Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Akron Civic Theater

Mary Louise was out of school on Martin Luther King Day. A mommy at the preschool story time told me about the Festival of Nations that was to be held that day in Akron at the Civic Theater. We found out where the theater was and went! I was surprised to find it very much like the Fox Theater in Atlanta. It is actually one of the last five atmospheric theaters in the USA. The Fox is one of them, too. This theater was not as big or as nicely maintained as the Fox. It has a volunteer group that raises money to re carpet and repaint it so it has taken a bit of time to restore it. The Civic does have a "ghost". As far as we understand, the ghost's name is Loretta and she is a parrot. The story is that in the 1930s, she was allowed to fly around the theater until one day she bit a patron. She lost her flying privileges then. She is now a stuffed feature in one of the alcoves of the theater.
We had a good time at the Festival of Nations. There were lots of exhibits with food from different countries like Ireland, Poland, Germany, and China. At one exhibit the kids played some Japanese instruments and at another had their names written in Chinese. In the theater there were different groups that did native dances from their countries. It was very interesting to see them dressed in their native dress and shoes. The shoes were especially very interesting. The shoes that the Polish dancers wore looked like elf shoes! German, Polish, Hungarian (a Hungarian church is nearby us) and Russian descent people are here. There are even neighborhoods of these cultures in the larger cities of Cleveland and Akron to some degree. The most interesting dancers were the last group - the Irish dancers. Their costumes were beautiful and their talent -Wow! They are really athletes. They could jump so high and their arms rarely ever moved from their sides. They all wore wigs with very tight and springy curls. Several of them are going to some world and national competitions- the world competition is in Ireland. Maybe Irish dance is something we should start doing.
On Sunday we went back to the Civic with Daddy. There is a group of doctors in Akron that have written and perform a musical show about health and hygiene. It was called Zobopago. The music was interesting and entertaining for the adults as well. Forrest especially enjoyed it. He is definitely a boy and likes the rock and roll type music. He sat quietly but would nod his head with the music. He still talks about how much he liked the show. The only problem with that day was the temperature. It was a very cold and miserable walk to and from the theater on Sunday. It has been bitterly cold here for the past week. Highs have been in the low teens with wind chills below zero.
We are going back in March to see a puppet/play show about Annie Oakley. Mary Louise is very excited because she learned about her at Eagle Ridge. She has told us many times about Annie including on the drive to Ohio. Forrest found out the Imagination Movers are coming to the Civic so he is hoping we can go see them. The theater is neat and there are other things downtown Akron like Art and History museums. One museum is dedicated to inventors.We also found an ice skating rink downtown. We learned that marbles were once made here and at one museum someone gives marble playing lessons. Another adventure soon for us in Akron!

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