Circuses have delighted audiences for thousands of years. March 28 at 2 p.m., the Reg Lenna Civic Center will present The Zany Umbrella Circus, from Pittsburgh, which will be performing a show they call ''A Clown's Dream.''
It's the latest performance in their Family Series. It features juggling, trapeze stunts, dance, and magic to present the story of a circus clown who loses the power to imagine, until he learns to regain it.
Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for those who are younger than age 18. Children younger than age 5 are admitted without charge.
Get them by phoning 484-7070 or going by computer to www.reglenna.com. The Civic Center is at 116 E. Third St., in downtown Jamestown. You should go - you'll have a circus.
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Comedy and illusions are in store, Wednesday evening, when Fredonia's 1891 Opera House presents illusionist Cliff Hopkins and his assistant Kelly.
The performance will begin at 7 p.m. and will be recorded, for a promotional DVD. All tickets are $5. Purchase them by phoning 679-1891, or by computer at www.fredopera.org.
For those who love Celtic music, the 1891 Opera House will be presenting The New Barleycorn, an authentic Celtic group, together with students from Clann Na Cara Irish Dance Academy, tonight at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for the general public and $13 for members of the opera house. Use the same contact information as for the Hopkins show, above.
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Each year, Buffalo's Squeaky Wheel offers local artist residencies for people who dream of making their own films. Those who are selected are offered the use of professional film equipment, a small stipend, and a public showing of their finished work.
The showing of this year's winning films will be tonight, at 712 Main St., in downtown Buffalo. The public is invited. Admission is $6 for the general public and $4 for members of Squeaky Wheel.
Who knows? You might meet the next Spielberg.
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Beginning March 23 and running through April 18, Canadian Stage of Toronto will present a production of the play ''Shirley Valentine,'' featuring award-winning actress Nicola Cavendish.
The plot concerns a bored and lonely, middle-aged housewife from England who accepts an invitation to take a vacation in Greece and finds a whole new outlook on life.
Performances are Mondays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. with matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Ticket prices begin at $20. One hour before performances, any unsold seats are placed on sale at the box office as rush seats, at half price.
The play will be presented at the Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St., in downtown Toronto. Make advance purchases by phoning (416) 368-3110 or by computer at www.canstage.com.
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When my children was young, one of my most urgent duties was finding ways to introduce them to what is possible in the world.
If you have children who are interested in science, the city of Toronto is offering a public event called Science Rendezvous. It will be held at public sites all over the city on May 9.
Leaders in science and technology from businesses, museums, colleges and other such organizations from all over the city will be demonstrating and answering questions about dozens of scientific and technological processes. The Ontario Science Center will offer a forum for debating science issues.
For updates of plans and more information, go by computer to www.sciencerendezvous.ca. Note that the web address ends with ''ca'' for Canada and not ''com'' with which we are more familiar.
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The Russian National Ballet Theater will perform the popular fairy tale ''The Sleeping Beauty'' at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. The ballet is set to music by Tchaikowsky.
The Russian company has 60 members. Soloist dancers range in age from 17 to 25 years of age. The performance will be in the Bromeley Family Theater, in Blaisdell Hall, on the university's campus.
Tickets are $29 and $24 for the general public and $12 and $10 for all students. Performances of the same production by the same company will cost $90 per ticket in Boston.
Reserve tickets by phoning (814) 362-5113.
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New Kids on the Block will perform at 7 p.m., March 22 in Erie. That's all the details we have. if you're interested, phone (814) 452-4857.
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Speaking of Erie, we received today an announcement that Director's Circle Theatre will perform a double bill. ''The White Liars,'' by Peter Shaffer, creator of ''Amadeus,'' and ''Men in Suits'' by Jason Mulligan will be performed tonight at 8 p.m.
The production has been running since Feb. 26, but we can't tell you about it until they tell us about it.
The company performs at 1001 State St., on the second floor of the Renaissance Center, in downtown Erie. Phone (814) 451-1153.
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We do our best to keep the many readers who love theater, informed of what is available within a reasonable drive.
The Theatre Alliance of Buffalo has recently launched a web site which claims you can learn about anything being performed by any of the alliance's member organizations. The address is www.theatreallianceofbuffalo.com.