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Saturday, April 19, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Fair
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ISTHMUS PARENTS

Whip up something tasty in January
Special things to do this month


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Someone's in the kitchen

Get your children to do something constructive, like cook dinner. Cooking classes for kids 8-17 will be held at the Young Gourmet Culinary Studios, 1970 Cayuga St., in Middleton. 'We want to open kids' minds to new styles of food so they are willing to go beyond the food boundaries they've set for themselves,' says studio director and chef Alexandre Beaumont. Classes (typical enrollment: eight) include 'International Cuisine' and 'Teen Pasta and Sauces.' Students are taught kitchen etiquette and safety, and will make large enough portions to take leftovers home. For a list of courses and costs, see theyounggourmet.com or call 831-9211.

Culture club

Wisconsin Youth Company's 'Celebrating Youth!' honors the diverse cultures, talents and interests of area young people. This year it's expanding to two days, Jan. 27-28, at Monona Terrace. Four stages of circus-themed performances, hands-on activities, exhibits and a parade on Sunday, plus parents and educators can attend more than 30 Saturday workshops, exhibits and interactive areas dedicated to a variety of teaching methods including alternative schools, multicultural education and home schooling. Fees apply for Saturday's sessions, and a nominal donation is suggested to attend Sunday's. For more information, see celebratingyouth.org or call 251-0329.

Serious drama

Consider taking in The Giver, produced by Milwaukee's First Stage Children's Theater. It's based on Lois Lowry 's 1994 science-fiction novel about a utopian community free of war, hunger, fear and sickness. But when 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to become the community's 'Receiver of Memories' and train under the guidance of an old man called 'The Giver,' the boy discovers the disturbing truth about his hypocritical culture.

Because the story addresses such mature themes as euthanasia, suicide and sexual suppression, First Stage cautions parents that the play is not suitable for kids under 10. 'This is not an ordinary children's theater production,' says artistic director Jeff Frank. 'However, it is because of the engaging and challenging material that we hope parents will bring the young persons in their life to the theater. The Giver provides an opportunity to have after-show, in-the-car discussions of what you saw together.' Weekend shows begin Jan. 26 and run through Feb. 25. See firststage.org or call 414-267-2929 for details. At the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 North Water St., Milwaukee.

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