Children’s Showcase preps for 31st year

Children's Showcase will have live performances including Celso Machado Brazilian music

Modus O: Circus Terrifico Slideshow Ballet will perform at the Children’s Showcase in 2015

Modus O: Circus Terrifico Slideshow Ballet will perform at the Children’s Showcase in 2015

Feeding the imagination with professional live performances for over 30 years, the Children’s Showcase returns this season.

“We have a really great lineup this year  and we are really happy with all the entertainers,” said board member Jacinta Ferrari.

Children’s Showcase opens their new season with Celso Machado Brazilian music: Sounds of the Rainforest on Oct. 26. Machado transports audiences to the Brazilian rainforest, using multiple instruments and sounds he creates himself and with a little help from the audience. Ferrari said he is a musician that can be appreciated by all ages as he has previously performed at the showcase and for the arts council.

“My own children, who are now 19 and 22, still talk about his act and how magical it is,” said Ferrari. “He is such a high-quality musician and his warmth and personality brings a wonderful stage presence.”

A consummate artist, Machado crosses musical genres, combining classical guitar, jazz, folk and world music. Machado has toured the world for more than 30 years.

On Nov. 30 the showcase presents Winter’s Dance, a co-production by Even Dance and Okanagan Dance Studios.  The young dancers have joined forces to offer up a holiday extravaganza with selections from Disney’s Frozen and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.

“In the last couple of years it has occurred to us that the talent in Penticton is amazing. We see performers busking at the local markets and they are just as good as some of the outside talent we get. We wanted to encourage Penticton entertainers whenever we can so we decided to make it part of our mandate to bring them into a formal performance setting,” said Ferrari.

In 2015 they present Alex Zerbe on Jan. 11 and on May 10 is Modus O:Circus Terrifico Slideshow Ballet.

Zerbe’s high-energy show combines physical comedy, magic and juggling. His impressive resume includes two Guinness World Records, appearances on America’s Got Talent, Last Comic Standing, voted Seattle’s funniest prop comedian and he is a Hacky Sack world champion.

Motus O is a stage show about circus performers who need to make it to their next show on time, but their tickets have vanished. The group have to earn their way by performing. They combine the grace of ballet with the agility of acrobats in a story with music and movement that needs no words.

Ferrari said the shows they book tend to appeal to all age groups, but the target is for children three to 10 years old.

“One of the things we like to do is provide children a formal setting where they can learn to be appreciative of audience members. They learn how to sit, listen, clap and give the performer their attention. As well, they learn how they as audience members can help create that magic experience with a performer,” said Ferrari. “There are not a lot of other opportunities for that. I remember how wonderful it was going with my own kids and it makes me happy being able to provide that for others.”

All four shows are $30, or $12 per show at the door. Performances are on Sunday’s at 2 p.m. at the Cleland Theatre at the Penticton Community Centre. Tickets are available at the Tumbleweed Gallery, Penticton & Wine Country Visitor Centre, Oliver Veterinary Hospital and The Beanery Coffee Co. in Summerland.