Harry The Dirty Dog

Special to The Log

The Mattie Kelly Arts Center on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College offers a series of nationally touring children’s shows geared to school groups and open to the public on a space available basis. Each show is presented in daytime performances at 9:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in the Mainstage Theater at the center.

The first children’s matinee of the season, “Harry the Dirty Dog” on Friday, Oct. 19, as well as the “The Little Engine That Could” on Feb. 11, currently have space available for the public or additional groups. Both shows are targeted to school groups ages Pre-K (age three) through second grade, but are also open to the public.

Children not in a group must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is $6 each regardless of age. Advance reservations are required for either groups or individuals. For reservations, call 850-729-6065 or email House Manager Delores Merrill at merrilld@nwfsc.edu. Reservations are also accepted at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box office at 850-729-6000.

“Harry the Dirty Dog” is a delightful hour long musical based on the classic book by Gene Zion. Harry is a little white dog with black spots who hates baths, so when he hears his family say, Bath time! Harry decides to run away. He spends a wonderful day playing in black dirt but because he is covered so well with the dirt he turns into a little black dog with white spots. When he decides to return to his family they do not recognize him. That makes Harry sad because he feels that he has no home, but something happens to help him convince his family that he does belong to them.

“The Little Engine That Could” is an hour long musical based on the beloved classic book by Watty Piper. The story centers around a small train that keeps saying, “I think I can, I think I can,” and never gives up even when it appears that pulling heavy box cars across the mountain is impossible. The book, and now the play, is an inspiration to children of all ages.

The other children’s shows of the 2012-13 season, “Skippy Jon Jones” on Nov. 5 and “Give a Mouse A Cookie” on April 22 have some seats available only in the 11:30 a.m. shows, the 9:45 a.m. performance for each is sold out.

In addition, the center is offering the family oriented Broadway touring musical of “Shrek The Musical” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19. Tickets are $45 each with a $5 per ticket discount for groups of 10 or more tickets purchased together. Contact the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office either by phone or online at www.mattiekellyartscenter.org for tickets. (Note: Children’s shows do not offer tickets online).