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Enlightening experiences for kids from the fourth of July to the end of month

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Cirque Shanghai: Warriors celebrate Independence Day with additional performances on Friday, July 4 at 2, 4 and 7 p.m. at the Pepsi® Skyline Stage at Navy Pier® on 600 E. Grand Avenue in Chicago, where an annual fourth of July fireworks display will start at 9:30 p.m. For tickets, call 800-745-3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com/shanghai.

In addition to a chamber music performance prior to the Corky Siegel concert, the Music Institute of Chicago will offer an Instrument Petting Zoo for children to experiment with a variety of string instruments at the Wilmette Summerfest Concert and Garden Party on July 11. For details, visit http://www.gardenconcert.wilmettesummerfest.org.

The Hundred Dresses (July 10-13, July 18-20, July 25- 27) is among the children’s events staged on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. Based on the Newberry Honor Book Award winner by Eleanor Estes, the story has been adapted by Ralph Covert and G. Riley Mills into a musical directed by Northwestern theater faculty member Rives Collins who says, “I was drawn to the way the musical shines light into a shadowy place by looking honestly at the kind of garden-variety cruelty children can inflict on other children. Seen through the gauzy veil of history, we are invited to see ourselves on the playgrounds of a simpler time. This is a story of a girl in the middle, one who like most of us, doesn't know what to do or say, planting seeds of hope, as this one child promises, ‘I will never do nothing again.” The play is ideal for children aged five to 10-years-old. Tickets are $10.

Also on campus is Imagine U’s production Kids Brave & True: An Evening of Stories and Songs Celebrating the Hero in All of Us. The evening of storytelling conducted by Northwestern faculty member Rives Collins is slated for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22 and on Saturday, July 26. Tickets are $5.

Both events take place at the Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater on 1949 Campus Drive. For more information, call 847-491-7282 or visit www.communication.northwestern.edu/tic/performances/imagine/.

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