TYKEs launches season with a beloved giraffe

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All aspects of “Giraffes Can’t Dance,” including directing, choreography and acting, feature local talent. (Photo by Lou Schneider)

Next week, Theatre Young Kids Enjoy will open its 19th live-on-stage season with a popular children’s story.

“Giraffes Can’t Dance,” is a musical based on the picture book of the same name by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees. The story centers around an uncoordinated giraffe, Gerald, who learns to gain confidence and embrace his unique style.

“What I love is for a child to read a wildly popular book like Giraffes Can’t Dance, and then come to TYKEs and see that book literally come alive – living and breathing on stage right before their eyes,” says TYKEs’ founder Freyda Schneider. “The messages about having self-confidence and being tolerant of others couldn’t come at a better time.”

Through its work, TYKEs hopes to build an interest and appreciation of the arts, literary awareness and social skills. Teaching important life lessons is also part of its goal. TYKEs offers a summer theater program through KidStage with lower price rates for school performance tickets.

Schneider says the show is appropriate for kids ages three and up and features music, dance, humor and a heartfelt message. All aspects of the show, including directing, choreography and acting, feature local talent.

“This story, with its dazzling colors and breathtaking dancing is an explosion of energy and exuberance,” Schneider adds.

“Giraffes Can’t Dance” will run for two October weekends at the JCC Hart Theater. Tickets cost $20 ($18 for JCC members).

Following along the classic children’s story path, TYKEs will perform “Jack and the Beanstalk” in January, and feature 60 local children in a special Missoula show-in-a-week experience with the touring Missoula Children’s Theatre.

TYKEs also will  perform “Dot Dot Dot” , a show based on the Creatrilogy trio of award-winning picture books. “The Perfect Dog”, a musical about perfectionism and friendship, will conclude this season.

Jacob Schermerhorn is a Rochester Beacon contributing writer and data journalist. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

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