January 4, 2007
Thursday, January 04, 2007
If the season two opener of "Jack's Big Music Show" is any indication, you and your toddler will be tapping your feet, bobbing your heads and fighting the urge to get up and dance around the living room.
In "Snow Day," Jack and pals Mel and Mary plan a Hawaiian beach party in the clubhouse, but things go wrong when Mel's sand machine makes snow instead. The hoped-for tropical space turns into a frozen wonderland better for the penguins who visit than neighbor Prudence who shows up in a summer dress. But Prudence helps the pals sing a peppy Hawaiian song to help melt away the snow, saving the party. (This was 4-year-old Zoe's favorite part.)
The show promises to offer a place for excellent kids' music. In Snow Day, The Laurie Berkner Band performs "Mahalo" and The Quiet Two perform "Polar Bear." Jack and his friends also sing three original songs.
Along with the preview of the season opener, we got to see some of the music videos from season two featuring popular children's musicians Leon Thomas, Lisa Loeb, Steve Burns and Steven Drozd, The Laurie Berkner Band, The Quiet Two, Audra Rox and Nuttin' But Stringz. The videos had Zoe up and dancing.
"The mission of 'Jack's Big Music Show' is to expose and foster an appreciation of music in young children," a news release about the show says. "In Jack's clubhouse, music is pure joy-no expectations and no right or wrong way."
This is a show you most certainly won't mind watching with your preschooler. Tamara L. O'Shaughnessy
Season two of "Jack's Big Music Show" kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday on NOGGIN. Check your local TV listings for channel. New episodes will air every Saturday and Sunday throughout January and February. As part of the new season, www.noggin.com will feature Jack's Big Animal Jamboree game, song books and music curriculum."The King & I"
When you leave "The King & I" in Oak Brook you might be "Whistling a Happy Tune." But that depends on just how much you like this classic musical now playing at the Drury Lane Theater.
This true story revolves around Anna, an English woman who has come to Siam with her son to be the teacher for the King's children. Anna finds the King to be very stubborn, as he does not like her modern opinions or views. But, as the play goes on, he begins to realize what a different kind of woman she is and notices how much he likes her.
Throughout the show, Anna continuously tries to teach the King that the world keeps moving along. Although it takes the whole play to do so, Anna eventually succeeds in her task.
Near the end, one of the King's slaves escapes, but is later captured and brought to the King to be beaten. Anna begs him not to do so and tells him that she will leave Siam if he does. The King doesn't whip the slave because of what Anna said, and in the process he discovers his own heart and feelings. A little while later, as Anna is boarding the boat back to Singapore, someone comes to tell her that the King is dying. Anna goes back to see him, and he asks her to remain in Siam to teach his children permanently. Anna agrees to stay because of her love for the King and his children.
The music in this production is fantastic, with classic songs such as "Whistle a Happy Tune," "Shall We Dance," "Getting to Know You," "Hello, Young Lovers," et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, which are words often spoken by the King. The performers in this show have great voices and excellent acting skills.
There are many talented kids in this production. Most of them are in first or second grade and they completely steal the show whenever they are on stage. My Grandma thought the costumes were fabulous. But the scenery was very basic and wasn't very classy, especially for a king's palace.
My mom gave "The King & I" a B because she thought that it is a very memorable musical but needed a little more polishing and pizzazz. I gave the show a B- because I thought that it was too long, especially the scene entitled "Uncle Tom's Cabin" which seemed like it would never end. I also thought that it lacked the spark that Drury Lane shows usually have.
I think that "The King & I" would be worth seeing if your child is older than 10, loves music or is familiar with the "King and I" from the animated version on DVD. Allie Sakowicz, 12
"The King & I" is now playing at Drury Lane Oak Brook Theater now through March 4. Call the box office at (630) 530-0111 for more information.
Sara Holiday's Prenatal Yoga: Third Trimester DVD
The product claims to help the mom learn relaxation techniques, decrease stress, learn yoga poses and stretches to help alleviate some common pregnancy ailments as well as increase muscle tone and strength and help prepare you for labor.
I enjoyed that I could do this at home when I felt achy or worn down and tired. The stretches did help ease some round ligament pain as well as back discomfort. It also helped me focus in on relaxation techniques and my breathing to help me relax which will be helpful during labor. I also noticed that the baby seemed to relax while I was stretching and moved less afterward, as if it was calmed, too.
The best thing about this product was that the instructor was in her third trimester as well. She provides excellent directions on how to do the stretches and reminds you to breath during stretches, emphasizing what is important with pose. It is also very helpful for those just starting yoga, but also effective enough for those who regularly do yoga. I also liked that it showed some poses that are great strengtheners for labor. I also liked that someone else was instructing while she preformed the movements. You could tell she was focusing on her breathing, which was a nice example of what each movement should look like.
I think I would have enjoyed even more going to a yoga class, but that wasn't possible, so this was just as good. Some days it was hard to find time to do it, but I always felt great afterward. I would recommend this product especially for someone who can't get out to a yoga class. I think this is a great DVD for those who aren't into yoga but are looking for something to help them prepare their body for labor. Some of the poses used in the DVD I learned in a Bradley class with my first child and they were very helpful for labor. Beth Bustos
Sara Holiday's Prenatal Yoga: Third Trimester by Holiday Enterprises, $12.95; www.fitbysara.com