Arts and entertainment for kids

JIM FISCHER, ThisWeek Community News
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus presents Built to Amaze.

CATCO is Kids, in association with Columbus Recreation and Parks, presents Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, a delightful adaptation of the classic film. In this production, the audience becomes part of the action on stage, from oiling the Tin Man to stuffing the Scarecrow to hiding Dorothy from the Wicked Witch in a forest of their own creation. This is an engaging introduction to the theater for young audiences - although you might have to teach your kids that the audience won't always be this much a part of the show! The show's run concludes May 2-4. Columbus Performing Arts Center, Shedd Theatre, 549 Franklin Ave., (Discovery District), Columbus, 43215, 614-469-0939,

In a unique nod to tradition, the North Market and Gateway Film Center will offer a downtown drive-in movie experience for families at 9 p.m. Saturday, May 3. Toy Story will be shown on a giant screen in the North Market parking lot, with audio available through car radios or special speaker stands (audio will be available to walk- or bike-in patrons as well). "Concessions" will be available from North Market merchants. Tickets are $18 per vehicle and $5 for pedestrians/other forms of transportation. North Market (parking lot), 59 Spruce St. (Arena District), Columbus, 43215, 614-463-9664,

All ballerinas (and danseurs, the word for male ballet dancers – we didn't know, either!) get their start somewhere, and the students of the BalletMet Dance Academy and its Pre-Professional Program are getting as good a start as you could want. These young dancers will perform on the stage at Worthington's McConnell Arts Center (MAC) Tuesday and Thursday, May 6 and 8, at 7 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $10 online, $12 at the door, $5 for students and free for children under age 12. McConnell Arts Center, 777 Evening St., Worthington, 43085, 614-431-0329,

Free concert! What more could you want? Well, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra's Youth & Family Day Saturday, May 10, at the WOSU Studios at COSI will also feature crafts and activities and an instrument petting zoo from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. As for the 3 p.m. free concert, ProMusica musicians, assisted by narrator Boyce Lancaster, will perform Stravinsky's A Soldier's Tale. This program is free and open to the public, although it is the culmination of a school-year program in which ProMusica partnered with area elementary and middle schools to provide an introduction to the orchestra and musical concepts. (Admission to the WOSU studios is free; COSI admission must be purchased to enter the rest of the facility.) To find out more about becoming a Youth & Family Program partner for a coming year, visit WOSU@COSI, 333 W. Broad St. (Downtown), Columbus, 43215.

Today's circus isn't the same as the circus your parents took you to as a child, but there are still plenty of traditional elements - clowns, animals, high-flying daredevils - alongside new acts like the King Charles Troupe of unicycling basketball players. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus presents Built to Amaze May 8-11, with the excitement beginning 90 minutes before each show with an Animal Open House and All-Access Pre-show on the circus floor. Tickets start at $15. Schottenstein Center, 555 Borror Drive (OSU Campus), Columbus, 43210, 1-800-ARENA-01,

-The Fam Five and The Beat are arts and entertainment coverage from Jim Fischer at ThisWeek Community News. Check out weekly coverage at