Carnival of the Animals and Beyond
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Carnival of the Animals and Beyond

Band Classical Children's Music


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"Comment from Presenter"

"A cute show with brilliant artistry that the young audience obviously LOVED!" - Mark Willey, Spencerville Evensong Concert Series

"Mark Jaster Review"

“Clown extraordinaire and one of the most graceful performers
you will ever see on stage.” - Washington Post

"Comment from Presenter"

"Jaster's physical skills and comic invention are a joy to watch… Very professional in every regard, and a complete pleasure to work with.” - Bert Goldstein, Cincinnati Playhouse

"Kyle Engler Review"

"A virtuoso of a high order." - Baltimore Sun

"Daniel Lau Review"

“playful nuances, translucent phrasing, and miraculous sonorities.” - La Liberté (Fribourg, Switzerland)

"Letter from Presenter"

December 28, 2006

Daniel Lau
Class Acts on Tour
P.O. Box 653
Hampstead, MD 21074

Dear Daniel,

I am writing to endorse Class Acts on Tour's presentation of “Carnival of the Animals”, featuring mime Mark Jaster. BlackRock Center for the Arts presented this performance as part of its Family Discovery Series with great success.

This performance attracted a sold-out audience of family members of all ages. Both children and parents had a wonderful time - frequently laughing and clearly excited by the interactive portion of the afternoon. An instrument petting zoo and artist discussion helped sustain that excitement after the presentation had ended.

As a presenter, BRCA was thrilled to be able to bring a program that introduced classical music to a young audience in such an inviting manner. Who would have thought a program that includes piano, French art song, poetry and mime would be so much fun for all ages? I believe the program's success is due not only to the creative and playful presentation, but also to the amazing talents of each of the four artists involved.

Thank you for all you've done to make this performance a success. I look forward to working with you again in the future.

With best wishes,

Nancy E. Petrisko, Executive Director - Nancy E. Petrisko, Executive Director BRCA


Still working on that hot first release.



The Carnival of the Animals and Beyond is a new Children/Family show featuring the mimetic genius of Mark Jaster, the witty narrative of Sabrina Mandell, the soaring vocals of Kyle Engler, and the brilliant pianism of Daniel Lau. In this lovingly refreshed interpretation of the Carnival of the Animals classic, the tortoise does a slow can-can, the pianist passionately prepares to play, the museum fossils frighten, and the shapes, character and rhythms of each member of the Carnival are deftly captured. Accompanied by verses of Ogden Nash, this is high-level entertainment for audiences of all ages. The one-hour show ends with Guillaume Apollinaire's The Bestiary set to music by Poulenc, and beautifully sung by mezzo soprano Kyle Engler. Here the audience is asked to participate with Mark Jaster. This is family entertainment at its finest on an animal motif with texts in English and French.

Mark Jaster

The Washington Post called Mark Jaster a “clown extraordinaire and one of the most graceful performers you will ever see on a stage.” Audiences of all ages and backgrounds have enjoyed his kinetic humor, playful interaction, musical wit and inventive imagination. His skills in mime were developed in training with 20th-century masters Marcel Marceau and his teacher, Etienne Decroux, along with careful observation of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harpo Marx. Jaster served as teaching assistant to Mr. Marceau in a series of seminars in Michigan, and he teaches frequently in Artist residencies, theatres, and dance programs. In his solo performances, Piccolo’s Trunk, A Fool Named ‘O’, and The Maestro, he combines live music on unusual instruments and non-instruments, (like the pipe and tabor and the bowed saw), outrageous acrobatics, (like a dive through an impossibly small wooden hoop), and hyper-advanced communication skills with an honest gentle humor that has obliterated many a skeptic’s hesitations over mime. He also collaborates regularly with world-class musicians like Piffaro, Celtic Harper Sue Richards, Hesperus, and the late jazz bassist, Keter Betts. In addition to annual appearances as Herr Drosselmeyer in the Maryland Youth Ballet’s Nutcracker, frequent performances with the Washington Revels, and many years as a featured stage act at The Maryland Renaissance Festival, he is a proud member of The Big Apple Circus’ Clown Care program, performing at the Children’s National Medical Center and Johns Hopkins University Hospital.

Sabrina Mandell

From sailing tall ships to painting in oils, from gardening to reading fortunes, Sabrina has played many roles. While living in South Carolina, she wrote, produced, and performed a solo street performance, Poetry for the People: Sabrina VentDeLaMer and her Amazing Game of Chance, for the Charleston Piccolo Festival. She has since performed it at farmer’s markets, in public squares, and for various events in the United States, Canada and Paris. She also has performed original poetry at the National Poetry Slam Championship and numerous other spoken word events, and has self-published a collaborative chapbook of poetry, “Whalebone Ladies.” Since moving to the DC area Ms. Mandell has performed as an understudy in the Shakespeare Theater’s Cyrano, and has been the assistant to A Fool Named “O” at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. She co-created the Flesh and Candor Cabaret performance called Revolution at the Warehouse Theater; she wrote, produced and performed Prufbox based on the TS Eliot poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” which premiered at the Capital Fringe Festival in July 2006, and she performs regularly as the clown Doc Molly with the Big Apple Circus’ Clown Care Program in DC and Baltimore.

Kyle Engler

Proclaimed “a virtuoso of a high order” by the Baltimore Sun, mezzo soprano Kyle Engler has been praised for her extreme versatility in opera, oratorio, and chamber music. As a performer on the opera stage, she has sung the roles of the Secretary in Menotti’s The Consul, Charlotte in Werther, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia, Mercedes in Carmen, and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro to name a few. In January, 2005, Ms. Engler was cast by Placido Domingo to premier the role of Lydia Dudley in Washington National Opera’s production of Democracy, An American Comedy by Scott Wheeler, garnering rave reviews in major publications around the country. She also premiered the role of Retinue in Augusta Read-Thomas’ opera Ligeia, conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich, in Evian, France.

Ms. Engler has been a featured soloist with many orchestras most recently performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Lancaster Symphony. An advocate of contemporary chamber music, Ms. Engler has collaborated with the Ravel Trio, the Morpheus Trio, the New Horizons Chamber Ensemble, and celebrated pianist Andre Watts.

A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music w