Archive for Entertainment

OMG, it is the BFG!

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Don’t you just ADORE Roald Dahl? Of course you do. He just “got” kids. He didn’t talk down to them or sugar coat anything and he never forgot the magic.

The BFG is just one of the funniest books ever…and I say that having read it for the first time as an adult. I love it, my kids love it. It works as an independent read or a read aloud. It is short enough for little readers’ attention spans and rich enough for clever kids.

Normally I am wary of film adaptations of classics but this looks awesome. Disney released the first trailer for the Spielberg-directed movie of “The BFG.” They definitely have the “dark” part down–will they be able to nail the humor? How will they fill in the world of “The BFG” while remaining true to the original? I know that I want to find out!

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The Colonial Nutcracker at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts has invited me to attend a performance of The Colonial Nutcracker, Performed by Dance Theatre in Westchester, on Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 2pm.

Watching the Nutcracker performed is an inspiring and educational Christmas tradition.

There’s the music, the ballet, and the lovely message that faith and bravery are more important than appearances.

Nutcracker 1

Nutcracker 2

From Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts:

Created especially for families with children ages five to ten, The Colonial Nutcracker sets Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet in wintry colonial Yorktown during the Revolutionary War. The production features classics such as “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” and “Waltz of the Snowflakes,” a red-coated mouse army, an enchanted nutcracker prince, and compelling narration that will enhance young viewers’ understanding and enjoyment of this timeless story. Rose Menes’ delightful staging and choreography, coupled with colorful costumes and Tchaikovsky’s enduring score, will captivate audiences of all ages. The running time is approximately 2 hours plus an intermission.

We have brought our children to one other local Nutcracker performance in the past and to be positive I will just say that I have high hopes that The Colonial Nutcracker will be more magical.

Tickets are $15 each, and can be purchased at BrooklynCenter.org or by calling the box office at 718-951-4500 (Tues-Sat, 1pm-6pm). While you are there, check out their other performances. The Target Storybook Series, based on classic and contemporary children’s literature, has titles including The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon (Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 2pm); The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favourites (Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 2pm); Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train Live: Buddy’s Big Adventure (Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 12pm and 3pm); and The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley (Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 2pm).

Disclosure: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts has provided tickets for me and a guest, our family is paying for our children’s tickets. As always, all opinions are my own.

Boo at the Zoo: Halloween at the Bronx Zoo

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Halloween is one of our favorite celebrations and we fill our October with lots of traditions–haunted hay rides, parties, harvest festivals, crafts, parades, and, of course, dressing up and trick or treating!

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This year we are excited to add to our traditions and check out Boo at the Zoo: Dragons and Dinosaurs at the Bronx Zoo.

With my resident paleontologist, we’ll be checking out the Dinosaur Safari: Mysteries Revealed experience. Check back later this month for our photographs and tips!

Boo at the Zoo Bronx

“Boo at the Zoo: Dragons and Dinosaurs is presented by Canon and will begin on Saturday, Oct. 4 and will run for five full weekends including Columbus Day and Halloween. All attractions and activities will embrace the spirit of the season while highlighting wildlife and conservation. Annual favorites including the hay maze, pumpkin carving demos, costume parades, music, magic and more will return with some additional Halloween surprises.”

Visit www.bronxzoo.com for a complete schedule of dates, performances and activities.

Disclosure: We are receiving complementary press tickets to facilitate my reviews. As always, words and opinions are my own unless otherwise noted.

Project Runway and American Girl

I have been seriously neglecting my recaps this season–Fridays are just very busy days! I couldn’t resist this one, though. The designers are challenged to make outfits inspired by some of American Girl’s classic historical dolls that are part of the BeForever line.

American Girl and Project Runway

Like many 8 year old girls, my daughter adores American Girl dolls and their stories.

She was considering an sewing camp for making outfits for her American Girl Doll but it conflicted with robotics. I think with a week of sewing lessons, she might have outdone the contestants.

The contestants were assigned dolls and asked to design an updated girls’ outfit, inspired by the doll, her story, her fashions, and her accessories. The designers also had access to fabric from the doll’s designs in addition to their regular trip to Mood.

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Project Runway, Season 13, Episode 1: The Judges Decide

Welcome back to the runway! So, I missed the first 20 minutes due to kiddo bedtimes but there did not seem to be that much drama. We shall see what happens once inspiration and energy starts to flag…

Judges

Is it just me or does Nina look totally over this?

From what I gather, the designers were given a box of cheap, ugly material to make something for a “Spring collection.” Which is appropriate since this sponsor just screams “high-end fashion”:

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The designers could trade fabrics but since everything was ugly that did not help anyone very much.

OK… let’s do this. Starting with the vast middle.

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Walking with Dinosaurs — LIVE!

My family and I had the opportunity to see Walking with Dinosaurs at Barclays Center for opening night and it was a thrill!

Walking with Dinosaurs Barclays Center

The show is like a natural history museum comes alive and explodes with the crushing force of the jaw of a tyrannosaurus rex.

Walking with Dinosaurs packs brachiosaurus-sized learning into its entertainment. The show begins back in the Triassic, explaining the vegetation, the geology, and the evolutionary developments that allowed dinosaurs to go on to conquer the earth.
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Walking with Dinosaurs Coming to Barclays Center – Opening Night Discount

Walking with Dinosaurs is coming to Barclays Center and I can feel the excitement–or is that a giant tyrannosaurus rex?

Walking with Dinosaurs Barclays Center

My eldest son is a junior paleontologist who has memorized every episode of the BBC “Walking with Dinosaurs” series and I know he is going to be thrilled to see these dinosaurs–moving, roaring, practically breathing–live! And when the people at Barclays Center say, “live,” they mean it! Using advanced animatronics, Walking with Dinosaurs Live creates the illusion that the audience has been transported back in time to witness real, alive dinosaurs hunting, raising their young, and more.

“Ten species are represented from the entire 200 million year reign of the dinosaurs. The show includes the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the terror of the ancient terrain, as well as the Plateosaurus and Liliensternus from the Triassic period, the Stegosaurus and Allosaurus from the Jurassic period and Torosaurus and Utahraptor from the awesome Cretaceous period. The largest of them, the Brachiosaurus is 36 feet tall, and 56 feet from nose to tail. It took a team of 50 – including engineers, fabricators, skin makers, artists and painters, and animatronic experts – a year to build the production.”

Barclays Center is hosting Walking with Dinosaurs Live July 16 – July 20 (9 Total Shows): July 16 at 7PM, July 17 at 7PM, July 18 at 10:30AM & 7PM, July 19 at 11AM, 3PM & 7PM, July 20 at 1PM & 5PM. Tickets are available for $99, $75, $55, $35, with special opening night tickets for just $30 (valid on $55 & $35 price points). Group Ticket discounts of over $20 per ticket are also available for groups of 12+.

Buy Tickets: Tickets for Walking with Dinosaurs at Barclays Center are on sale now and can be purchased online via Ticketmaster or by calling 800-745-3000. For more information about the show, visit: http://www.dinosaurlive.com/

Walking with Dinosaurs Arena Spectacular

Disclosure: As a member of the press, I am receiving tickets to attend opening night of Walking with Dinosaurs at Barclays Center and share my experiences with you.

Frozen Themed Guest Suite and Activity Cave at Quebec City’s Hôtel de Glace

I haven’t seen Frozen, yet, because I let my parents have the privilege of taking the kids…but I hear it is stupendous and can’t wait to watch on DVD.

In what may be one of the most clever tie-ins to a movie (though I am waiting to hear that Disney World’s Blizzard Beach is getting a Frozen make-over), Disney announced a Frozen-inspired suite and activity cave at Quebec City’s Ice Hotel.

Frozen Ice Hotel Suite

Hit it, press release:

Today, Walt Disney Studios has unveiled the first images from the Frozen-inspired suite at Quebec City’s famed Hôtel de Glace, in celebration of Disney’s “FROZEN” Blu-ray & Digital HD release.

Created entirely out of sculpted ice and snow and supervised by the film’s art director Michael Giaimo, the “Frozen Suite” is modeled after Anna & Elsa’s bedrooms. The collaboration will also include a “Frozen Activity Cave” bringing the wonder of Disney’s wintry tale to life like never before. The suite will be unveiled this weekend and remain open through March 23.

I love traveling and in the BC (before children) era I used to be pretty adventurous…but an ice hotel just is not on my bucket list. You sleep wrapped up in a super-warm thermal cocoon-like sleeping bag. Extreme temperatures just isn’t my thing. I would definitely be interested in visiting for a few hours, though, just to see it. How about you?

Project Runway Season 12 Finale

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That was probably one of the least controversial finales IN THE HISTORY OF PROJECT RUNWAY. While I have seen some disagreement online about who should have one, most of the Internets seem to agree that Alexandria, Dom, Justin, and Bradon all had their strong points and they all seem to be legitimately decent human beings.

I think the disagreement stems, in part, from the shifting ideas about the purpose of Project Runway’s final fashion show and prize. Is the idea to give a forum to innovative voices that might otherwise have trouble finding backing? provide a kickstart to designers without traditional credentials? find America’s next big designer? give seed money to someone who is truly ready to start their own line? Depending on how you answer this question, you will choose a different winner. I don’t think this has been consistent throughout the years–just compare Jay McCarroll, Christian Siriano, Leanne Marshall, Seth Aaron Henderson, and Dmitry Sholokokhov.

At the very least, this year was no Gretchen versus Mondo and there were no cheating accusations or other scandals.

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Project Runway Season 12, Finale Part 1

Tonight is the final episode of Project Runway and I am just now getting up my Finale, Part 1 Recap! The remaining five designers are sent home with two guaranteed spots and three left to compete for one (or more) remaining spots. They are going to create 10 looks for spring and 1 must be made from “unconventional materials” with the stern warning that this means no fabric or fabric-like material.

I really enjoy watching Tim complete the home visits and I am eager to find out who will really compete at Fashion Week (since we know they all show, and then some).

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