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Family valued 3.16.05

This 'James' is a peach

Feeling overwhelmed? C'mon down to the Nazareth College Arts Center this weekend for James and the Giant Peach and let the Rochester Children's Theatre show you how to take it like an earthworm.

In this Roald Dahl classic, James finds life with two evil aunts so insufferable that escaping in a giant peach filled with huge insects seems attractive by comparison. Even without boric acid.

Audience members of all ages will appreciate director Deborah Haber's creative staging, including animated sequences, giant puppets balanced atop Irish dancers, and traditional Irish music played on fiddle, Celtic harp, and bodhran. It's all the St. Patrick's Day celebration anyone needs. You've had enough green beer to last a lifetime anyway.

The fact that James and the Giant Peach is great fun is reason enough to go. But if you need more, my 8-year-old daughter noted some important life lessons being reinforced as James and his pals overcame obstacles. "I liked the ladybug because she had faith in herself. The ladybug was a good friend to stand up for James and tell the others he should make decisions because he had the best ideas." Adults can learn stuff, too. I learned you can wear red sequins and still be a lady.

James and the Giant Peach runs one hour and ten minutes and will be performed Saturday, March 19, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sunday, March 20, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10.00 at the box office. Info: www.rochesterchildrenstheatre.org or call 385-0510.

--- Linda Kostin (www.junkstorecowgirl.com)

This week for families:

Artist Career Night Tues, Mar 22. For high school students interested in art careers, Nazareth Arts Center, 4245 East Ave, 6-8 p.m. 506-9987

Brighton Memorial Library storytimes: Mondays 10 a.m. (ages 3-4), 10:30 a.m. (ages 1-2.5); Thursdays 7 p.m. 2300 Elmwood Avenue. 784-5300, www.brightonlibrary.org

Easter Egg Hunt Sat, Mar 19. YMCA Camp Arrowhead, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. $5. www.ymcacamparrowhead.org, 383-4590

Fun With Energy Sun, Mar 20. Jeff Boyer, Brighton Memorial Library, 2300 Elmwood Ave, 2 p.m. 784-5300, www.brightonlibrary.org

Genesee Country Village and Museum 1410 Flint Hill Rd, Mumford. Sat-Sun, Mar 19-20, sap, syrup, and sugar, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $5, $3 kids. | Sat, Mar 19, sugar-off party, 5-9 p.m. $28, $12 kids. | Sat-Sun, Mar 19-20, Genesee Country Art and Music, art exhibit, performances, 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. $5, $4 kids | Genesee Country Nature Center hours: Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 538-6822, www.gcv.org

Helmer Nature Center Sat, Mar 19, maple sugar open house, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. | Sun, Mar 20, pancake breakfast, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. $5. | 154 Pinegrove Ave. 336-3035

Henrietta Public Library storytimes: Tuesdays 11-11:30 a.m., Wednesdays 10:15-10:45 a.m. 455 Calkins Rd. 359-7092, www.hpl.org

Irish Folktales and Shenanigans Thurs, Mar 17. ages 10 and up, Henrietta Public Library, 455 Calkins Rd, 4-5:30 p.m. 359-7092

James and the Giant PeachSat-Sun, Mar 19-20. Rochester Children's Theatre, Nazareth Arts Center, 4245 East Ave, Sat 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sun 2 p.m. $10. 389-2170

Parents College Workshop Wed, Mar 16. Finger Lakes Community College, 4355 Lakeshore Dr, 6 p.m. 394-FLCC ext 7278

Penfield Public Library through Apr 30. poetry contest, grades 6-12. 1985 Baird Rd, Penfield. 340-8720

PippinThurs-Sat, Mar 17-19. Pittsford Sutherland High School, 55 Sutherland St, Pittsford, Thurs-Sat 8 p.m., Sat 2 p.m. $9, $5 seniors. 218-1104

PJ Storytime with Destino Winds Fri, Mar 18. musical storytime, Barnes & Noble, 3349 Monroe Ave, 7 p.m. 586-6020

Rochester Museum and Science Center 657 East Ave. Sat, Mar 19, science Saturday, 12-3 p.m. | Surprise! It's Science, through May 2005 | Rochester's Frederick Douglass, through January 2006 | Live Science! demos and theater, Sat 2, 3 (sign-interpreted), 4 p.m.; Sun 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 p.m. | Ongoing exhibits include: AdventureZone, Carlson Inquiry Room, At the Western Door, Try Science Around the World | Hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $5-$7. 271-1880, www.rmsc.org

Seneca Park Zoo 2222 St Paul St. Sat-Sun, Mar 19-20, breakfast with the Easter Bunny, 8:30 and 9:45 a.m. | Hours: daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tix: $5, $4 seniors, $2 kids. 467-9453, www.senecazoo.org

Sesame Street Live: 123... ImagineFri-Sun, Mar 18-20. Rochester Auditorium Theatre, 875 E Main St, Fri 7 p.m., Sat 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., Sun 1 and 4:30 p.m. $12.50-$18. 222-5000, www.ticketmaster.com

Special Storytime Wed, Mar 23. Kevin Serwacki, Barnes & Noble, 330 Greece Ridge Center Dr, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. 227-4020

Stormwater Coalition Logo Design Contest for grades 7-12. entry forms: www.monroecounty.gov. deadline: Mar 31.

Strong Museum 1 Manhattan Square. Sat-Sun, Mar 19-20, meet Clifford in person, 12-4 p.m. | Enchanted Museum, through May 8. | Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog, through May 1. | Long-term exhibits include National Toy Hall of Fame, Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street? and Super Kids Market. Hours: Mon-Thurs 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $7; $6 seniors, students; $5 children. 263-2700

Swimming Lessons through June 4. Tuesdays and Thursdays 5-8 p.m., Saturdays 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Freddie Thomas Learning Center, 625 Scio St; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 5-8 p.m., James Madison School, 200 Genesee St. 428-7888

The Value of an Independent Education Wed, Mar 16. Greater Rochester Association of Private Schools, RMSC, 657 East Ave, 7-9 p.m. Free. 381-4560 ext 221

Calling all hypocrites

All parents vow they'll never let their child do this or that only to learn later they may have judged too hastily. I was appalled when I first read about children who had their own cell phones. What? I thought. Is passing notes in class not good enough for these little pashas and princesses of America?

Then my older son hit middle school and grabbed life by both hands. He went from school to chorus to scuba, and from Science Olympiad to tennis. I couldn't keep track. After activities he takes the late bus to the high school and then a second bus home. Sometimes the second bus leaves early and the middle school kids are stranded.

Parents of phoneless children say what you will. I got my son a phone --- discounted as part of a family plan --- and he takes it with him to school every day. Last week there was an emergency and suddenly all the students had to be sent home. Since power had been knocked out of most of the school, the kids, crowded together in the gym, had to wait in long lines to use the few working phones. My son's phone came in handy; he let the other anxious children call their parents. So, the cell phone was a great idea. But I'm sticking by my vow against Halo.

For now.

--- Jennifer Loviglio