Timeless Tales on Stage and Screen for Children

World Theater Day is March 27 and a great time to jumpstart a life-long passion of film and theater by taking your children to these family-friendly shows specially designed for the young (and young at heart.) These performances range from classic fairy tales to adaptations of favorite books to charming musicals and more. Get your tickets now before they sell out! Here's my pick of some of the best shows in town this March.

MARIN

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
March 3-19
James Dunn Theatre, Performing Arts Building, Kentfield Campus

The Peanuts characters come to life in this charming musical adaptation of the famous comic strip by Charles Schultz. Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, and of course, Charlie Brown’s best pal, Snoopy the Beagle. 


Hare & Tortoise
Thru March 5
Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
Ages 4-8

Classic Aesop's Fables of a young, excitable Hare who wants nothing more in this world than to race his friend--the older, slower Tortoise. Hare and Tortoise is a fun, fast (and slow) show about friendship, the passing of time and the excitement of growing up. 


Annie
March 3-5
Mill Valley Middle School Gym

Based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip, everyone's favorite orphan comes to life on stage, cabaret style! Little orphan Annie is taken from her orphanage, and the clutches of evil Miss Hannigan, to stay at billionaire Oliver Warbuck’s mansion for the holidays. When Annie wins the hearts of Warbucks and his staff, they set out on an epic mission to find Annie’s parents. 


Oliver
March 10-19
Throckmorton Theater, Mill Valley

The streets of Victorian England spring to life in this Charles Dickens tale, as Oliver experiences friendship, cruelty, love, and the rites of passage thrust upon him in the streets of London. 


Jemima Puddle-Duck and Peter Rabbit
March 15-19
Tamalpais High School in the Caldwell Theatre, Mill Valley

A delightful adaptation of the original Beatrix Potter stories that ties together eight of Beatrix Potter’s most delightful stories; The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck An Her Friends, Squirrel Nutkin, Tom Kitten and others come to life with intertwining music and storytelling.


Cinderella - Gone To The Dogs
March 4
Showcase Theatre, San Rafael

Loosely based on the folk tale collection of Grimms' Fairy Tales, all of the characters will be portrayed as dogs, except for one cat....the fairy godmouser!  "Cinderella Gone To The Dogs" will delight audiences with its zany humor, clever songs, and heartfelt sentiment.  Join Cinderella as she goes from life in the doghouse to being "Best In Show" at the Bow Wow Ball. 


Legally Blonde, The Musical
March 24-25
Showcase Theatre, San Rafael

Harvard’s most beloved blonde will take the stage by pink storm in this fun, upbeat story of self-discovery. A fabulously fun transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery, and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. This action-packed musical explodes on the stage with memorable songs and dynamic dances. Equal parts hilarious and heart-warming, this musical is so much fun it should be illegal.


Ponyo
March 28
The Rafael Theatre, San Rafael

"Ponyo" is a story inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Little Mermaid" in which a young and overeager goldfish named Ponyo seeks to become human. A five-year-old boy finds a beautiful goldfish trapped in a bottle and releases it, calling her Ponyo. In reality a magical princess, Ponyo uses sorcery to become human but in the process sets the entire world off its axis, causing the moon to generate enormous tides. The two children embark on an adventure to save the world. 


SAN FRANCISCO

Aladdin And His Wonderful, Magical Lamp
February 25 & March 11
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, San Francisco

A classic Middle Eastern folk tale from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights ("The Arabian Nights"), is the story of a poor street boy, Aladdin, who (with the help from 3 Genies, a dragon who can talk, his mischievous pet monkey, and his family) uses his wits to outsmart the evil and powerful magician, Jammal, and win the Princess Jasmine’s hand in marriage. 


Hansel and Gretel
March 4-19
Young Performers Theatre, Fort Mason

With a bare cupboard and no food, the stepmother contrives to leave Hansel and Gretel deep in the woods, to shift for themselves. Their playmates set off in search of them, but are captured by Witch Wicked and turned into a gingerbread fence. Hansel and Gretel are also caught, but outwit the witch and break her spell. The stepmother arrives remorseful, and all go home laden with baskets of jewels. This play is a fun adventure for kids of all ages!


Photo Credit: JOAN MARCUS  The Company of Into The Woods.

Photo Credit: JOAN MARCUS 
The Company of Into The Woods.

Into The Woods
March 7 - April 2
SHN Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco
Ages 8+

A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree. During their journey, they meet a cauldron of childhood favorites including Cinderella, Rapunzel (Brothers Grimms), Little Red Riding Hood (Charles Perrault), and Jack (Joseph Jacob), each one on a quest to fulfill a wish.


Pippi Longstocking
Thru March 19
Children's Creativity Museum Theater, San Francisco
Age 5+

Whether she's fending off burglars, wrestling a circus strongman, or sailing away on a pirate ship, Pippi wins over even the sternest of hearts in this rollicking musical adaptation of Astrid Lindgren's beloved book. 


Splish, Splash
Thru April 2
Children's Creativity Museum Theater Annex, San Francisco
Ages 6 month - 4 years

From the familiar world of bath time and rubber duckies to sailing on the ocean and diving beneath the sea, this interactive theatre experience invites munchkins to explore the wonders of water and discover what this precious resource means to us.


EAST BAY

The 9th Annual Bay Area International Children’s Film Festival   
March 10, 11 & 12

The festival offers families a cinematic view of the world’s varied cultures and traditions. The films inspire curiosity and conversation, and allow children to experience a wide range of cultural perspectives.


Wheels on the Bus
Thru April 9
BACT's Performance Hall, Oakland
Ages 6 month - 4 years

A multi-sensory story experience designed for the youngest audience members with moments of interactive engagement throughout.