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Last month, we hailed the 'maturing' growth of the concert and theater scheduling at the Landmark on Main Street theater. Classics, B'way cabaret, folk, rock, jazz, theatrical performances and everything in-between are slated for the 2002-03 season, all wrapped in a coordinated, theme-based marketing package. This year, the "new kid" on the concert-block grows up with a little something for every sophisticated ticket-buyer.

Speaking of kids, what about shows for the younger (maybe not so sophisticated) audience? In line with their adult-themed series (Legends of Jazz, Great Composers, etc.) Landmark is offering a Children's Series and Family Series in their 425-seat Jeanne Rimsky Theatre aimed at kids and their families. Eight professional productions of children's theater, concerts, dance and other performances, will feature shorter running times (for shorter attention spans) and modest ticket prices. Series and group ticketing are also available.

The Children's Series kicks-off this weekend with Fiddler Tales, Oct. 19 (2 p.m.), the Pushcart Players take on the B'way classic Fiddler on the Roof. The Huntington Ballet Theatre's dazzling production of The Nutcracker features a huge cast, glittering sets, costumes and professional soloists in a slightly abridged, narrated version of the holiday classic, Nov. 30 (1 and 3 p.m.).

Sheherazade's tales come to life for the kids through lively narrative and the ingenious use of musical instruments in Arabian Nights Jan. 18 (2 p.m.).

Folksinger and Grammy award-winner Tom Chapin delights young audiences with his whimsical, well-loved tunes in special children's concert Feb. 1 (2 p.m.). Note to Mom and Dad: Chapin will also perform a full-blown concert for adults later that night at 8 p.m.

From the movie screen, to B'way stage, to your kid's video game, Beauty and the Beast's, appeal (and durability!) is universal. The Gingerbread Players & Jack's highly original production of the tale March 15, 2 p.m. is musical, comical, poignant and completely enchanting.

Children's Program prices: All seats: $12 ($10 Friend of Landmark). Any four performances in Children's Series: $40 ($34). Entire 5-Show Series: $48 ($40).

The two-show Family Series presents popular fare for a slightly older crowd. If you like the smooth harmonies and R&B rhythms of 'N Sync, 98 Degrees, and other "mouth bands," you'll love the rockin' a cappella of Ball in the House, Dec. 7, 2 p.m. Six young guys, six great voices, sing well-crafted, catchy popular tunes live and unaccompanied. Last year, a sold-out house at the Jeanne Rimsky Theatre (many of them teenage females) swooned to this Boston sextet's original takes on hip-hop, rock and soul.

The fun begins April 6 at 3 p.m. when a fire-breathing dragon appears to lead the audience on the magical journey that is Lazer Vaudeville. This energetic two-hour family extravaganza combines amazing laser effects with such vaudevillian staples as juggling, zany comedy, magic, acrobatics and audience participation. All Family Series tix: $16 ($14 friends).

Kudos to longtime Landmark-staffer Ronny Wach, who booked the new series, and Executive Director Debbi Honorof for the coordinated marketing effort of the new season. Oh yeah, they wanted me to remind parents that the theater provides free booster seats for small children, so even the littlest theater-goers can enjoy a perfect view!

Tickets for all performances are available at the Landmark Box Office: 767-6444. Go to www.landmarkonmainstreet.org for more info.


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