This year’s Children’s Showcase is bringing a variety of acts from ballet to a unicycling balancing act to the stage for Okanagan families.
The Children’s Showcase Society is a non-profit organization which has been dedicated to making quality live performances accessible to Okanagan families for almost 30 years.
This year the showcase kicks off with the Goh Ballet Youth Company on Oct. 14 at the Cleland Theatre in Penticton. Established in 1978, the Goh Ballet Youth Company has toured extensively throughout B.C., Asia and Europe. The company is a starting ground for dancers who have gone on to win prestigious international competitions and taken positions with top professional dance companies.
The Goh Ballet Youth Company showcases repertoire from classical, ballet, contemporary and national dances from around the world, providing youth an opportunity to be exposed to these different stylistic moves. The performance includes a guided journey through the development of ballet and dances from other parts of the world, a glimpse at the rigours and discipline of training and the history and evolution of dance.
On Nov. 25 the showcase will feature Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol featuring a cast of nearly 100 actors, singers, dancers, musicians, jugglers and fire eaters. In this take on the fabled story, it’s opening night and due to impossible demands being made on them all of the actors have quit just prior to the performance — except one. The producer declares the show must go on and the lone remaining cast member not wanting to disappoint the throngs of children and families agrees to help out. Together they take to the stage and perform the entire play themselves. Over 50 characters, puppets, songs, dance numbers, flying ghosts and a heartwarming finale are performed by just two actors at the Cleland Theatre.
The second show for the Children’s Showcase will take place on Jan. 27 at Centre Stage in Summerland. Sharing traditions, history and culture of Africa through dance and storytelling is Jacky Essombe. Originally from Cameroon, now living in Vancouver, Essombe has toured with major recording artists and appeared on television and radio in Canada and France.
Flyin’ Bob takes the audience on a one-hour search for balance on March 3 at the Cleland Theatre, from the balance of peacock feather on his nose to a high-wire walk. Through juggling, clowning, unicycling, acrobatics, wire-walking, audience participation and comedy — Flyin’ Bob stresses the importance of physical activity, concentration, peer support, community and the value of failure as well as success. For over 20 years across Canada and in 15 countries Flyin’ Bob has performed in every venue imaginable from the street, stage, corporate offices, national television shows and schools.
All shows take place on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. Tickets are $30 for all four shows and available at the Penticton Community Centre, Tumbleweed Gallery and the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.