'Original Tales' Goes to Head of the Class


Live action, animation, songs and real kids doing real kid stuff are the ingredients that have made the "Baby Songs" music video series popular with preschoolers. "Baby Songs" originators Amy Weintraub and Brooks McEwen use the same winning collage style in "Original Tales & Tunes," the first in a new "Tales & Tunes" series for grade-schoolers.

Among the offerings: A little girl with a camcorder turns a town upside down as she makes a music video starring her brother. Chic Street Man, a marvelously mellow-voiced singer, croons about the importance of listening to your feelings and in an animated adventure, "William Small" shrinks to thumb-size, but still manages to clean his room.

The highlight will have particular appeal for older children and adults. It's a daffy, live-action take on "Cinderella" called "Eddie Cinders." Eddie is the teen-age drudge-of-all-work for his mean stepbrothers who won't let him play in the neighborhood basketball tournament.

Judging by all the garbage in the kitchen and the dirty laundry festooning the rooms, Eddie doesn't work too hard either.

But goodness and true love prevail: Who comes looking for Eddie after he magically wows everyone on the basketball court? Hotshot slam dunker Cindy, carrying the steaming shoe Eddie left behind.

"Original Tales & Tunes." Video Treasures. 30 minutes; $14.98. Information: (513) 732-2790.

On the Air: Dan Crow, J.P. Nightingale and Fred Sokolow will be the in-studio guests on a special live holiday version of Uncle Ruthie's long-running radio show "Halfway Up the Stairs," on KPFK-FM (90.7), today from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Rock It: Australian teens will perform their own live "music videos" at various Southern California locations as the annual Australian Drug Offensive Rock Challenge begins its U.S. tour.

As part of an anti-drug message, the teens, chosen in a competition between 50,000 Australian high school students, present five-to-eight-minute rock musical productions that they created after training in choreography, set-building and the lighting techniques.

The free performances will be held at Cal State Long Beach's University Theatre on Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m.and at Rosemead High School on Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

The competition's aim is to encourage teens to live drug-and-alcohol-free lives and to help them build self-esteem, school spirit and friendships. A U.S. version, beginning in March, will involve Southland students from schools in San Diego, Ventura, Orange County and Los Angeles. Information: (213) 871-8180

It's an Art: Arts workshops, dance performances, a musical celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Day and Navajo storytelling are part of the 1993 Multicultural Arts Festival at the Kidspace Museum in Pasadena, beginning next Saturday and running through March 31. The festival celebrates Southern California's cultural diversity.

In addition, the museum kicks off its new Wednesday night hours on Jan. 27 with the Plaza de la Raza Student Performing Ensemble's production of "La Bruja," the candle dance of Veracruz. All ages are welcome for this free family night presentation at 6:30 p.m.

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