Meet the Mallards and take a trip back to 1940s Boston with Dance Prism's acclaimed production of "Variations on Make Way for Ducklings."
Based on Robert McCloskey's beloved tale, performances begin this weekend at the Littleton Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 14. Additional performances are scheduled for Sunday, April 22, at the Natick Performing Arts Center at Natick High School, and Sunday, April 29, at the Collins Center at Andover High School. All performances are at 2:30 p.m.
Inspired by the iconic, award-winning children's story, Dance Prism's production surrounds the familiar adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their family of adorable ducklings set against the background of 1940s Boston. The Mallards journey from their quiet nest on the Charles River to their new home in the Public Garden, proudly braving the challenges of the city and its energetic residents. The lively population of 1940s characters include soldiers, sailors, street vendors, dog walkers, swing dancers and baseball-playing boys. A proud flock of tango-dancing swans inhabit the Public Garden, and spring tulips waltz to ringing church bells.
Dance Prism set the work to the alternately buoyant, yet wistful music of the era. There are blaring trumpets and pizzicato strings that evoke the spirit of the jazz-loving '40s. More contemplative pieces recollect the wartime's bittersweet loves and losses. And even as the ballet depicts the joyful story of familial affection and daring, its human characters reflect the broader dimensions of the time.
Post-performance receptions evoke the atmosphere of the Public Garden in the 1940s with treats, balloons, cotton candy and other attractions for kids, plus the chance to meet the Mallards and other characters in the ballet.
Tickets are $26 for adults, $20 for children, students with ID and seniors, reception included; available online at www.danceprism.com or at 978-371-1038. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nancye Tuttle's email address is email@example.com.
On the marquee
RHYTHM IS GONNA GET YOU: "On Your Feet! The Musical" tells the inspiring true story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan, two people who believed in their talent and each other to become an international sensation. The first national tour congas its way to the Boston Opera House from April 17-29 and celebrates the true-life story of the pair's journey to superstardom from the heart of Havana to the streets of Miami. The chart-topping smash hits featured include "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," "Conga," "1-2-3," "Get On Your Feet," "Mi Tierra," "Don't Want to Lose You Now" and "Reach," in addition to an original song written by Gloria and their daughter, Emily Estefan. Tickets start at $44 and are available at www.BroadwayInBoston.com or Ticketmaster at 800-982-2787.
ALL ABOUT LOVE: Northern Essex Community College's Topnotch Players explore love in all its messy, funny, sad elements in "Love/Sick" from April 18-21 in the Chester Hawrylciw Theater, Spurk Building, 100 Elliott St., Haverhill. The contemporary, one-act play, written by John Cariani, is a collection of nine scenes, a series of vignettes, each unrelated but with the overarching theme of love. Local cast members include Caitlin Elizabeth Kennedy of Tewksbury and Aaron Lehner of Salem, N.H. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for students/seniors at the door.
CITY STORIES UPDATE: Here's an update to last week's preview of Image Theater's production of "City Stories," a collection of short pieces by local writers (including yours truly), dramatized by Image actors, that takes place Friday, April 13, at 8 p.m., upstairs at The Old Court on Central Street, Lowell. The lineup also includes a piece by Cynthia Arsenault. Also, poet Alexander McCoy Reimer's name was misspelled in last week's announcement. Producer Jerry Bisantz apologizes for the mix-up. Free admission, but donations accepted at the door.