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Art&Seek Jr: Warm Up With These Winter Shows 16

Sometimes I wonder if my child is related to me. Sure, she looks like me from the neck up, but that’s about where it ends.

She’s athletic and can swim laps for hours. Me? I get tired just watching her. She wakes up like a lark, singing and happy to be alive. I wake up more like a badger, growling at everyone. She’s a math wiz. I can barely add three numbers without writing them down. The list goes on and on.

There is one way she does take after me. She absolutely loves theater–both stage and screen. For me, this is pretty big. I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart that my not-so mini-me adores splashy stage musicals and revivals of classic shows as much as I do. And just like yours truly, she waits with bated breath for the upcoming movie blockbusters and quickly gives her thumbs up (or down) after the seeing the film. What’s even better is now that we’re in award season, she’s my viewing buddy for all of the award shows. True, she hasn’t seen most of the nominees, but like her dear old mom, she’s got opinions about just about all of them. Yep. the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Here are some stage and screen picks your mini-mes are going to love.

Yes, Oscar fever is in the air and film lovers of all ages are getting swept away. Sadly, most of Oscar’s favs aren’t suitable for the wee ones. Luckily, there’s a more age-appropriate event for mini cinema lovers happening this weekend at the Angelika Film Center/Mockingbird Station. The annual KidFilm Festival is positively chock full of movie fun for the kiddos, and get this: parents will love it, too. This year’s festival pays tribute to favorite children’s book authors, celebrates diversity and tolerance, family and friendship, and features journeys celebrating courage and self-reliance in a program that includes live-action and animation, short films and feature-length works.

Don't miss the classic film 'The General" at University Christian Church this Thursday.

Sunday’s a school night, but you might want to deviate from the routine just this one time to see the silent film classic ‘The General’ at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Dallas. Now, before you pooh-pooh the idea of seeing a movie without special effects, color, or even sound, you should know this flick is at the tippy-top of the list for many film critics as the best comedy ever made. Buster Keaton’s physical comedy and daredevil stunts make it one of those rare movies both you and your kiddos will enjoy. To make it extra special, the film will be accompanied by the “electronic Wurlitzer” courtesy of the North Texas Theatre Organ Society.


As part of its Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, Irving Parks and Recreation and Irving Arts Center will present ‘Freedom Riders,’ a new play produced by Mad River Theater Works. The show takes a look back at the groups of white and African American civil rights activists who, in 1961, participated in bus trips through the American South to protest segregated bus terminals. Two performances will be offered on Sunday, January 21, at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., at the Irving Arts Center. The performances are FREE but are first come, first served with tickets being made available one hour before show time, day of show.

If you have an elementary school-age child you’ve probably heard of the “Magic Tree House” books by Mary Pope Osborne. See one of the popular stories in the series come to life on stage as North Texas Performing Arts presents “Magic Tree House -The Knight at Dawn.” This time around, Jack and Annie’s tree house takes them to an age of knights in shining armor, where the two discover the power of hope and the true meaning of gallantry. Be whisked away to medieval times weekends through Jan. 27 at Willow Bend Center for the Arts in Plano.


Children’s author Eric Carle’s work also makes the leap from the page to the stage when the “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show” has its Southwest premiere at Dallas Children’s Theater. Visit the worlds of “The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse,” “Mister Seahorse,” “The Very Lonely Firefly” and of course, the star of the show – “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” The show features 75 colorful puppets that the whole family will enjoy and there’s no bad seat in their large performance space.  See the magic weekends through Feb. 25.