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Summer Splash

Kids, Culture or Coolness?

Family: Snoopy, Stomping, and a universe of stories.

May 19, 1996|Lynne Heffley | Lynne Heffley is a Times staff writer

O.K., you'll turn green when your kids ride the latest state-of-the-art roller coaster, you'll juggle the nachos and popcorn when they see the big movies, and you'll pass out the sunscreen when they hit the beach.

What more could you possibly ask for in family fun? Well, how about top children's singers, stage shows and festivals, music, multicultural dance, visual arts and hands-on crafts?

This week: Music, music, music is on tap today as one of the nation's premiere children's choruses, the Los Angeles Children's Chorus, sings out in its "10th Annual Spring Concert" at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, (818) 793-4231.

Meanwhile, "Sesame Street Live!," that musical extravaganza with Big Bird and the gang, wraps up today at the Pond of Anaheim and opens Thursday for a four-day run at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Information: for Anaheim, (714) 704-2500; for Pasadena, (818) 449-7360.

May 26 to June 1: Kids' theater at the hip Roxy Theatre? Yep, Broadway on Tour, a "by kids, for kids" performance troupe, is opening there on June 1 in the "Peanuts" cartoon strip-based musical "Snoopy" for an open-end run. Information: (310) 550-8651.

June 2-8: Little folks can enjoy the great outdoors at "The 7th Annual Kids' Nature Festival & Concert" on June 8, where crafts, performances, storytelling and live critters are on the bill for infants to age 8 at Temescal Gateway Park in Pacific Palisades, (310) 364-3591.

June 9-15: A terrific summer-long performance series kicks off this week, with bills of fare that change weekly and serve up some of the best family entertainment around. "Summer Nights at the Ford's Family Events," a multicultural, daytime series of professional theater, dance and music, opens June 15 with the respected Aman International Music & Dance ensemble at the outdoor John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, (213) 466-1767, (213) 974-1396.

June 16-22: "Kids Koncerts," the summer-long, weekly family series featuring top children's entertainers at the rustic outdoor Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga, opens on June 16 with award-winning singer/songwriter Jim Rule ("Share This World"). Information: (310) 455-2232.

As of June 21, Disneyland-goers will travel back to medieval times as the former Big Thunder Ranch area near Fantasyland turns into the park's latest musical extravaganza, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame Festival of Fools," where you're right in the middle of the action as Quasimodo and the gang entertain on outdoor multistory stages, bridges and towers. (714) 781-4565, (714) 999-4565.

June 23-29: Craig 'n Co.'s top-flight "Sunday Funday" Concert Series for families opens June 23 with the fun and sophisticated harmonies of the popular trio Parachute Express, at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. It's hosted by Kino, from KCET's "Storytime."

June 30 to July 6: The appealing Imagination Station theater troupe serves up "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," the classic tale based on Scandinavian folklore, opening July 6 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica, (310) 828-7519.

July 7-13: "Open House at the Hollywood Bowl," the weekday mornings performing arts and crafts summer children's festival, runs July 8-Aug. 18. This 28th annual treasure trove of entertainment and arts workshops for youngsters, features a bill that changes weekly, with longtime host J.P. Nightingale and such artists as Bobby Rodriguez and Jazz Adventure, Wee Tell Stories, Lula and Afro Brazil, Peruvian ensemble Inca, storyteller Diane Ferlatte, Russian musicians Limpopo and more, (213) 850-2000.

Or, expand horizons at "Our Nori (Our Song)," Korean American history pageant told through drums, dancing, drama, comedy and music, at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre on July 13, staged by veteran stage and screen actor Soon-Teck Oh with his Heritage Performers and the venerable Korean Classical Music and Dance Co. There's pre-show fun, too. (213) 466-1767, (213) 974-1396.

July 14-20: For an amazing family treat, nothing beats "Stomp," the incredible percussion dance ensemble with a rock 'n' roll attitude and a penchant for using anything to create mesmerizing rhythms--from brooms and plastic bags to pipes and pails. The show plays July 16-21 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, (714) 556-ARTS.

July 28 to Aug. 3: Veteran singer-songwriter-storyteller Peter Alsop, who combines humor with savvy, kid-empowering messages, is up next at Kids Koncerts '96 on July 28 at Theatricum Botanicum, (310) 455-2232.

Aug. 4-10: The dynamic, rock 'n rollin' Craig 'n Co. and a 100-voice children's choir perform Aug. 4 for the lunch-box set, and East L.A. Classic Theatre presents its one-hour version of Shakespeare's comedy romp "A Midsummer Night's Dream," for ages 9 and up on Aug. 10, both at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, (213) 466-1767, (213) 974-1396.

Aug. 11-17: Award-winning recording artist Linda Arnold sings out at Kids Koncerts '96 on Aug. 11 at Theatricum Botanicum, (310) 455-2232. For "Classic Fun," the North Wind Quintet will perform Mozart, Bach and TV and movie themes on Aug. 17 at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, (213) 466-1767, (213) 974-1396.

Aug. 18-24: For those dog days of summer, visit the top dog himself in "Snoopy's Most Excellent Magical Adventure," an all new "Peanuts"-themed musical show at Knott's Berry Farm, (714) 220-5200.

Aug. 25 to Sept. 2: Why not top off the summer with that magical "tale as old as time"--the family musical spectacular, "Disney's Beauty and the Beast," at the Shubert Theatre, 2020 Avenue of the Stars, Century City, (800) 447-7400.

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