Assembling in Somerville: A Destination for All

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Southern Kin Cookhouse in Assembly Row

Somerville is my neighbour and parts of Somerville are very close by. Davis Square is just on the other side of Massachusetts Avenue and yet other parts seem a world away. It wasn’t until Assembly Row opened, that I realised how quickly you can get there from here.  In fact, for my most recent visit, when I was invited to shop and explore Assembly Row for this post, I came in from Boston’s South End and was amazed at how close it was. In addition, with the Orange line going straight to Assembly station on the Forest Hills line, you don’t even need a car to get there.

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Legoland Discovery at Assembly Row, Somerville.

As a family, we have come quite a few times to the movies at the amazingly fabulous and comfortable AMC theatre,  for dinner at some of the many restaurants, and to Legoland Discovery, but I had never really been for a shopping day.

Assembly Row really does have something for everyone and the offerings keep expanding.  The setting along the Mystic River is fabulous.  The children always have fun at the playground and I can’t wait to enjoy a cool summer’s eve on the patio by River Bar for a cocktail by the fire pit.

There are too many facets to Assembly Row, to fit all into one succinct post so I’ve decided to break it down,  I could do it by dining options, shopping options, and activities, but Assembly Row also hosts so many events that I’ve decided to do it by type of outing.  So if you want a Day out with the Tots, Lunch with your Bffs, Date Night with your True Love, Family Night, a day of Sunshine & Errands or Rainy Day Escape or a Family Weekend Outing, I have it all laid out for you.

Family Weekend Rain or Shine

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There is nothing like a perfect summer beach day.  We’ve had quite a few this week, but then we have also had a few cold and grey days sprinkled in as well.  Some summer schedules are very flexible but others between camp and work schedules require going with the flow a bit more.  At Assembly Row, you can sit by the water (albeit not on an ocean beach) and enjoy the breeze and watching the boats go by, but if the weather turns there is still plenty to do.

Shine

If the sun is shining, a stroll along the Mystic river is nice with a little stopover at the playground.  Grab a drink or lunch al fresco at the American Fresh Beer Garden, the patio at River Bar, Tony C’s, or lounge river-side at Legal on the Mystic.  You can also gather with an ice cream cone in hand from JP Licks and enjoy some of the seating in Assembly Row’s patio space just across from Legoland.

If you plan ahead, you can enjoy a variety of activities taking place outside at Assembly Row on any given day.  From yoga classes, Friday night dancing and live music to gardening tips and Toddler days out.

Gardening

  • July 16: Taming Your Summer Garden: Learn about pest management and pruning for the health of your garden.
  • August 20: Eat the Rainbow: Come learn about how different colored veggies from our garden have different nutritional properties.
  • September 10: Apples to Apples: Discover how valuable local food production is to creating a healthier food system with an informational session that includes a kid-friendly Johnny Appleseed activity.
  • October 30: Using Your Harvest: Learn out new ways to incorporate fall harvest produce into your meals.

Outdoor Movie Nights

Pack up a blanket, lawn chair and picnic and head out with the family for free movies under the stars. All movies are shown at sundown

  • July 16: Disney’s Cinderella
  • July 23: Inside Out
  • July 30: Star Wars: Force Awakens
  • August 6: Good Dinosaur
  • August 13: Jurassic World
  • August 20: UP
  • August 27: Ant-Man

Yoga Mornings

Let mom or dad enjoy a yoga class while the other parent takes the kids to grab breakfast and a little playtime at the playground.  Then spend the morning together getting a few errands done without having to hop in and out of the car all day.

Weekly classes are held in Baxter Riverfront Park on Saturdays at 9am. All you need is your yoga mat. Online registration for Saturday classes are be available here starting at noon each preceding Friday. Registration is required. Day of registration will be available only if space permits.

Family Fun Day

Save the date for Touch a Truck this Sunday, July 17. Attendees will be able to get up close to large vehicles they may see around town.

For a full updated list of events, visit the Assembly Row “Play” page where you can find additional information on upcoming events such as Riverfest, Mommy’s Pint out, and Race to the Row.

Rain

We like to puddle jump and play in the rain, but that only lasts for so long.  On a rainy day Assembly Row has you covered whether you visit Legoland (be sure to bring your child’s report card for $5 off celebrating the successful completion of another school year) or you run a few errands with the kids and then enjoy a leisurely lunch.  You can also stay dry and escape the grey weather watching a movie at the AMC theatre (just remember to bring a sweater if you are coming in from the hot and humid outside weather).

Parking on a rainy day is easy (especially during the week) because Assembly Row has a multi-level indoor parking garage.  You will want to bring an umbrella though as you pop in and out of each of your destinations.

Splurge Worthy Crab Cakes: Chesapeake Crab Cakes

I live near the ocean and I am very picky about the seafood I eat.  It has to be fresh, it has to be good quality, I’d like it to be as sustaineable as possible, and I don’t want the flavour of the actual fish or seafood to be covered up by any mayonnaise, masked with bread crumbs, or doused in sugar and spice.  I also like to cook so it is rare that I find prepared seafood that I like with a few exceptions.  I will gladly have the store steam my lobsters (especially if they are willing to snip the elastics for me before they go in the steamer.)  I am a fan of the poached salmon from The Fishmonger in my neighbourhood.  Full Moon restaurant makes a pretty fab pot of mussels with fries and some grilled clams from Kirkland Tap & Trotter are a real treat.  I’m getting sidetracked though because there are plenty of placed I don’t mind going out for seafood, but today I’m talking about bringing prepared seafood home to cook.  I was recently sent some crab cakes from Chesapeake Crab Cakes to sample and I have to say they are probably the best crab cakes I have ever had (my own included) bar none.  I think the reason for this is two-fold.

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First, the Chesapeake Crab Cakes are made with some of the most amazing crab available.  If you start with something amazing and you don’t add too much to it, you end up with something incredible.  Second, the Crab Cakes are filled with chunks of jumbo lump crab and the rest of the ingredients work to just barely hold it all together.  The crab is fresh and hand picked from their shells and not pasteurized.  To make it even better, the crab cakes are shipped fresh and baked in the oven, which is brilliant because then you don’t worry about them falling apart and they get nice and golden with the help of the broiler.

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The crab cakes are pricey, but you definitely get what you pay for and I can’t wait for our upcoming anniversary to order some more.  It made dinner so special and yet so simple, because I just could grill some asparagus, or toss a salad together and dinner was served.  They crab cakes are also gigantic.  One crab cake is a full main course.  For a couple, you can get at least two meals out of a pack of four crab cakes which costs $45 and 8 are $85.  They are the perfect gift for my parent’s anniversary too.  They make gluten-free crab cakes as well.  Chesapeake Crab Cakes can be ordered here and ship via 2 day air.  The killer is the shipping which is $25 for 4-8 and $50 for 12-16, but you want the crab to arrive fresh and it is so worth it to have this completely fresh, unpasteurized crab so, there’s just no way around it.  Trust me, though, if you need a little simple (fabulous) deliciousness this summer, these crab cakes will do the trick.

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Date Night or Family Night Out:  Assembly Row at Night

For Date Night at Assembly Row, there are so many options and I’m not just talking about restaurant choices.  You might want dinner and a movie, in which case you can reserve your seats and tickets online to see a movie at the AMC theatre.  If you only have time for a quick bite before the movie, then stop into Ernesto’s for a slice of pizza or grab a soup, salad or sandwich at Paul Bakery.  You could also get a drink at the bar and a little bite to eat at River Bar, Southern Kin Cookhouse, American Fresh Brewhouse or Legal on the Mystic.  If you don’t have time for even that, then fear not, because you can get food and drinks at the AMC theatre’s own marketplace and bar.

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If you aren’t feeling like spending time at the movies (or let’s face it risk falling asleep once you get all comfortable in the theatre), then skip the movie and just enjoy dinner and a stroll along the Mystic river.  Maybe a stop at American Fresh Brewhouse is just the thing for you to reconnect over a beer and a game off of the game shelf or some Trivia under the stars.  Assembly Row also has live music if you’re not up for the challenge of a night of trivia.  Check the website for a full schedule of events just be sure to notice which are at the beer garden and which are in the tap room.  For a family night out, definitely check out the game shelf, and the menu includes pizza, waffles, and warm soft pretzels which are always a family favourite.

Dinner at Fuji is a family favourite, but the cocktails and atmosphere are worthy of date night as well.  We went to Fuji for Mother’s Day and had a delicious meal all together.  I could definitely go back a fourth time (we’ve been a few time) for those spicy tangy chicken wings (go late night after the movies for 50 cent wings), the golden shrimp dumplings and a cocktail or two.

Newcomer Southern Kin Cookhouse would be a great double date night out with friends.  It is the kind of place where it is “the more the merrier”.  Okay, secretly I just want to order lots of things to share because it is all so good, and I want to get one of those special cocktails for the table that serves four.

If the air is just right, a nice romantic soirée by the fire pit at River Bar would be a great way to reboot at the end of a busy summer week.  Then again, if you’re not really a night owl and mornings feel like a better time for a date, then head to Yoga class on Saturdays at 9 am to get your ‘om’ on with your one true love.  Then enjoy coffee, breakfast or an early lunch together later in the day.

For a family night out, any of the above would work, but a movie or a family paint night followed by a little impromptu pizza picnic at the playground would be right up our alley.

Other date night options include Dancing by the Mystic which is the third Friday of June, July and August from 6-8 p.m.  RSVP online for these free 30 minute dance lessons followed by a salsa dance party.  Or, on Thursdays from May through September at 6 pm every week head over to the Baxter Riverfront Park amphitheater to take in some local talent from world renowned Berklee College of Music. Concert schedule can be found here.

Tots on the Town: Assembly Row Outing

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Shopping with tots, spending a day entertaining tykes, or just trying to keep them cool on a hot summer day isn’t always easy.  A day at Assembly Row is something you can do on a regular basis with your little one and neither of you will be bored.

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You can splurge for a day at the Legoland Discovery Center, but there is no need to do that every week.  The little things go a long way with little ones.  Assembly Row runs a Tots @ 10 program for parents and their preschool age children every fourth Wednesday of the month.  This month, July 27th will have your tiny dancer hopping and bopping in Baxter Park for the Rock-A-Baby Concert.  Save the date for a Back to School Concert at American Fresh Brewhouse with Alissa Cortes and for the animal lovers it will be Animal Day on September 28th.

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As for shopping, pop into a few of my favourite stores (Lucky Brand, J Crew Factory, Converse, Le Creuset Factory) to update your wardrobe or shop for the kids at the outlets which include Carter’s, Osh Kosh B’gosh, Stride Ride, Converse, Reebok, Puma Store or Gymboree. And, for your every day errands, head over to The Marketplace at Assembly Row where they have AC Moore, Bed Bath & Beyond, Christmas Tree Shops, Kmart, Sports Authority, Staples and TJ Maxx.

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To keep you car nice and cool, park in the free garage parking where the car seat will be shielded from the sun.  If you didn’t have time to grab a coffee on your way out, you can pick one up at Paul Bakery or stop into David’s Tea for a nice tall glass of iced tea or a matcha latté.

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For lunch, you can grab a quick bite at Paul Bakery, have lunch at one of my favourite places (Fuji – the kids always loved avocado rolls when they were tots, or Southern Kin Cookhouse).  Grab a slice of pizza at Ernesto’s or enjoy lunch together at Legal on the Mystic among other options. Then of course you’ll have to save room for ice cream at JP Licks.  After ice cream, be sure to head to the little playground by the river to run off all that tot energy ensuring a good nap after your day at Assembly Row.

Lunch with your BFFs at Assembly Row

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Ladies lunching with a little coctail action at Southern Kin Cookhouse, Somerville at Assembly Row. 

Lunch with friends seems like a simple enough thing: You pick a day and gather for lunch. Right? Wrong. Some friends can do weekdays on a quiet work day while others prefer a weekend. Some friends have a car and worry about parking while others prefer to take the T. Then there is the problem of picking the right restaurant. Others can squeeze in lunch but need to run errands or fit in a workout too. Although, I have been lunching at Assembly Row long before this partnership, this post is sponsored by the folks at Assembly Row.

Fear not, Assembly Row has you covered for all these cases. Let’s start with getting there. Assembly Row is on the orange line so your friend on the T can get there easily. There is a large garage that has free parking, as well as a few metered spots and nearby parking lots for those of you driving in for lunch.

For the yogis in the group, you can gather at 9am on Saturdays for a yoga session before lunch. Reserve your spot for these free classes run by Lisa of some yoga studio.

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Now that the snow has melted, gather around the fire pits at River Bar at Assembly Row in Somerville. 

Your lunch options are many.  My daughter and I like to have a casual lunch of soup, sandwich or salad at Paul Bakery.  It is also great for a pre-movie quick bite when you don’t have time to stop in at a restaurant.

I enjoy the chill, chic space, seemingly endless and delicious menu at Fuji at Assembly. Even if sushi isn’t everyone’s taste the menu goes way beyond sushi. Don’t leave without trying a cocktail, the gold flake shrimp dumplings, and the spicy chicken wings.

River Bar has a unique and quirky menu to enjoy from prime spots at the indoor patio bar overlooking the Mystic, around one of the fire pits, or in the airy and open dining room. The menu is full of interesting and delicious plates, but you may not want to dine with your picky eater BFF. If she can’t find anything on the menu she likes, stop in for a drink or two and then grab a bite nearby instead. Gather here with your friends who are keen on kimchi, plotz over homemade pickles, and are eager for eggplant in fried eggplant sandwiches with tonkatsu sauce and grilled scallions.

Newcomer, Southern Kin Cookhouse, is a place you might become a regular at. Settle into your favourite blue plaid booth with a cute glass jar dispenser full of some lovely spiked drink for your table of four. Or maybe, lunch will turn into after work cocktails and a biscuit once a month.  The biscuit menu includes the basic farmhouse biscuit (that is more heavenly than basic), the southern fried chicken biscuit with hot pepper jelly and fresno chili maple drizzle, the gussied up biscuit with buttermilk fried chicken smothered in sausage sawmill gravy, and the hog and hooch biscuit with cider whisky glazed pork belly, fried green tomatoes, pickled Fresno chilis, and chow chow relish. Then again, you have to try the chicken and waffles that have the nice crunch of cornmeal in them.  On the other hand, missing out on the shrimp and grits would be a huge mistake.  This is why becoming regulars for lunch or dinner at Southern Kin is probably a good idea. Oh and if the yoga class left you feeling like a lighter lunch there are some delectable salads to choose from.

Legal on The Mystic has the classic (and extensive) Legal Seafoods menu as well as a river side patio for outdoor dining. Tony C’s is great for your sports fix and a little junk food on the side or a little of this and a little of that like salad and some fries.  A full list of restaurant options at Assembly Row can be found here.

CSA Greens: A Vietnamese Style Noodle Salad Recipe

We pick up our Lindentree Farm share on Tuesdays, which means that Mondays I take inventory in the fridge.  The goal is to have most of the fresh vegetables (the lettuces, the greens, the herbs, the bok choy etc.) used up before we pick up the next week’s share.  This morning I found some leftover spinach and mustard greens.  I had cilantro from Wilson Farms and some green garlic from the csa.


This weekend Isabelle made Vietnamese soft rolls  ( I wish I had a picture because they turned out beautifully but we just ate them with gusto instead of photographing them first).  So, we had left over vermicelli/rice noodles.  Dan used a bunch of them last night to make Singapore noodles with the bok choy and some of the spinach but there was plenty left over.

Rice Noodle Salad with Tangy Peanut sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a Napa cabbage
    (This was leftover from the egg rolls we also made this weekend. Note to self: I used ground pork for this recipe and had no Hoisin sauce so used Ketchup, Tamari and Worcestershire Sauce instead. )
  • 2 cups, (or so) prepared rice noodles
  • 1 bunch of mustard greens
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1 clove of dried/cured garlic or a head of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP olive oil

Dressing

  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/2 TBSP of sugar
  • 1 tsp. Sambal Oelek (chili garlic paste)
  • 2 TBSPs Fish sauce
  • splash of cider vinegar
  • splash of tamari

Finish with:

  • 1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced with greens and whites
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, choppped with stems.

Quantities don’t matter too much in terms of the  vegetables.  Just use what you have in the fridge.  In a sautée pan, heat olive oil and add in the garlic minced, cabbage shredded (or thinly sliced)  and the spinach (whole is okay it will shrink so much).  Sautée for a few minutes and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, mix the dressing ingredients all together.  You can shake it in a jar or whisk with a spoon.  Toss the noodles with the dressing.  Once cool, add the sautéed vegetables and then toss with scallions and cilantro.

You can add some grilled chicken, some leftover rotisserie chicken, some soft cubed tofu, grilled tofu, grilled mushrooms, steak, or fish too and this will make a great one dish meal.

I can’t wait for dinner…now let me go see how the strawberry, rhubarb spoon sweets are doing on the stove (the perfect way to use up some pretty sad looking strawberries leftover from the weekend)

Opening the Cabinet of Kurios: Cirque du Soleil 


There is circus and then there is Cirque du Soleil.  It is the Karma Coffee to your Dunkin Donuts. It is the EHChocolatier to your Hershey’s. It is the cheese from Formaggio Kitchen to your Kraft single. It is all that with one slight difference. Many people like their Dunkin, their Hershey’s kisses, and there Kraft singles and that’s ok because everyone has the things they like for nostalgia’s sake. And to be honest you need that Hershey’s bar for a classic summer s’more and you need that Kraft single for the perfect grilled cheese. Cirque du Soleil won’t take that from you, but it will take you to a place you have never been before. Cirque du Soleil isn’t so fancy it is unrecognizeable, nor is it so thought provoking you need a ph.d in abstract modernism to understand it.  It is just circus done to extreme perfection at every last detail. Tickets for me to be able to preview the show were provided by Cirque du Soleil.

Kurios is Cirque du Soleil’s newest production and it is in town, big top and all, until July 10th. “Oh, until July 10th you say?” Yes. Yes, but don’t think you have endless time to go see it. With the end of school quickly approaching, summer camp prep, visitors and ‘vistings’, Cirque du Soleil will be packing up Kurios and hitting the road before you know it. 


So, if you don’t want to miss the beautiful live music, the most unique clowning around, and having what you think of as “circus” be completely flipped on its head (literally -you will see), take a minute to look at the calendar and pick a night or matinee to spend time with friends and family under the best (in my humble opinion) big top there is. Then, hop, skip, or jump online and get tickets before they sell out. 


You really do have to see it to believe it!  I can’t wait to bring the rest of the family to experience it together. 

You may be able find discounted tickets at Goldstar.com here as well.

Dog Days of Summer Start Now: Kirkland Tap and Trotter

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What does “doy days of summer” even mean?  According to Becky Little in National Geographic, dog days of summer refer to the stars and how the ancient Greek interpreted them. In ancient Greece, the constellation Canis Major was thought to be a dog chasing Lepus, the hare. The star Sirius is the dog’s nose; the Greeks called it the “dog star.”  Now we usually use it to refer to the tail (pun intended) end of summer. Speaking of stars and dogs, Kirkland Tap & Trotter has some culinary stars creating delicious dogs all summer long.  This Monday night event will run through September and 50% of the proceeds will go to No Kid Hungry, which works to end childhood hunger in the United States.

Kicking off the event tonight is Kristen Kish (a jane of many trades, but mostly a fantastic chef, which is most relevant in this case).  Kristen Kish’s dog sounds like a food-lover’s dream version of a junk-food lover’s chili cheese dog.  Scrap the chili (it’s summer so keep it lighter) and throw in some green apples, celery and a little mustard for some body.  Then there is a Comté cheese sauce, and a little parsley and chervil on top.  I’m in! Who would think of that?! A top chef would, and with Kish’s know-how I have no doubt it will be delicious. Get Kristen Kish’s hot dog on Mondays though June 27th.

Stay tuned for more on the upcoming dogs which will be created by Susan Regis of Shepard, Tim Cushman of O-Ya and Hojoko, and Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley of Eventide Oyster Co.

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Chef Tony Maws’ The Kirkland Dog. This is anything but basic but there’s nothing wrong with some variations on a theme.  I cannot wait to see what everyone comes up with…or rather taste what everyone comes up with.  Photo courtesy of Kirkland Tap & Trotter
For the competitive eaters in the city, you don’t have to stuff yourself silly, but rather, get a punch card and try each chef’s version of the dog of the day.  Those who try all four versions will be entered for a chance to work with Tony Maws’ team to create their own hot dog which will be featured on the menu in October.  

Guest chefs will only be present at The Kirkland Tap & Trotter on the first Monday listed; their hot dogs will be available on each Monday until the next chef’s appearance.

 

 

Le Petit Prince: National Ballet of Canada

This weekend, I happened to be in Toronto because my father was being honoured at the Fields Institute for Mathematical Sciences and we were all able to come join in the celebration (which was fabulous).  It also happened to be the opening of the National Ballet of Canada‘s Le Petit Prince so I managed to rearrange a few things (thanks to family) and take Isabelle to go see it.

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FOR NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA, GUILLAUME COTE, MICHAEL LEVINE

Le Petit Prince is a philosphical story that is one of the most well known around the world, and I have to confess that I haven’t read it yet.  I knew the basic idea behind the story and in the program my daughter and I read about the various characters/symbols of the story.  We also picked up a copy of the Le Petit Prince to read together when we got home.  Guillaume Côté, principal with National Ballet of Canada, and choreographer of Le Petit Prince, said himself  “[Le Petit Prince] is more a story about characters and relationships than narratives per se.” So, I wasn’t sure how well Isabelle and I would be able to follow this story that was unfamiliar to us.

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The answer was clear within minutes.  Guillaume Côté‘s Le Petit Prince was incredibly easy to follow.  At times you almost felt that you were watching an animated story with the details of the lighting, the incredible costume design that seemed to transform the dancers into the characters themselves rather than just cloaking dancers in outfits, and titles hand written would appear scrawled across the set to bring even more of the book to life.  I’ve seen images from Le Petit Prince on T shirts, in memes, on postcards, and skimming through the book and there were definite moments on stage where I could see a picture straight out of the book.

This year, I have seen a few contemporary ballets where the stage was transformed from a three sided box with an open “window” into something different and I loved the simple shift in space because the effect on the performance is dramatic.  In Boston Ballet’s Mirrors for their performance of Resonance and then again in Bitches Brew where the wings were simply shifted to the back of the stage these subtle changes break the mold of a traditional stage. In the National Ballet of Canada’s Le Petit Prince, Michael Levine’s set and costume design takes the idea of transforming the stage to another whole level.  The set and costume design is impeccable (barring a tiny prop failure on opening night).  The set could be a movie set; an animated movie set.  It is so transformative and fluid that it seems to have the limitless possibilities that only digital animation traditionally allows. The space felt like another place and was so seamless that one could imagine stepping onto the stage and becoming a part of the story, whisked away from the physical space of the theatre and the dot on the map that is Toronto to an animated world in some other dimension. From the lights that appear in the “sky” to the moving parts that become entrances and exits for the characters in the story, the audience relished every detail.

Le Petit Prince is a story that resonates with both children and adults on different levels.  It is like a fairy tale where the moral is woven so tightly into the story that when presented as a live performance like this you seem to absorb it through all your senses rather than just ruminate about it with your mind. Even though I have never crashed in a desert, or been betrayed by a snake, somehow the dancing, the music, the set and costumes all make you understand the message. It really reminds me of the complexity that animation allows but in live performance form.

Le Petit Prince was a collaboration with dancer/choreographer Guillaume Côté, set and costume designer Michael Levine, and composer Kevin Lau at the core and of course with the dancers, lighting designer David Finn, video designer Finn Ross, and director Karen Kain as well. As part of their process, Côté, Levine and Lau had workshops where they could work together.  As set and costume designer Michael Levine put it, “there is an alchemy of collaboration” when you put the dancers, composer, choreographer, and designer all toegther. The result was an iteration of Le Petit Prince that wasn’t layered with the music, which then had the movement put to the music, and then had the set and costumes designed to go with the story. Instead, you get this single tightly woven fabric of dance, music and design, woven together to retell the story of Le Petit Prince. It is clear that this method of working closely together in a collaborative way payed off.

Now let’s get to the dancing.  Dylan Tedaldi was a wonderful Petit Prince. His dancing was strong and free, giving the audience that childlike feeling of moving with abandon, but as the story went on more emotion and self-awareness came through. The duets between First Soloists Dylan Tedaldi, as le Petit Prince, and Harrison James as, L’Aviateur, were both great story telling moments as well as beautiful partnering. First Soloist Tanya Howard, as the rose, and Principal Xia Nan Yu, as the serpent were stunning to watch.  The rose had a very soft sadness in the costume design and movement whereas the serpent was graceful and deceptively wicked in her movement even shedding her skin as she entered the scene. Sonia Rodriguez‘ fox was playful and seemed to represent a new emotion teaching Le Petit Prince to love. It is a bit ironic that a fox, who is typically seen as sly, wild and untrustworthy is the one who gives the lesson on taming, and truth in love.

The corps had some wonderful moments as the roses, part of the larger body of the serpent and the wild birds.  The patterns and moving in unison during key parts of the story allow you to see beyond the individual dancers and you see a bigger picture representing flight, slithering snakes, and a garden of roses.  At times like those, the corps choreography was perfectly on point and magical, but a few on stage transitions in and out of the larger groups were not quite as magical and felt a little disconnected.  However, that’s the only flaw I could find in the entire two acts.

The music, sounded like a symphony that could stand alone yet, as mentioned before, it was woven tightly into the entire work as if the movement and music were destined for one another, like Le Petit Prince and his rose.  I particularly liked, how the music for the wild birds reflected the dancers. Since the birds were transformed so completely that you couldn’t tell (especially from the 5th ring) which dancers were male and which were female, the music gave them each their own overtones.  While the costumes disguised the dancers completely, the choreography and music separated them with the women on pointe dancing to a higher lighter sound and the men “en l’air” with a heavier, deeper musical tone.

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This is a production I look forward to seeing over and over again. I could go see it again tomorrow and would see things I missed the first time.  I want to see it again 10 years from now when Isabelle will begin to see more of the story as she, hopefully, keeps her childhood close to heart while having navigated the world of adulthood. I can see the ballet of Le Petit Prince living on for a very long time and being performed by companies around the world.

Bravo à tous!!

Le Petit Prince is performed at the Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts through June 12th.

All performance of Le Petit Prince are now Sold Out. A limited number of Standing Room tickets are available on the day of show. Standing Room must be purchased in person at the Box Office as of 11:00 am on the day of a performance. Please contact Audience and Donor Services at 416 (toll free 1 866) 345 9595 for further assistance.

Side note: IMG_4017 (1)Isabelle was a bit disappointed that she couldn’t get an autograph from former Boston Ballet Student and current First Soloist Dylan Tedaldi to give to her ballet teachers, Mr. Hird and Ms. Atkins, but she still has some beautiful postcards for them.  Whereas, National Ballet dancers often do autographs on posters at intermission, since they are all on stage for the second act, it is not possible for this production.

 

 

 

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