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Craig ‘n Co. Throwing a ‘Pajama Party’

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Boys and girls, moms and dads are encouraged to put on their jammies and jam--in the “Not Ready for Bedtime Family Concert and Pajama Party,” a milk-and-cookies evening outdoor concert with dynamic children’s entertainer Craig Taubman and his Craig ‘n Company band, on Sunday at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood.

Taubman, known for his kid-friendly, polished rock ‘n’ roll-style and such favorite original songs as “Haircut,” “Rock ‘N Toon Town” and “Are We There Yet?,” wraps up the “1994 Summer Season at the Ford” family series with this concert for young children and their families.

“It’ll be a traditional Craig ‘n Company concert, upbeat,” said Taubman, “but (even) more festive.” Besides “free milk and cookies” for those in pajamas or otherwise, preshow activities include some “not ready for bedtime” story readings, a pajama fashion search and a giveaway of the band’s Pog-style “milk caps.”

Craig ‘n Company’s signature style is sophisticated instrumentals and Taubman’s professional vocals, plus his uncloying, boundless energy and remarkable gift for audience rapport. But Taubman has a mellow side, too, and he’ll wind down the Sunday evening event with lullabies from his “Morning and Night” album.

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The Ford concert is the culmination of a nationwide tour that took Taubman to more than a dozen cities this summer. Since leaving Walt Disney Records’ live artist division earlier this year--"I fulfilled my contract for them with three albums"--Taubman said he has never been busier.

Besides his performance and promotions schedule, he wrote the song “You’re My Best Friend” for the “Andre” film soundtrack and he is writing and producing the music for Fox’s new children’s fall series “Rimba’s Island.” The entertainer said he feels some ambivalence about leaving Disney, but adds, “Is there life after the mouse? There is and I’m loving it.”

The informality of Sunday’s concert appeals to Taubman, because he said, “In doing kids’ music it’s an interesting reality that children are not your fans--they listen to you in the bathtub or in the car and they relate to you as part of their family.”

Taubman, whose humorous and heartfelt lyrics reflect understanding of how a young child’s mind works, finds his main inspiration in his two children, ages 4 and 6, and in his wife, a former preschool teacher who is director of the early childhood learning center at the University of Judaism. Taubman credits his wife for her knowledgeable input, but jokes, “My son and daughter are the motivation and she’s like the cop. They’ll do stuff, I’ll write about it and she’ll say, ‘You can’t use that.’ ”

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* “Not Ready for Bedtime Family Concert and Pajama Party,” John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood , on Sunday. Pre-concert events start at 5 p.m., concert is at 6 . Audience may bring picnic dinners; cushions or blankets for seating a good idea. $7. (213) 466-1767.


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