FRI 2/27 Romeo, Romeo, where's your long black coat? Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is one of the world's most famous plays, but the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre puts a few new spins on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers. In most productions of the play, the lead actors are much older than the characters they portray. In the FLCT's new production, however, Alex Newberry, who plays Juliet, is only 13. Chris Hyland, her Romeo counterpart, is just 16. Furthermore, this production uses Shakespeare's language, but the setting is infused with a "post-apocalyptic feel that nonetheless reaches back to the Renaissance," says Anthony Hubert, the group's education director. Hubert describes the costuming as "Matrix in style" and the production as "visceral" (meaning there's lots of swordplay). The kids at FLCT have been working almost three years on this production.
Romeo and Juliet opens Friday and runs weekends through March 7 at the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre (640 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 and 5 p.m. Sundays. Call 954-763-6882, or visit www.flct.org. -- Tomi Curtis
... and, of course, there's always Valium
MON 3/1 It's a familiar trap, my friend. You tell your child, " Sure, we can read a book before bedtime -- but just one." She returns from the bookshelf lugging the 2.2-pound, 870-page intimidator known as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Well, ha ha! The little bugger can't pull that one on you anymore! Bring her to the Boca Raton Public Library (200 NW Boca Raton Blvd., Boca Raton) for the weekly "Pajama Party." PJs are appropriate attire for this evening of stories, songs, short videos, and bedtime snacks. True, this could backfire and you could be driving home with a kid all hopped up on a late-night dose of Barney. But you have a backup plan: the Iliad. Pajama parties happen at 7 p.m. every Monday. They're free and recommended for kids ages 3 to 7. Call 561-367-7022. -- Deirdra Funcheon