happiest projects you will ever experience.  We Built This City is made possible in-part by the Maranne P. Welch Family Endowment.  Established in 2015, the Maranne P. Welch Family Endowment supports adventurous theater for young audiences.

Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In a Play!
The Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour
United States
Ages 3-8 | 60 minutes
Venue: Byham Theater, 101 Sixth Street

Elephant Gerald and Piggie sing and dance their way through plenty of pachydermal peril and swiney suspense in Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!  This vaudevillian romp of a musical is based on Mo Willems’s beloved, award-winning, best-selling children’s books.  Together, these best friends face fundamental questions like: What do you wear to a fancy pool costume party? Should you share your ice cream? And how can two friends play with one toy? Backed by the nutty backup singers The Squirrelles, the duo even gets the audience involved in the action. You’ll be doing the “Flippy Floppy Floory” dance all night long!  This performance is also part of the 2016-2017 Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series.

*Sensory Friendly Performances, which will include interactivity, rhythm, repetition, reduced sound levels and gentle lighting is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, 2017.

Simple Gifts by Cashore Marionettes
United States
Ages 7+ | 60 minutes
Venue: Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue

Experience a series of touching and poignant scenes from everyday life told through a beautiful and skillful manipulation of marionettes.  Set to music, this theatrical and artistic program will provide an entertaining and sensitive vision of what it is to be human.  This performance is also part of the 2016-2017 EQT Bridge Theater Series.  

Pulse by Teatro al Vacio
Mexico
Ages 0-2 | 30 minutes
Venue: Cabaret at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue

Carefully designed for the youngest of theatergoers, Pulse uses textures and lively games to invite infants and toddlers into a safe, positive, and friendly environment that will stimulate their sense of creativity. Actors create an extraordinary space ready for exploration, connecting with simple materials to transform their surroundings into a world of play.  This event is a U.S. premiere.

Sensory-Friendly Performance Schedule
Sensory-friendly events during this year’s festival include Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In a Play! taking place at the Byham Theater, 101 6th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Sensory-friendly performance will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, 2017.

Accessibility
The festival grounds and featured performance venues are fully handicap accessible. ASL interpreters are provided for featured performances upon request when requests are made at least 10 business days in advance. For information and questions, please call (412) 456-6666.

Other accessibility offerings include:

  • Wheelchair-accessible restrooms located at Theater Square.
  • ADA-compliant cable covers are used throughout the outdoor pop-up spaces, where applicable.
  • Guide animals are welcome in all festival locations.
  • Large-print programs are available at information booths.
  • Sensory-friendly performances.

For more on accessibility, please visit www.TrustArts.org/Accessibility

Festival Logistics
The festival grounds will include a variety of food options and vendors, visual art programming at local galleries, pop-up green spaces, free hands-on activities, and free outdoor performances coordinated with Youth Express. Festival hours are 10:00am-2:00pm on Thursday, May 18 and 10:00am-6:00pm on Friday, May 19, through Sunday, May 21, 2017.

Information booths will be open during festival hours providing information, tickets and merchandise. Each Featured Performance venue will have staff on-site 60 minutes prior to show time.

Tickets and Information
Tickets are $9 for features performances. Multi-show packs are available and offered for as low as $6 per show! Flex Vouchers from the Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series and EQT Bridge Theater Series are honored for all ticketed events taking place during the festival.  Visit www.TrustArts.org/PGHkids, call (416) 456-6666, or pick up tickets in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue. For groups of 10+ call (412) 471-6930, or visit GroupSales@TrustArts.org.

Parking and Transportation
Reserve parking vouchers in the heart of the Cultural District at Theater Square Parking Garage. A limited number of vouchers will be held for festival visitors each day. To reserve your parking voucher, call 412-456-6666 or visit the Box Office at Theater Square.

Festival travel as convenient and comfortable as possible! For information about parking lots and garages in the Cultural District, visit www.ParkPGH.org. This site shows real-time parking availability in over 20 downtown parking lots with parking inventory updates every 30 seconds.The Cultural District is serviced by public transportation options through the Port Authority of Allegheny County. For more information, visit www.TrustArts.org/visit/public_transportation.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust gratefully acknowledges the following organizations for their participation and support of the 2017 EQT Children’s Theater Festival. 

Special Thanks To

EQT Foundation

Citizens Bank

Gateway Health

Giant Eagle, Inc.

Allegheny Regional Asset District

The Buhl Foundation

The Fine Foundation

The Grable Foundation

The Maranne P. Welch Family Endowment

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

The Sprout Fund

Collaborators

Alco Parking Corporation

Citiparks

City of Pittsburgh

Katie’s Kandy

Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

Roving Art Cart

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Media Partners

91.3 WYEP

KDKA-TV

Comcast

Kidsburgh.org

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Saturday Light Brigade

Youth Express

Membership
Families and Festival Friends help the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust to continually present affordable, high quality theater productions. Giving $100 or more grants Members access to reserved seating at the Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series, EQT Bridge Theater Series and EQT Children’s Theater Festival. As a Member, you’ll also receive many other terrific benefits for a full year ! Visit TrustArts.org/Support or call 412-471-3518 for more details.

The EQT Children’s Theater Festival (celebrating its 31st year in 2017) is one of only four international children’s theater festivals in the nation.  The festival is known for performances and area premieres from artists around the world, free outdoor arts, music and installations, and unique free hands-on activities for any age. The festival welcomes everyone to participate in the educational and cultural experiences that bring people together while enjoying elements of fun and surprise.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Cultural Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts. For more information, visit TrustArts.org.

Follow us on Twitter @CulturalTrust, and like us on Facebook.

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big: Tickets On Sale Now

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You can purchase tickets by clicking here, or visiting the PPG Paints Arena Box Office. 

Enter a world where adventure is waiting and courage leads the way at Disney On Ice presents Dream Big playing PPG Paints Arena from February 23-26.  #DisneyOnIce #DreamBig

Continue on to read the official Press Release:

Disney Princesses Create Their Own Happily Ever After when Disney On Ice presents Dream Big comes to your hometown!  

Tinker Bell Whisks Audiences through Inspirational Disney Tales and the Princesses that Made them Possible

Believing is just the beginning when dreamers around the country witness the empowering tales of Disney’s most courageous leading ladies told through artistic skating and acrobatics in Disney On Ice presents Dream Big. Audiences are invited to join eight Disney Princesses – Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White – as they embark on incredible adventures, determined to make their dreams come true. In addition, experience the sisterly love that has captivated millions as Disney’s Frozen is brought to life on the icy stage.

Enter a world where adventure awaits and courage leads the way, as Tinker Bell guides guests to a place where imaginations soar and anything can happen. Make a splash with the fearless dreamer Ariel as she yearns to explore life above the waves. Watch Rapunzel, Cinderella and Belle as they learn about the power to make their own magic. Travel to the wintry world of Arendelle with sisters Anna and Elsa and the hilarious Olaf from Disney’s Frozen as they learn that true love is the greatest magic of all. Be there to discover a whole new world with the daring Jasmine, and join Snow White, Aurora and Tiana as they remind you that strength and kindness go hand-in-hand.

“Before dreaming up this show, we reflected on what makes Disney’s leading ladies so unique,” said Producer Kenneth Feld.  “Having three daughters, it didn’t take long to realize that every princess had one thing in common: each one had a dream and the determination to make it a reality. We wanted to share that inspirational message with our audiences by celebrating the stories of these courageous young women and the friends that helped them along the way.”

Guests will also enjoy a special second act including royal sisters Anna and Elsa from the number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen. Audiences will enter the land of Arendelle and journey up the North Mountain with Olaf and rugged mountain-man Kristoff as they help the sisters discover true love can conquer all.  “Being able to include these new and exciting characters from the Academy Award®-winning tale, Frozen, keeps our shows current and ever evolving,” adds Feld.

Adapting the inspirational moments to the ice presented an interesting challenge to the creative team.  To cause audiences to re-experience the emotions evoked by the films would take glittering sets, dramatic lighting, breathtaking choreography and a few surprises. Each member of the creative team approached this challenge with their own unique perspective.

For Director Patty Vincent, it was about realizing her goal for the overall vision of the show. “My favorite part of this entire experience was actually piecing it together from my original dream,” she noted.  “Starting with a blank piece of paper then gathering ideas, finding music, working out the choreography and costumes – I really loved creating it from scratch.  One of the most perfect moments for me was when I found the song “If You Can Dream” on the Disney Wishes album.  It just embodies the wishful and inspirational tone of the show. There’s nothing like seeing ideas that start with your imagination become something real – it’s an incredible experience.”  An example of this creative process is evident in Vincent’s favorite part of the show.  “I love the ‘Under the Sea’ production number because I was able to combine bubbling special effects with the most fantastic costumes and high-energy skating.  The scene is even more fun than I imagined it would be.”

Recognizing the timeless nature of the stories, Creative Director Jerry Bilik sought a cast whose talent would make the stories relatable and inspiring.  “To me, the most exciting part of the show is really the cast,” Bilik said.  “These exceptional performers help translate the stories to the ice magnificently.  Their portrayal of the princesses and princes sweeps the audience away because they capture the essence of the characters’ hopes, dreams and heroism.”

For Costume Designer Ilona Somogyi, this experience was similar to her work on costumes for the hit Broadway production Spamalot, where she also used a very well-known film with many beloved characters as her primary resource.  For Disney On Ice presents Dream Big, she sought inspiration from the original films and some other, more unusual, places.  “In addition to the films, specific scenes also had their own sources of inspiration,” Somogyi said.  “For the Cinderella ball, Fabergé eggs were the basis for the full-flowing waltz gowns.  My underlying inspiration was the little girls who go to the shows dressed as their favorite Disney Princess.  Seeing them made me nostalgic and took me back to what dazzled me as a little girl.”

Choreographer Cindy Stuart focused on crafting numbers that highlighted the unique story of each character.  For example, in the Aladdin segment, there is a busy, fast-paced opening scene in the marketplace where Aladdin is being chased by the guards.  Then when he meets Jasmine, the scene gives way to a dreamy, magical escape from reality in “A Whole New World.”

Set Designer Robert Little’s goal was to create a set that would be as beautiful and surprising as the princesses themselves but flexible enough to allow the telling of so many classic stories.  The core setting is a cascading, multi-tier waterfall with actual flowing water.  With a little pixie dust, Tinker Bell magically transforms the set into a different backdrop for each story.  “We had this idea early on about dreams and the types of places where you’d be compelled to dream, and we hit upon the waterfall,” said Little.  “Like Snow White, who wouldn’t be inspired to wish for their dreams to come true in such a beautiful, magical place in the woods?”  Little also had a hand in crafting the dragon from Sleeping Beauty, one of the most exciting and dramatic elements of the show.  “The effect is truly magnificent – and there’s a thrilling surprise in store for the audience that will really ignite their interests and the ice itself.”

In this, his fifth ice show credit, Emmy® Award-winning Lighting Designer Peter Morse sought to complement the set design with the appropriate lighting that would transition smoothly between the stories.  For instance, Morse used leafy designs of greens and sepia tones to establish the forest where Snow White wishes by a well.  He also recreates the night when Cinderella’s dreams come true with bursts of bright white stars.  “When telling nine distinct stories, it’s important to be able to create a new environment to set the stage for each tale,” said Morse.  “Robert Little did this with the transformable set, and it was my mission to fill the rest of the ice with radiant lighting that would place the audience in the heart of these stories.”

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big invites audiences to come along as Tinker Bell shows them the timeless tales of inspiring princesses and the friends that helped make their dreams come true, including the story of sisterly love between Anna and Elsa.  High-flying jumps, daring acrobatics, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends make Disney On Ice presents Dream Big an experience your family will never forget.

 

Stay Tuned for more fun and offers!

Disney On Ice is Here! Tickets on Sale

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It’s Almost HERE!! A celebration of royal proportions is coming to town in Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream.  Playing PPG Paints Arena from December 9-11, 2016. Multiple Showtimes Available, but you have to act fast to get your tickets!!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOURS NOW!

 

#DisneyOnIce #DaretoDream

 

Read the FULL Press Release below…

 

Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream Takes Adventure to

New Lengths with Magical Moments from

Disney’s Newest Fairytales and Timeless Classics

 

Feld Entertainment’s Exciting Disney On Ice Production is a Celebration of Royal Proportions

featuring Tangled, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Princess and the Frog and Cinderella

 

Join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy as they follow four of Disney’s most inspirational princesses on their adventures to fulfill their dreams in Feld Entertainment’s newest ice spectacular, Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream. Combining the contemporary stories of two modern-day princesses, Rapunzel and Tiana, with the classic elegance of Cinderella and Snow White, Dare to Dream whisks audiences away on exciting journeys where dreams really do come true.

 

Audiences begin their magical, musical voyage in New Orleans celebrating the story of The Princess and the Frog with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen, and then escape into the enchanted forest with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The trip continues to Cinderella’s kingdom in her search for true love and follows Rapunzel as she discovers the world beyond her tower on her quest to see the floating lanterns. The Disney Princesses then come together for the first time on ice during the finale, to welcome Rapunzel into their royal court in the ultimate princess experience.

 

“There’s something within each of the stories of Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, Cinderella, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that speaks to women and girls and families around the world,” says Producer Nicole Feld. “Each of these princesses is searching for what truly makes them happy. And I think that’s very reflective of what audiences are like today.”

 

“This show is different from anything we’ve ever done, and we’re excited about all the exhilarating aspects we’ve included in this production,” says Producer Juliette Feld.  “This is the first time Rapunzel is featured on the ice with her tremendous amount of hair. And new this year, the Princess who started it all, Snow White, will be joining the show with the Seven Dwarfs, bringing more magic than ever before.”

 

Disney’s Tangled

 

In adapting Tangled to the ice for the first time, Director Patty Vincent was challenged with how to convey all of Rapunzel’s hair without interfering with the skating. During the segment, 2,000 feet of silk representing Rapunzel’s magical, golden tresses winds throughout the rafters of the arena and drapes down to the ice for use in a heart-stopping aerial act never before seen in a Disney On Ice production. Rapunzel and Flynn Rider escape the tower, flying 25 feet up in the air and performing daring acrobatics.

 

“The performers trained for six weeks just to build their upper body strength, because skaters use very different muscles when ice skating,” says Vincent. “It works perfectly on the ice because they don’t have to run; they just skate, and they’re lifted into the air and begin a gorgeous athletic act.”

 

Under the direction of Choreographer Cindy Stuart and Aerial Trainer Anna Kaminnik, the performers mastered the blend of ice and aerial choreography in which Rapunzel and Flynn fly above the arena floor and slowly descend to the ice in a fluid motion, creating a feeling of constant movement.

 

Stuart was able to contrast the beauty of the aerial act by showcasing the athleticism of the skaters when Rapunzel and Flynn stop at the Snuggly Duckling tavern on their way to see the lanterns. During this energetic sequence, the pub thugs break into a rowdy show tune medley, and the scene turns into a trick section with performers doing cartwheels, handstands, jumps and leaps on the ice and the props.

 

The adventurous nature of Rapunzel’s story allowed Costume Designer Ivan Ingermann to incorporate unusual fabrics and silhouettes into his costumes. Rapunzel’s world is mainly full of rich colors and textures and romantic silhouettes. However, during the Snuggly Duckling segment, Ingermann designed costumes for the pub thugs using faux fur and faux leather, materials not normally seen in an ice show.

 

Another distinctive design element of Dare to Dream is the revolving set, an idea conceived by Scenic Designer Stan Meyer.  By designing a rotating piece that transforms to specifically fit each of the unique settings of the stories, Meyer was able to create one major centerpiece with four entirely different environments. When the set morphs into Rapunzel’s forest, a paneled backdrop of pastel flora and butterflies opens and a majestic tower slowly emerges, rising from the ice as golden hair falls from the window.

 

Lighting Designer Peter Morse incorporated these same pastels and royal colors by surrounding the audience in rich shades of purple, a prominent color in Rapunzel’s world.  When Rapunzel and Flynn Rider finally reach the end of their journey, the entire arena goes dark as a single lantern slowly floats up into the air, and suddenly, lanterns illuminate the sky above the audience.

 

“When we create Disney On Ice, what we’re hoping to do, aside from bringing families together and telling great stories, is create memorable moments,” says Producer Kenneth Feld. “In the Tangled sequence, there is one moment that is absolutely unforgettable.  At every show, one special child is picked to launch the first lantern. All you see is the one lantern that goes up, and as soon as it reaches the top, all the other lanterns light up the arena. It’s breathtaking.”

 

Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

 

In contrast to the colorful and playful world of Rapunzel, to set the mood for the story of Snow White, the lighting had to take on a darker and more mysterious quality.  As the story begins, the lighting dims and a thin layer of fog fills the ice. Soon a flash of light and dark shadows appear signaling the arrival of the Evil Queen.

 

When it comes time for Snow White to flee into the magical forest for protection from the Queen, Morse focused on the use of black lights to highlight her frantic pace. As she finally escapes the forest and arrives at the door of the Dwarf’s cottage, the ice is bathed in rich golden colors, signaling the calm after the storm and her newfound safety.

 

Being the Princess who started it all, the costume design for Snow White is a classic silhouette that will be easily recognizable by audiences young and old. The traditional yellow and blue dress was made for swift, yet graceful, movement on the ice, twirling and flowing as Snow White glides through her world.

 

Audiences will also be delighted to see all Seven Dwarfs make an appearance in Dare to Dream, each outfit as unique as the Dwarf wearing it.

 

Walt Disney’s Cinderella

 

As the story shifts to the romantic tale of Cinderella, a glittering purple and blue castle stands majestically in the background with a white and gold grand butterfly staircase framing the clock tower. Cinderella is joined by ball attendants regally dressed in bright, colorful gowns sparkling with the help of sequins and glitter. Below the castle, glistening stars and swirls of soft blues and pinks fill the ice when Cinderella skates to classic songs such as “So This is Love” and “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.”

 

In addition to the pair skating and elegant ice dancing showcased in Dare to Dream, Cinderella features synchronized skating by a team of 20 performers portraying the palace guards searching for the owner of the glass slipper. More than half the cast performs this fast-paced and complex precision number, creating lines, formations and constantly moving patterns on the ice.

 

Light-hearted elements throughout the segment provide a contrast from the romanticism and precision of many of the scenes. Cinderella’s mice friends make an appearance singing and dancing while they make her a dress for the ball. Cinderella’s stepsisters are on hand as well, amusing the audience with their comical antics.

 

Lighting plays an important role in telling Cinderella’s story, and a key component of the lighting design is the ability to feature the skaters themselves. “We have to light the whole scene to keep it bright and beautiful,” says Morse, “while also highlighting the characters.”

 

With a swish of her magic wand, a flash of light and those three little words, the Fairy Godmother transforms Cinderella before the ball. From a cloud of smoke, a sparkling carriage emerges, drawn by four white horses and glistening like a crystal ball in the darkness, creating a magical moment as Cinderella rides toward the castle. Later, as Prince Charming and the Duke ponder the identity of the beautiful girl from the ball, the ice is dark, save for the moonlight streaming through tall windows on either side of the ice and forming a dark hallway between them, an illusion created by gobos and spotlights.

Disney’s The Princess and the Frog

 

Popular color palettes and designs from the Harlem Renaissance became a major source of inspiration for The Princess and the Frog. When Dare to Dream opens in New Orleans, vibrant orange and golden yellow light fills the arena, matching the bright colors of the costumes inspired by the period. Set against a French Quarter backdrop painted in rich reds, purples and greens, flappers and banjo players revel on a balcony while page boys and other townsfolk dance on the ice below, creating a multilayered street party.  The opening number, “When the Saints go Marching In,” combines jazz-influenced choreography and the Charleston to create a vivid and energetic street scene.

Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream seamlessly merges the classic with the new, maintaining the timelessness of some of the most cherished stories of all time, Cinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, while also incorporating popular songs and unforgettable scenes from Disney’s Tangled and The Princess and the Frog.  From the lighting and scenery to the music, choreography and costumes, each element of Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream magically combines to create a memorable show for the entire family.

 

 

 

Review: Matilda the Musical

Ok – I am one of those people. You know the ones… who never saw the movie, or knew that the movie was based on a book… yet, accepted the RSVP for the Matilda show with the intentions to treat my daughter to a night of culture. Together we read the Playbill introducing the cast, and by the plot summary we thought it sounded true to movie… or at least what we caught from the trailer on YouTube two hours before the performance.

#matilda Thank You Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Pittsburgh CLO #pncbroadwayseries #pncbroadwayinpittsburgh

A post shared by Carri Finkbeiner (@411inthe412) on

Winner of 50 international awards, including the Tony Award®, and one of the biggest hits on Broadway, MATILDA THE MUSICAL is the story of an extraordinary  girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

Rolling Stone calls the show “hands down the BEST MUSICAL of the season.” Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, MATILDA continues to thrill sold-out audiences of all ages on Broadway and in London’s West End.

– Matilda The Musical, 2016

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The Stage

The show begins with a fast paced introduction to Matilda’s life’s disposition. Now, I could introduce you to characters or break down the story act for act. But, unlike me, I’m sure you have heard the story before, and know to expect a pair of rotten parents, a nasty schoolmistress, an a super powered little girl who moves objects with her eyes, and changes opinions with her big, loud mouth. She always speaks her mind when she feels something isn’t right, a trait all little girls should aspire to have. And then a sweet and soft spoken super hero comes into Matilda’s life and by pure coincidence… or was it in the stars for the two worlds to collide and change everything they knew of the universe.

The children in the cast deserved every ovation. The production casts 3 Matildas, and Lily Brooks-O’Briant was the actress at center stage last night (June 1). Her performance was truly flawless. Her notes, on point. Those words… how does a 9 year old girl know such long, complicated words so well to sing, and pronounce and dance along to the beat. What talent these children have! The adults were okay too, I guess. I will be honest – the adults’ acting was a little too heavy and overdone, the accents were thick and made it difficult to understand the conversations. Though it was not hard to follow the action. The special effects and choreography repeatedly outshines the screenplay with each number, and built up the audience reactions perfectly timed. It was a pleasant night made for extraordinary memories.

To get tickets to one of the remaining shows, please visit The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Website. Matilda The Musical runs from Tue, May 31 – Sun, Jun 12, 2016 at The Benedum Center in Downtown Pittsburgh.

 

Giveaway: Cirque du Soleil

I have a family four pack of tickets to giveaway to a lucky follower! Scroll down to read more about Cirque du Soleil, Toruk, which will be presented at CONSOL Energy Center, June 22-26, 2016!

TORUK – The First Flight is Cirque du Soleil’s 37th production since 1984. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 155 million spectators in more than 300 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.

Doesn’t this just look amazing? I cannot wait to take my family to the show. And, I’m privileged to invite a family to win tickets as well!

So… Who wants to go to Cirque du Soleil? You can purchase your tickets by clicking here.

Or you can….

Enter to WIN the Family 4 pack of tickets to Opening Night, June 22. 

Contest open for entry until June 14 11:59pm. Winner will be announced June 15, at 4:00pm EST.

Winner must be 18+ with state issued identification (for will call purposes). Once prize is accepted, tickets are nontransferable and cannot be resold for profit.

Learn more about this fantastic show!

Press Release:

Montreal, April 25, 2016 – The new Cirque du Soleil touring show inspired by James Cameron’s record-breaking movie AVATARTORUK –  The First Flight, will be presented at CONSOL Energy Center from June 22-26, as part of a global tour in arenas around the world. The show is presented by Visa Signature® in association with Merrill Lynch®.

The show

Inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR, TORUK – The First Flight transports you to the world of Pandora in a visually stunning live setting. Experience a storytelling odyssey through a new world of imagination, discovery, and possibility.

Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to James Cameron’s imaginary world and “makes the bond” between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination.

This live immersive experience also bears the distinct signature of directors and multimedia innovators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. It is a living ode to the Na’vi’s symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the basic interconnectedness of all living things.

Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller” and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR, and before any humans ever set foot on Pandora.

When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys on the brink of adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters into their own hands. Upon learning that Toruk can help them save the Tree of Souls, they set out, together with their newfound

friend Tsyal, on a quest high up in the Floating Mountains to find the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clans to ride Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a terrible fate.

Many thanks to Markowitz Communications, and of course, Cirque du Soleil and its many sponsors as below mentioned.

TORUK – The First Flight is presented by Visa Signature® in association with Merrill Lynch®. DHL and ACTIVEON Action Camera are the official sponsors. The show is being created through a licensing arrangement with 20th Century Fox.

In an effort to bring audience members involvement to a whole new level, Cirque du Soleil will be launching a first-of-its-kind app for TORUK – The First Flight.  Working with long-time technology partner SAP, the app will enhance the overall show experience and enable audience members to be a part of the action before, during and after the performance! The app can be downloaded from here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/toruk-the-first-flight/id1060239115?mt=8

Follow us on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/torukthefirstflight

Find us on Twitter with #TORUK #Avatar

 

 

Review: The Illusionists

Intensity. That is probably the best word I can find to describe the feeling being among the audience watching “The Illusionists, Live from Broadway”. Absolutely chest tightening, what’s going to happen next type intensity. As warned, I discovered this wasn’t your standard everyday magic show.

And, yes, they warn you.

#411inthe412 #theillusionists Thank you @culturaltrust #trustarts

A post shared by Carri Finkbeiner (@411inthe412) on

It begins with a quick introduction, continues with a little humor and some audience participation. (and if you were there, you’d know we Pittsburghers showed off some pretty slick Improv skills. Dale, those gloves… priceless)

Seamlessly, acts moved from one to the next showcasing mind-blowing talent of trickery and amazement. Each performer had a specialty, some defying death for the sake of a challenge.

Fire, music, acrobatics and dancing… but no smoke and mirrors. This magic is the real deal. I thought by the closeness between my seat and the stage that I would see something television hides. Nope. I saw cards go blank before my eyes, and one guy shoved a quarter behind his eye. But he was fine. He cut open his arm and squeezed it out of an artery. How the hell did he do that?

For that matter, how the hell did they do any of it? I was locked out of my house once and it took me over an hour to do what the Escapist did with 2 handcuff locks and a padlock with only a paperclip in three minutes, holding his breath, with his eyes closed. I’m still holding my breath in anticipation and the deed has been done. It takes an incredible passion, and a lot of practice, to be among their league.

And just when we’d thought spring had finally sprung, The Inventor brought back the snow. Don’t know I’m talking about…? Get tickets, go see the show. I would spill more details about the show, but it would be completely unfair to spoil the story. Find out for yourself why I am still wondering how that egg got into the bag.

2016-04-20 21.34.01

The Illusionists are in town until Sunday. To get tickets please visit The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s website at http://www.trustarts.org

 

This mind blowing spectacular showcases the jaw dropping talents of seven of the most incredible Illusionists on earth. THE ILLUSIONISTS– LIVE FROM BROADWAY™ has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage. This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions. (trustarts.org, 2016)

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE

 

Thank you as always to @culturaltrust #trustarts for their continuing support. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust always has something for all ages.

2016-04-20 19.23.26

The Pittsburgh Color Me Rad Family 5k

Athletes and non-athletes alike are pulling out their white t-shirts in anticipation of this year’s Color Me Rad in Pittsburgh!

On May 7, racers will become multi-colored masterpieces as they join hundreds of other color revelers in the “raddest” 5K around. This year, participants will Dare to Be RAD, tackling challenges throughout the course in an array of 90’s inspired color. Pricing increases on April 29, sign up now at to take advantage of current pricing.

My readers SAVE 15% with promo code “pittsmommybloggers”!

   

THIS IS YOUR EXCUSE TO LET LOOSE
Color Me Rad is loosely based on the Hindu Festival of Colors, otherwise known as Holi. The festive colors used are a sign of winter’s end and spring’s new beginnings. Or in the case of RAD; the color represents the end of lame runs and the beginning of fun runs.

Start out as clean as a newborn babe, and throughout the run, our volunteers will coat you with liquids, powders, and gels of blue, green, pink, purple, and yellow until your face, shirt, and body come out silkscreened like a tie-dyed hippie on the other side. Each section of the run adds a new explosion of color to your clean, painter’s palate until you cross the finish line into a final blitzkrieg of color.

The Finish Line – This is the royal rumble of color. Every 15 – 20 minutes, participants grab their color powder and create a revival of the RAD sorts. There will be music, food, and more RAD runners than the 80s. Hugs are free and just like any good AA meeting, spectators are welcome.

#colormerad5k ’90s inspired color filled race Pittsburgh 5/7 SAVE 15% w/code “pittsmommybloggers” @colormerad http://www.colormerad.com/location/pittsburgh-north-shore/#139 @usfg

Are you a blogger? This event is open to ALL bloggers so please feel free to submit your blog and get your login information via this link: http://www.usfamilyguide.com/submityourblog.php

*Win Tickets* Disney On Ice Presents Frozen

I don’t know about you, but in regards to winter, I am ready to ‘Let It Go’, and the sooner the better. There is no better way to welcome early spring than with one final snow themed event, Disney On Ice… this year’s presentation: Frozen!

Thanks to our friends, we have a family four pack of tickets to Opening Night to giveaway to a lucky fan. This giveaway is going on now through Friday March 4, 5pm. We will draw a winner at random and make the announcement at that time.

Showtime for this event is Thursday March 10, 2016, 7:00pm at the Consol Energy Center.

ANNA AND ELSA
photo credit to Feld Entertainment

 

OLAF - IN THE SUMMER
photo credit to Feld Entertainment

How to Win…

Complete the entry form below, and you’re done!

You will receive a confirmation email with your entry number within 24 hours. Must be 18+ enter, one entry per adult only, no purchase necessary.

Can’t wait? Get your tickets now!

Showtimes: 

  • Thursday, March 10, 2016            7:00PM
  • Friday, March 11, 2016                  10:30AM & 7:00PM
  • Saturday, March 12, 2016             11:00AM & 3:00PM & 7:00PM
  • Sunday, March 13, 2016                11:00AM & 3:00PM & 7:00PM

Tickets start at:                                 $35

To order tickets by phone:           Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone at 1-800-745-3000

To order tickets online:                 http://www.disneyonice.com/frozen/

Do you wanna read a press release? Here you go…

Pittsburgh, PA, February 17, 2016 – Feld Entertainment, Inc., the worldwide leader in producing live touring family entertainment, today announced that its 34thDisney On Ice spectacular will bring the Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen, to life.  Disney On Ice presents Frozen Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt visits Pittsburgh from March 10, 2015 to March 13, 2015 for 9 performances at CONSOL Energy Center; tickets are on sale now.

 

The Academy Award® winning tale will be told live for the first time in this production, capturing the dynamic of two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa.  Anna, a girl with an extraordinary heart, embarks on an epic journey to find her sister, the magical Elsa, who is determined to remain secluded as she finally feels free to test the limits of her powers.    Rugged mountain man Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven, the lovable and hilarious snowman Olaf and the mystical trolls help Anna along the way in this story about love conquering fear.  Audiences will get to sing along with such musical masterpieces as “Let it Go,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Fixer Upper.”

 

“In our more than 30 years of producing Disney On Ice shows, Feld Entertainment has been waiting for a film like this,” says producer Nicole Feld.  “While it might seem obvious that Frozen is well suited for the ice, this Disney On Ice production will touch audiences emotionally through innovative show elements and world-class skating.”

 

Frozen directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee add, “Seeing audiences around the world embrace Frozen has been the experience of a lifetime.  And to now have the chance to consult with the talented team at Feld Entertainment and watch their creation come to life on ice, is thrilling.”

 

In Disney On Ice presents Frozen Presented by YoKids, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse take the audience through the magical story based in Arendelle, with special appearances by beloved Disney princesses and favorite characters from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story and Finding Nemo and Disney’s The Lion King, who come together to prove that true love is the greatest power of all.  Director Patty Vincent says, “Our goal is to showcase these heartwarming characters in a way that allows the audience to cheer and sing along throughout this emotional journey.”

 

To create a completely immersive experience for the audience, the set design will encompass the space from the ice surface up through the air, drawing everyone into the story and closer to the characters. Families will feel that they are trekking up to the North Mountains with Anna, Kristoff and Sven, and they will tangibly experience the storm inside Elsa.  Elsa’s magic will be enhanced by state-of-the art special effects while her emotions will be conveyed through powerful skating.

Pittsburgh, PA
CONSOL Energy Center

WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU THERE!

~Carri

Who Wants to Go to Disney On Ice?

We had a gorgeous weekend with temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s, which is absurdly abnormal for February in Pittsburgh. But, it’s Monday, and we are back to reality, and back to cold weather. Dare I say… it’s almost time to embrace… FROZEN!

Disney on Ice presents Frozen is coming to the Consol Energy Center in March, and we’ve got the 411 on how to get tickets… including winning them here on my blog!

Stay tuned for details on how to enter!

Can’t wait? Get your tickets now!

Showtimes: 

  • Thursday, March 10, 2016            7:00PM
  • Friday, March 11, 2016                  10:30AM & 7:00PM
  • Saturday, March 12, 2016             11:00AM & 3:00PM & 7:00PM
  • Sunday, March 13, 2016                11:00AM & 3:00PM & 7:00PM

Tickets start at:                                 $35

To order tickets by phone:           Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone at 1-800-745-3000

To order tickets online:                  http://www.disneyonice.com/frozen/

Do you wanna read a press release? Here you go:

Pittsburgh, PA, February 17, 2016 – Feld Entertainment, Inc., the worldwide leader in producing live touring family entertainment, today announced that its 34th Disney On Ice spectacular will bring the Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen, to life.  Disney On Ice presents Frozen Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt visits Pittsburgh from March 10, 2015 to March 13, 2015 for 9 performances at CONSOL Energy Center; tickets are on sale now.

The Academy Award® winning tale will be told live for the first time in this production, capturing the dynamic of two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa.  Anna, a girl with an extraordinary heart, embarks on an epic journey to find her sister, the magical Elsa, who is determined to remain secluded as she finally feels free to test the limits of her powers.    Rugged mountain man Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven, the lovable and hilarious snowman Olaf and the mystical trolls help Anna along the way in this story about love conquering fear.  Audiences will get to sing along with such musical masterpieces as “Let it Go,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Fixer Upper.”

 

“In our more than 30 years of producing Disney On Ice shows, Feld Entertainment has been waiting for a film like this,” says producer Nicole Feld.  “While it might seem obvious that Frozen is well suited for the ice, this Disney On Ice production will touch audiences emotionally through innovative show elements and world-class skating.”

 

Frozen directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee add, “Seeing audiences around the world embrace Frozen has been the experience of a lifetime.  And to now have the chance to consult with the talented team at Feld Entertainment and watch their creation come to life on ice, is thrilling.”

 

In Disney On Ice presents Frozen Presented by YoKids, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse take the audience through the magical story based in Arendelle, with special appearances by beloved Disney princesses and favorite characters from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story and Finding Nemo and Disney’s The Lion King, who come together to prove that true love is the greatest power of all.  Director Patty Vincent says, “Our goal is to showcase these heartwarming characters in a way that allows the audience to cheer and sing along throughout this emotional journey.”

 

To create a completely immersive experience for the audience, the set design will encompass the space from the ice surface up through the air, drawing everyone into the story and closer to the characters. Families will feel that they are trekking up to the North Mountains with Anna, Kristoff and Sven, and they will tangibly experience the storm inside Elsa.  Elsa’s magic will be enhanced by state-of-the art special effects while her emotions will be conveyed through powerful skating.

 

Pittsburgh, PA
CONSOL Energy Center

Thanks,

Carri

Visit Piccadilly Artisan Yogurt

Saturday February 6 marks National Frozen Yogurt Day, and many will be celebrating by visiting their favorite local shops to indulge on froyo and fixings. Especially so if the weather holds up as it has been here in Pittsburgh.

About 10 minutes south of Downtown, you’ll find a friendly little hangout in Mt. Lebanon that serves, in my opinion, the best froyo in Pittsburgh. Piccadilly Artisan Yogurt is located conveniently in a cute cubby of the South Hills, and offers a very unique selection of gourmet, organic frozen yogurt. I had the chance to visit Owner Lyl Rose at her store this week to sample the flavors on tap.

I asked Lyl, “what is important to know about Piccadilly that it stands apart from the rest.” Her answer was simple. Literally. Simplicity of ingredients and knowing the source of them is very important to Lyl. The history of Piccadilly is based on sourcing local farmers to provide a quality product, natural and unstripped of nutritional value. Froyo isn’t the only thing offered that is organic. Toppings are also locally sourced, including a good selection of fruits and nuts. Lyl aims to offer a variety of flavors of yogurt and toppings that are yummy and indulgent, as well as healthful and guilt free.

Hand drawn by a local high school student
Hand drawn by a local high school student

And, now for the taste test. My favorites were…

  • Salted Caramel… is sooo good. It tastes very similar to butter pecan ice cream. Balanced flavor and viscosity to activate the sweet and salty simultaneously, and again I stress, no bitter!
  • Vegan Coconut mixed with Pineapple… you would think this would taste like pina colada. You would be wrong, as I was as well.. But, what I discovered was frozen coconut milk makes for a very delicious alternative to high fat yogurt.
  • Sweet Cream… Nature’s vanilla. So plain, so sweet. The Tart is just as awesome, like a plain greek yogurt.

I’ve always liked frozen yogurt, ice cream, custard, etc. I am particular about texture, more so than flavor. What I noticed right away was how it compared to the texture of Rita’s custard, stiff but creamy. The vegan flavors were a little more icy, but still had a firm shape and served well. I tried a little of each flavor, and mixed a few together just for fun. I was impressed with the sweet flavor and heaviness of the cream yogurts. And the best part – no aftertaste! How is that possible? No Aspartame! None.

Divider
You can even use a divider if you want to sample more than one (or 4 flavors)!

Lyl takes pride in her shop, from decor to substance. Her shop is family friendly, equipped with a party area stocked with board games, and other toys to make it a nice place for teens to chill, or parents to make a pitstop or playdate.

2016-02-01 12.33.05  2016-02-01 13.06.24

As you can see, we had a great time!

Getting our #froyo on at Piccadilly. Totally unplanned surprise

A post shared by Carri Finkbeiner (@411inthe412) on

If you are interested in learning more… you can visit Piccadilly on Facebook by clicking here: https://www.facebook.com/PiccadillyPittsburgh

Stop by this Saturday to celebrate #NationalFrozenYogurtDay and #Picca your favorite flavor! Click here for the Facebook Event page

 

~ Carri