Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf," a perennial favorite of children and adults, will receive a special treatment tomorrow night when the Beethoven Society presents its annual "Holiday Happening" concert. Joining the Beethoven Society Orchestra, with Washington Post columnist Bob Levey as narrator, will be members of the American Contemporary Ballet, performing the roles of Peter, the Wolf and the others in Prokofiev's musical fairy tale.
"Normally you just have the orchestra and narrator," says Richard Weilenmann, music director for the Beethoven Society. "The dancers add another dimension to the performance, making it far more enjoyable for the children."
The costumed dancers, performing "almost in the audience," will interpret the characters as represented by the instrumental motifs of Prokofiev's score, which was originally written to teach children the sounds of an orchestra.
"With the children seated in the front of the audience, not half a concert hall away, they can hear and understand," says Weilenmann. "They get the feeling they're in the show themselves, caught up in the excitement of the work."
The orchestra, largely made up of National Symphony musicians, will also perform works by Edvard Grieg, Emil Waldteufel and Julius Fucik. The performance at the Capital Hilton Hotel begins at 7 p.m. and all children 10 and under will be admitted free. For more information, call 363-8328. -- Alex Stoll