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Puppets and Mussorgsky: Blair Thomas Family Concert 12/10

The Music Institute of Chicago presents the puppet theatre company Blair Thomas & Company in A Kite’s Tale Saturday, December 10 at 10 a.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston. The 40-minute interactive performance, appropriate for ages four through 12, combines theatre and puppetry and is set to Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, which will be performed by Music Institute faculty pianist Sung Hoon Mo.
In A Kite’s Tale, a little girl sets out to fly her kite and takes a magical journey through her own imagination. Every time her kite goes up, it crashes down, and her fear and anger transform her. When she calms down and returns to herself, she is able to see magic in the clouds overhead. But when playing with a balloon that suddenly pops, her anger returns. Trapped in an oversized world, she encounters two tricksters. Though they play with her, she’s not sure if they are being mean or nice. Her fear blinds her, and she doesn’t know what to do. When she feels most alone, a magical rabbit appears and offers simple tricks to help her overcome her fear and anger. With these gifts she is able to rescue herself from the storm clouds.

The Music Institute welcomes families to Nichols Hall an hour before the performance at 9 a.m. for an instrument petting zoo, refreshments, early childhood demonstrations, student performances, and more.

About Blair Thomas & Company

Blair Thomas & Company is a touring puppet theater company founded in Chicago in 2002 by puppeteer and director/designer Blair Thomas. The company has performed A Kite’s Tale with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Other productions have included Pierrot Lunaire, a staging of Schoenberg’s song cycle with eighth blackbird at the Museum of Contemporary Art; Cabaret of Desire, a staging of short works by Federico Garcia Lorca; and The Ox-herder’s Tale, an original staging of 10 paintings depicting a Buddhist parable of enlightenment. The company created an original adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant for the Chicago Children’s Theatre in 2008 and is currently working with the Children’s Theatre on an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s The Houdini Box for 2012. Twice Blair Thomas & Company has received the international UNIMA award for excellence in the art of puppetry.

About the Music Institute of Chicago

The Music Institute of Chicago believes that music has the power to sustain and nourish the human spirit; therefore, our mission is to provide the foundation for lifelong engagement with music. As one of the three largest and most respected community music schools in the nation, the Music Institute offers musical excellence built on the strength of our distinguished faculty, commitment to quality, and breadth of programs and services. Founded in 1931 and one of the oldest community music schools in Illinois, the Music Institute is a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Each year, our world-class music teachers and arts therapists provide the highest quality arts education to more than 5,000 students of all ability levels, from birth to 101 years of age at campuses in Evanston, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Winnetka, and Downers Grove. The Music Institute also offers lessons and programs at the Steinway of Chicago store in Northbrook and early childhood and community engagement programs throughout the Chicago area and the North Shore. Nichols Concert Hall, our education and performance center located in downtown Evanston, reaches approximately 14,000 people each year. Our community engagement and partnership programs reach an additional 6,500 Chicago Public School students annually. The Music Institute offers lessons, classes, and programs through four distinct areas: Community School, The Academy, Creative Arts Therapy (Institute for Therapy through the Arts), and Nichols Concert Hall.

A Kite’s Tale takes place Saturday, December 10 at 10 a.m. at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston. The open house featuring the instrument petting zoo and other activities begins at 9 a.m. in the lobby. Tickets are $10 per family and are available at musicinst.orgor 847.905.1500 ext. 108.