The 2008 FirstWorks Festival once again brings an array of global talent to Providence, creating a cultural crossroads of international talent. World premieres and first performances will span theater, dance, music, new media, and family as FirstWorks champions cultural firsts while highlighting Providence as a “First City of the Arts”. The festival runs from October 2 — November 9, 2008. The 2008 FirstWorks Festival now combines events for kids and families since ending the annual FirtsWorksKids festival last year. Although many of us with kids loved (and will miss) the one-day June festival, FirstWorks is still committed to introducing the arts to children–now all year long–with events like the Dan Zanes show, the puppet film festival curated by Heather Henson at Providence Children’s Museum last April, and performers working directly with schools.
Grammy Award winner Dan Zanes is rockin’ into town on Saturday October 11 and will perform at Providence Performing Arts Center as part of this year’s festival. If you have seen Dan and his band perform their lively blend of folk-rock world music, you know this is a must-see music dance party for kids and adults. If his music is new to you, listen to his music and hear for yourself why he is on the Kidoinfo A-List. Dan always brings along a group of friends to jam with, and this year he and his friends will be playing music from his new Spanish CD, Â¡Nueva York! along with many familiar tunes. And as an added bonus, if you join the FirstWorks Friends membership** by Friday, October 4, you and your children will be invited to meet Dan and friends at a members-only ice cream social. How cool is that?
Here is the complete Kidoinfo guide to 2008 FirstWorks Festival and what’s in it for kids.
Chris Turner & The Maxi Minimals: Terry Riley’s In C
Providence artistic treasure Chris Turner creates a musical happening as he gathers friends and the community to perform “In C,” a work heralded as changing the course of twentieth-century music. California composer Riley has been acclaimed by the London Sunday Times as “one of the 1,000 makers of the 20th century” for his impact on the rock world and artists like Brian Eno. Relentlessly and joyously rhythmic, “In C” is the most popular and performed piece of classical music of our time. Expect a unique musical experience and life-affirming community event!
When: Sunday, October 5, 2pm
Location: Waterplace Park (Map it) (Rain location: RISD Auditorium)
Ages: All ages
Credo Theater: U.S. Premiere of “Daddy’s Always Right”
Consummate theatrical clowns transform a bare stage into a winter fairyland complete with drifts of dazzling snow in a moving story for adults, which reminds us of the true value of simple things. With stunning puppet techniques and a little bit of magic, Nina Dimitrova and Vassil Vassilev-Zuek created this performance for the worldwide celebration of the 200th anniversary of Hans Christian Anderson’s birth.
“Daddy’s Always Right” has appeared at international festivals in Denmark, Poland, Japan, South Korea, Lithuania, Israel, and Taiwan, it was awarded “best performance” at the International Theatre festival in Vratza, Bulgaria.
When: Saturday, October 4, at 8pm. Evening JumpStart* pre-show performance, 7:15pm
Location: RISD Auditorium (Map it)
Ages: Appropriate for adults and families, ages 10 and up.
Cost: Tickets: $18
MOMIX: The Best of MOMIX
With spectacle that defies gravity, MOMIX’s dance-movement-magicians fool the naked eye using light, shadow, humor, and the human body. Celebrating the company’s silver anniversary, this “best of” performance highlights twenty-five years of work from a dance company that continues to capture the imagination of audiences worldwide. The production features excerpts from Lunar Sea, Opus Cactus, Baseball, and MOMIX in Orbit. Moses Pendelton is the choreographer and artistic director of MOMIX, which grew out of his ground-breaking Pilobolus Dance Theater.
When: Saturday, November 8, at 8pm.
Evening JumpStart pre-show performance, 7:15pm
Location: Providence Performing Arts Center (Map it)
Ages: Appropriate for adults and families, ages 5 and up.
Cost: Tickets: $48, $38, $28
Providence Singers with Boston Modern Orchestra Project: Jonah and the Whale
Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Dominick Argento’s dramatic cantata crowns a program befitting Rhode Island’s heritage as the Ocean State. Sounds of sea chanteys, a whale’s melody performed by three trombones, work songs, and fourteenth-century English poetry tell the all-ages story of Jonah. The rafter-shaking, hundred-voice Providence Singers, under the direction of Andrew Clark, come together in an unprecedented collaboration with Boston Modern Orchestra Project (the nation’s leading ensemble dedicated to new music), two soloists, and a narrator.
When: Friday, November 7, 8pm
Location: Blessed Sacrament Church – 179 Academy Avenue
Ages: Appropriate for adults and families although the show is not geared specifically towards children.
Cost: Tickets: $22-$26; $5 for children and students
Some of the FirstWorks shows have entertainment beforehand, called JumpStarts. These events start at 7:15, run about 45 minutes, and are free and open to the public. Treat your kids to dinner downtown before the JumpStart show (try Cilantro’s, AS220, or Tazza), and you have a perfect mini-cultural kid outing before their bedtime! Learn more about all the events on the FirstWorks website (not all events are appropiate for children) and decide for yourself which performances you want to see (with and without your kids) and start lining up your babysitters!
**Invitation to the ice cream social is extended to the first thirty people who become a FirstWorks Friends’ member with a minimum donation of $50 (Click for details). Each invitation admits four people (adults and/or children).