Archive for Thursday, June 16, 2005

Library kicks off ‘Sizzlin’ series

June 16, 2005

— Lansing Community Library gets into the rhythm of its Sizzlin' Summer Program series today, June 16, with beats from Bongo Barry Bernstein, who will be "Looking for Wild Things" at Lansing Activity Center, 108 S. Second St.

Bernstein is a musician and music therapist who has created an interactive performance for the program, librarian Darlene Dean said.

Dean said Bernstein would involve spectators by giving an instrument to each member of the audience. He teaches the children and adults to use the instruments, and by the end, everyone is playing together, Dean said.

"It actually sounds pretty cute, but you don't have to be a musical genius," she said. "It's fun with music."

For those who enjoy Bernstein's performance, the library has some of his CDs available to borrow, Dean said.

This summer marks the second year of the program series, which is cosponsored by Lansing Parks and Recreation department. Dean said she saw a need to provide something to do in the summer for Lansing children, especially those who are in daycare. Dean, who has a background working in daycare, said she thought the program series was a great activity for daycares to bring their charges to. She also said the Activity Center was in a convenient location, within walking distance of several daycares.

However, the programs are not geared toward just young kids. Dean said the performances could be enjoyed by people of all ages.

"We try to keep it pretty open," she said.

To keep the audience's interest in the programs, Dean said she used evaluations from last summer to help decide which performers to ask back. Returning from last year are Bernstein; Brent Dellinger, 2002 national yo-yo champion; and Brian Wendling, a juggler and comedian. Wendling and Dellinger previewed their acts last weekend at Lansing DAZE. But for those who saw them at the festival or last summer, Dean said not to worry - the returning performers will bring new acts to keep the series fresh.

Last year, the events drew between 150 to 250 guests per show, Dean said. She said she expected about the same size crowds this year.

There are seven performances in the summer program series, and most run about 40-50 minutes, Dean said. Today is the last day to buy a $10 pass to attend all of the events; individual passes cost $2 per person for each performance.

"It's definitely worth the money," Dean said. "It's a good price to see these performers."

The cover charge is used to pay the performers - "they don't come cheap," Dean said. But if there is any money left over, it will go into a fund for Spooky Center, an annual Halloween event.

SIZZLIN' SUMMER PROGRAM SERIES

All events will be at 10 a.m. Thursdays at Lansing Activity Center, 108 S. Second St.

¢ June 16: Bongo Barry Bernstein, "Looking for Wild Things." Bernstein involves the audience in a musical performance.

¢ June 23: Topeka Zoo, "Snakes and Reptiles." Representatives from the zoo will bring in live animals.

¢ June 30: SpinMaster Brent Dellinger, yo-yo performance. Dellinger is one of the top-ranked yo-yoers in the country at only 17 years old. He will demonstrate some of his tricks. "It's a great show. Everyone needs to see it," librarian Darlene Dean said.

¢ July 7: Parasol Puppets, "George and the Dragon." The puppet show will relate to the theme of the summer reading program, "Dragons, Dreams and Daring Deeds."

¢ July 14: Renaissance Festival Performers will put on a show including music, fighting and armor from the time period.

¢ July 21: Priscilla Howe, "Dragons and More Galore." Howe is a storyteller and puppeteer. "She's hilarious," Dean said.

¢ July 28: Brian Wendling, juggler. Wendling juggles on stilts and while telling jokes. Dean said he was probably the most popular act last summer.

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