This is the absolute lowest ticket prices you may purchase for this fun musical that I am excited about seeing. It’s in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre. This ticket offer is for anyone who has an itch to Tweet or Facebook before, during, and after the show to let your friends know what you think about the musical. It’s for only one night, July 12th for the 7:30PM performance with limited ticket availability. If you’re as excited about this musical, this is a great way to see the show at a super affordable price and to help spread the word!







JUST $15!


This offer is for one night only

and there are a limited number of tickets available,

so if you want to come, and join the conversation live mid-performance, order today!



at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood

Tuesday, July 12

7:30 PM Curtain



Must use promo code SWAMP when ordering.




SHREK THE MUSICAL, based on the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks film that started it all, brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to life the stage.

In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre – not a handsome prince – shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a villain with a SHORT temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand… and his name is Shrek.

Featuring a terrific score of 19 all-new songs, big laughs, great dancing and breathtaking scenery, USA Today proclaims SHREK THE MUSICAL, “ALTOGETHER IRRESISTIBLE. A BIG FAT HIT!”

SHREK THE MUSICAL is part romance, part twisted fairy tale and all irreverent fun for everyone!



Bob Baker Marionette Theatre has been on my list of things to do with my daughter since she was a few months old. This past Thursday, we were invited to see their show, Magic Strings, at their theatre in downtown Los Angeles. The show is a series of vignettes devoted to showcasing the puppet’s magic strings – how a puppet sings, woos, dances, plays piano, nuzzles, tickles, inspires laughter, amazement, and delight.

Bob Baker has been a professional puppeteer for most of this 87 years. While he wasn’t performing in this show, his five apprentices carried on his tradition of entertaining children of all ages. When we sat down in his charming theatre in the round, I smiled watching all the expectant audience members. They ranged in age from a newborn to several groups of elementary students to a group of senior citizens. They were all excited to see, for their first time, a marionettes show.

This show features over 100 puppets, including some that have been in his collection for over 50 years.  He has 3000 puppets in total and one day hopes to create a full-time Academy of Puppetry and Allied Arts adjacent to the theatre so many will learn the craft of puppetry. Right now, his not-for-profit Academy of Puppetry, subsidize tickets for students from local area schools to attend performances and helps develop languages resources so the experience of seeing live theatre may be brought back to the classroom. Bob Baker Marionette Theatre has been declared a historic cultural monument by the City of Los Angeles on June 3rd, 2009.

Dancing ostriches.

The puppets interact with the audience throughout the show. As soon as a puppet approached an audience member, Mishy wanted the puppets to come to her. “How come she’s not coming to me?” she asked. When the puppeteer with one of the ostriches puppets was nearby, I motioned for him to come to Mishy and he did. The ostrich nuzzled and nibbled on Mishy’ hair. She loved it.

The only section of the show that was a bit slow and too dark for Mishy was the fan dance. She wanted to know where their eyes were.

Cafe/Birthday Party room.

After the show, the audience was treated to ice cream in their cafe/birthday party room where you may also purchase hand-made collectible marionette puppets, as well as Mexican made puppets, Bob Baker coloring books, posters, and other fun stuff. When Mishy expressed she would love to see some of the puppets, I asked one of the puppeteers who asked us which one would we like to see. Mishy said the dog, who was the Master of Ceremony.

Mishy meeting one of the horses.

First, we met one of the horses because another puppeteer brought it out for other children to see. The puppeteer, Alex, showed how the horse’s mouth moves.

Mishy with Alouwishes

Meeting Ostrich


If you use the code “Mom Blog 04”, you will get tickets at the special rate of $12.00 per ticket*.

This code is good for available weekday performances only (Tuesday through Friday) during the month of April 2011, and can only be used by calling the Bob Baker Marionette Theatre box office ahead of time to make a required reservation at 213-250-9995.

The theatre itself is situated in an unusual spot and reminds me of going to independent art galleries in New York in the late 1990’s – slightly remotely located and with buildings with barbed wire on top of their walls. Nevertheless, it is safe and they have a private parking lot where it’s $3 to park. We parked on the street for free.

Cool tip: After seeing the show, you may want to go for a hike at nearby Vista Hermosa Park. It is just kitty corned to Bob Baker Marionette Theatre.

(I was given complimentary tickets to see the show with no obligation to review.)

Super Ozomatli Giveaway

February 23, 2011

Ozomatli, the Grammy award winning band and former U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassadors, whose mission has been to promote peace has made 2011 a year to focus on oZokidZ and will be performing a couple of upcoming concerts in the Los Angeles area before embarking on a country wide tour. Their music is a blend of hip hop and salsa, dancehall and cumbia, samba and funk, merengue and comparsa, East LA R&B and New Orleans second line, Jamaican ragga and Indian raga— and has long followed a key mantra: it will take you around the world by taking you around L.A.

Interested in reading more about Ozomatli? Here is my interview with Wil-Dog.

I am extremely excited to offer 10 pairs of ticket to see Ozokids at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills on Saturday, March 5th, 2011. The show starts at 3PM, with doors opening at 2PM. Just comment below. If you take a look at their website and comment again, you will gain an additional entry. If you take a look at The Canyon Club’s website and comment again, you will gain one more entry. Good luck. The contest ends on midnight, March 1st, 2011. Mishy will pick out the 10 lucky winners. I will announce the winners by March 3rd, 2011.

Want to enter more giveaways? Here are the links of two more I have right now:

I will have a lot more upcoming giveaways on March 1st.



The Canyon Club

Interesting tidbits:

The City of Los Angeles has officially declared April 23rd, 2010 as “Ozomatli Day”, in perpetuity. Ozomatli were also recipients of the 2010 Local Heroes Award by Los Angeles PBS stationKCET-TV, recognizing the band’s longstanding accomplishments and community service throughout Southern California.

UPDATE: Congratulations to all of the winners! You’ve been notified by email.

Mishy made her Babba wear both her hat and his.

My husband was away in Singapore for five days. While that doesn’t seem like a lot of time, it was difficult for both Mishy and me. We don’t have any babysitter or family around, and my daughter is not enrolled in preschool so during that time, it was just me. While I don’t traditionally get a lot of time to myself when my husband is around, those few minutes here and there and the occasional evening when my husband takes our daughter to the playground, are times I need for myself – to re-group, get refreshed, and do things for me. (While those things for me tend to be blogging or organizing field trips, it still is my time.) My husband has gone on short business trips before. Maybe it was the distance and the fact that on two days, we didn’t have any correspondence with him because he was on a plane and maybe it was also because I was busy putting the final details of our daughter’s birthday party – and maybe because we usually go on long trips together – this time, it was really hard on all of us to be away from each other. When my husband landed, from a private plane no less, my daughter was very excited to see him and we made our way to the Arboretum of Los Angeles County – a place we had visited before as a family.

There are many things I love about the Arboretum – the freely roaming peacocks, the tram that takes you around the area, the easy parking, the gift shop where you may buy some beautiful flowers and cacti, the waterfall, the beautiful plants, and plenty of grassy areas to run on. (They also offer children’s programs such as story times and host special events such as weddings.)

Mishy and Babba running around in the wedding area.

Mishy and Babby looking at the pond while the geese lay on the grass.


Arboretum of Los Angeles County

Bonus information:

The arboretum is very close to our favorite dumpling place in Los Angeles – Din Tai Fung. We headed there afterwards where Mishy let the hostess know on the way out, “I really like your food. You know how to make noodles and dumplings.” We usually order the fish dumplings, shrimp rice cakes, steamed vegetables, sesame noodles, and red bean dumplings. The sesame noodles have a kick to it.

Here’s Din Tai Fung’s review on Yelp:

Mishy, me, and Justin Roberts.

Mishy, Babba and I had the absolute pleasure of being part of the audience at the Children’s Grammy Nominee Concert at The Mint in Los Angeles. We had never been to The  Mint before and we didn’t know what to expect. We parked on a side street and arrived early only to have our dear daughter terribly thirsty so we went into the local CVS drugstore where we found her favorite protein shake. They had no straws so Babba went to the local 7-11 and asked for a straw while Mishy asked for her protein shake with a straw and all I could tell her was that she really wanted a straw and was thirsty and it was on the way while I said hello to some friends.

At the door, Grammy nominee, Judy Pancoast greeted everyone as they entered by asking the children their names and wondering if they were ready to dance. Mishy was ready to dance and so was I. I love to dance, to move my head, and feel the music. Dancing to me is re-living my late teens and early 20’s when I was so carefree. Life right now isn’t so bad either though sometimes I do miss those carefree days when I could go in a car, or bus, or train, or plane and visit friends on a moments notice.

Mishy jumping on the dance area.

The Mint was smaller than what I had expected and I was a bit worried there wouldn’t be enough room to dance – even though there was a small section of the front taped off for children to dance. But what about having room for the parents? I love to dance with Mishy and have her lead. I love watching her shake her head and jump up and down and sway and twist her body. I love being her support as she balances on one leg as she moves to the beat. All of my worries and concerns melted away once the music began and how great the music was!

Enjoying listening to the Battersby Duo

To start the show were The Battersby Duo. The Battersby Duo are considered a “National Treasure,” by Senator Bob Graham of Florida. They bring an incredibly relaxed, silly, and fun presence to the stage which made me feel yes, it was worth rushing my daughter out the door this morning to drive 20 minutes to a concert that lasts for an hour. This feeling continued as Bill Harley came on stage and told us a hilarious story about a boy waiting for his father to go fishing. The children and adults were in stitches. This man has a way with words and no wonder, he’s been called, “The Mark Twain of contemporary children’s music, by Entertainment Weekly. Continuing the show was Oran Etkin performing on his clarinet  his song, Unique Monique, with performers from the Grammy Nominated CD – Health Food For Thought. Oran Etkin is an incredibly charismatic performer whom I will be posting more about. (Mishy and I have had the pleasure of taking group classes with him while he’s in Los Angeles.)

Rounding off the performances was Judy Pancoast whose saucy blend of Mother Goose Nursery rhymes had the audience screaming in delight. And finally, there was Justin Roberts and his band, Not Ready For the Nap Time Players – who simply rock! I played Justin Roberts to Mishy when she was 4 months old. She wasn’t ready for his comical and kid perspective rock and roll. Now, she loves them and so do I. Since we go on a lot of car trips, I am incredibly thankful for this because though she doesn’t let me sing, “Momma, don’t sing!” I can sing inside my head while we drive to all our adventures. Thank you, Justin Roberts for existing and devoting your career to letting parents still enjoy rock and roll while their children do too! (Justin Roberts told me he will be headed back to Los Angeles in April for the Los Angeles Times Book Fair. Yeah!)

All net proceeds from the concert benefited  Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation(

The family with Oran Etkin - after the concert

(Full disclosure: we were given one complimentary ticket for the concert. We paid for two others.)


Judy Pancoast

The Battersby Duo

Bill Harley

Oran Etkin

Justin Roberts

Today, Mishy and I attended an extremely fun and silly show by Jumbo Shrimp Circus. It surprised me how much I enjoyed it because it isn’t the kind of theatre I tend to enjoy – it isn’t high brow, or philosophical, or emotional or intellectual – it’s fun and silly and you leave the theatre with a bit more practical knowledge of how to become a clown – through practice and start juggling with scarves!

When you enter the theatre, you are greeted by Epoxie, who is cleaning the stage. He is a friendly, slightly melancholy clown who welcomes you, asks your name and lets you know, you can do whatever you like during the show – you can leave, you can walk on stage, you can eat popcorn – which they sell in the lobby and Mishy goggled up – you and your child are free to enjoy yourself and not be restricted. Epoxie isn’t a particularly a talented clown. I think that’s part of his charm. (Philip Briggs, who plays Epoxie performed at Barnum and Bailey Circus.) His lack of “ability” tells the audience it’s fine to make mistakes and I love that message.

The show is completely interactive – audience members are free to sit on stage – which we did, participate in some of the clowning – which everyone did and enjoy in the mayhem. My daughter spinned a plate on a stick today! (I wish I brought a camera.)

Jumbo Shrimp Circus has only two performances left – Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 and Friday, January 28th, 2011 – both shows are at 10:30AM. This show is geared for preschoolers and adults who want to play like preschoolers. The show is one hour long and the time goes by quickly.

To buy tickets, here is the link:

This Saturday, we went to see Circus INcognitus at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. Circus INcognitus is the brainchild of Jamie Adkins, a native Californian who now makes his home in Montreal with his wife and infant daughter. His wife, Amanda Russell, is his production director. She carries their daughter in an Ergo and the three of them travel together, presenting the show at various places around the world.

He is a clown who juggles, tight rope walks, performs magic, and makes people laugh by his ingenuity. With simple props, such as a chair, a cardboard box, a sheet of paper, some rope, two forks, two grapes, oranges, a melon, and a ladder, he creates an incredibly entertaining 50 minutes of delight, wonder, and fun. It’s a great show to laugh – just laugh while watching – which is an amazing stress reliever and keeps our brains flexible. (No wonder during the Great Depression, escapist comedies and animation movies were number one at the box office.)

After the show, Mr. Adkins participates in a relaxed question and answer period where his most common answer was – practice. How did you learn how to juggle? Practice. How did you learn how to catch certain props with your mouth? Practice. How did you learn to balance? Practice. It’s such an honest answer. (I’ve read from several sources that it takes 1000 hours of practice before you become a master.) He also mentioned the importance of having a mentor when it came to performing some of the more difficult acrobatics of his show – to do things safely. My husband wanted to ask him if he’s broken any bones in his body, but another audience member asked first. Yes, he sprained his ankle and broke a bone on his foot. How? He slipped on a grape and on some cold days, he still feels it. He talked very openly about his experience as a young man who learned how to juggle at 13 years of age and did his first sommersault at the age of 22. At 40 years of age, he defeats the common idea of acrobats retiring at 30 – truly inspirational – do what you love, with care and practice and you can continue to do it for as long as you want.

This show is appropriate for all ages. There is a short talk before the show, the show is 50 minutes long, and the talk back is 20 minutes long. Mishy sat in the theatre for 1.5 hours – her first time seeing a full production.

After the show, being inspired, she tried to walk all over the restaurant we ate at. (We stopped in across the street at Mezza – which offers 10% to theatre patrons – just present your ticket stub. It’s mediterranean food and delicious.)


Circus INcognitus at the Kirk Douglas Theatre for a very limited run,

January 15th at 11AM & 3PM; January 16th at 3PM, January 22 at 11AM & 3PM; January 23 at 3PM

All tickets $20. $10 for KDT members.