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Original Holiday Musical Opens

December 16, 1989|ELLEN MELINKOFF | Melinkoff is a regular contributor to The Times

A clogging Celtic Christmas tree, a tap-dancing dreidel and a stage full of accordion players--"The Accordions of Castelfidardo" is definitely a something-for-everyone production. This original musical adaptation of four traditional Italian folk tales will be presented 22 times through the holidays. Today and Sunday, performances begin at 11 a.m. in the Gallery Theater in Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Free.

The show then moves to the Los Angeles Children's Museum for the remainder of its run, with performances at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday next week and Dec. 26 through 30. All performances are free, but the Children's Museum has a $4 admission charge.

The play was inspired by an incident earlier this year when Castelfidardo (a real village in Italy) approached the Italian Trade Commission in Los Angeles for assistance in developing a California market for Castelfidardo's main product--the accordion. Accordions were shipped to Los Angeles, and several of the best local accordion-playing children are featured in the cast.

The story opens backstage at a fictional holiday variety show, with the instructor trying to distract the jittery young performers with stories of his home town of Castelfidardo--stories about witches, enchanted princesses and chicken laundresses.

No reservations are necessary for the show, which runs 50 minutes. For more information: (213) 485-4474.


This month's Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention, Sunday at the Pasadena Convention Center, will feature a six-hour marathon screening of 1960s television cartoons, "Astro Boy," "Speed Racer" and "Gigantor." The first 500 attendees will receive free copies of "Speed Racer" comic books. Also scheduled is comic-book artist Steve Rude, who will talk about his current project, "The World's Finest," a miniseries that teams Batman and Superman. The center is at 300 E. Green St. Convention hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the marathon beginning at 11 a.m. Admission is $3. Information: (818) 954-8432.


Youngsters can make their own artwork Sunday at a "Hanukkah Around the World" program from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Workshop instruction will be offered in making Hanukkah cards, clay lamps and other items. Also singing and story-telling. The drop-in program is included in museum admission ($5 for adults, $1 for children 6-17; children 5 and under free; students and seniors 62 and over pay $3.50). Registration takes place outside on the plaza. "Hanukkah and Humor" will be performed in the Bing Theater at 4 p.m. The museum is at 5909 Wilshire Blvd. Information: (213) 857-6139.


Set time aside from the holiday hullabaloo for a moderately paced family walk through picturesque Franklin Canyon on Sunday at 10 a.m. Nature guide Paul Abrams will lead families around Franklin Canyon Lake, talking about life in the canyon as the group moseys along. Meet at the Sooky Goldman Nature Center, 2600 Franklin Canyon Drive, Beverly Hills. Information: (213) 858-3834.


The Children's Museum of La Habra has just opened a new 8,000-square-foot wing that triples the size of the hands-on facility. The new wing houses three permanent exhibits: Science Station, which offers a chance to do science experiments; Kids on Stage for a peek behind the lights, and Preschool Playpark, an area just for infants and preschoolers. Ongoing permanent exhibits include a live bee observatory, a model-train village, a carousel and a nature walk with taxidermied animals. The museum is at 301 S. Euclid St., La Habra. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m (closed Sundays). Admission is $2 for adults, $1.50 for children. Information: (213) 905-9793.


The Andres Pico Adobe holds its annual posada tonight on its grounds in Mission Hills. The processional, a reenactment of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter on Christmas Eve, begins at 7:30 p.m., with students from Santa Rosa School leading the singing. There will be a pinata-breaking after the posada and hot chocolate and sweets for all. The downstairs rooms of the 150-year-old adobe will be decorated for the holidays and open for viewing. The adobe is at 10940 Sepulveda Blvd. The program is free; early arrival is advised. Information: (818) 365-7810.

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