Lots of good theater onstage this weekend — like Gee's Bend at the Playhouse and End Days at Ensemble Theatre — but if you want to do something that will last a long time, take a kid to UC's College-Conservatory of Music to see The Last Dragon of Camelot. It's the world premiere of a musical for young actors (the cast is made up of kids from ages 8 to 14), all enrolled in CCM's Prep program, which offers classes for kids who are excited about theater. Regardless of whether the kid you take is inspired to become a performer or not, I bet that he or she will be one step closer to a life of enjoying the arts. (When I was about 7, my grandfather took me to a production of the musical Brigadoon, and I was hooked on theater for the rest of my life.)
The Last Dragon of Camelot has been created by Alyn Cardarelli — a graduate of the Second City Training Center and co-founder of Emerald City Theatre, Chicago's largest theatre dedicated to families — and Steve Goers, a versatile musician and performer who is a faculty member in CCM's Musical Theater Department. It's the story of an evil dragon, a king, some knights and one intelligent, strong and courageous woman. It's directed by CCM Prep faculty member Dee Anne Bryll, with musical direction by Rebecca Childs. More than 50 kids are involved.
Performances at Patricia Corbett Theater on UC's campus are happening tonight (Friday) at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets ($10 adults, $8 students) can be reserved by calling 513-556-4183. For more info, click here.