Children can make 'em laugh and get into the act in a big way in "The Circus Is Coming to Town," Storybook Theatre's modest new musical interactive theater activity for preschoolers and early elementary school kids. Written by Lloyd J. Schwartz, with music and lyrics by Chris Gordon Wallace, the show has a simple plot: Ringmaster (Joe Lucas), Clown (Susan Cardillo) and Wild Animal Tamer (Erin Donavan) try to keep mean Mr. Grimble (Harris Shore) from stopping the circus to sell his yucky "spinachade."
Meanwhile, the circus is made up of lots of audience volunteers who take the stage as circus animals, clowns and acrobats to persuade another spoilsport, Mrs. Ima Notfun (Shore again), that circuses can be fun.
"The Circus Is Coming to Town," Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Saturdays at 1 p.m., indefinitely. $7; (818) 761-2203.
Face the Music: A different kind of circus will be held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium as the Pasadena Symphony's free "Musical Circus" program for ages 4 to 10 and parents returns for a fourth time on March 26 from 9 to 10 a.m.
Musicians and teachers demonstrate an array of orchestral instruments and offer hands-on experience, followed by a "Piano Spectacular," hosted by KUSC announcer Bonnie Grice and guests from John Waltrip's Yamaha Music School. Participants are then invited to stay for the Symphony's open dress rehearsal at 10 a.m., conducted by Jorge Mester with pianist Valery Kuleshov. Information: (818) 793-7172.
Show and Tell: The public is invited to "Discover the Arts," an afternoon of free music and dance for family audiences at the Jean Delacour Auditorium at the L.A. County Natural History Museum on April 2 from 2 to 4:30 p.m.
The eclectic program begins with a Tenochtitlan Aztec Dance Procession at 1 p.m., followed by "The Magic of Opera" at 2:30, chamber music from Los Angeles Philharmonic ensembles at 3:15 and Ballet Folclorico Do Brasil at 4 p.m.
The performances spotlight the Music Center's resident companies and Education Division artists. Program information: (213) 972-8013. Museum information: (213) 744-DINO.