Tambourine Submarine Makes A Splash



Photo Credit: Bob Suh

“If your kids enjoy bouts of dancing to zippy music mixed with awesome theatrics and acrobatics, then this show is sure to please.” -ParentMap

“Tambourine Submarine takes the entire family on an uproarious ocean adventure.” -Seattle’s Child

“Your whole family is going to love this newest show!” -Macaroni Kid

“We had the best time. No really, it was the best time, and I bought both of the Recess Monkey albums for sale after the show so we could keep jamming on the ride home.” -Trekaroo

“All the kids were fantastically cute, particularly the little hula performers. The music was fun and lively… Duo Madrona’s acrobatic talent will leave you positively stunned!” -Reviewinit

See what all the motion in the ocean (WAVES) is about!


“In Tents is Irresistible!”

We’ve been humming (and craving) “Popcorn” since Saturday and according to the reviews, we aren’t the only ones (looking at you Emerald City Kids).  Last weekend, we kicked off the first (and second) show in our rip-roaring good fun series, In Tents with Recess Monkey.  The show was not only a smashing success, it was sold out!

Here is just a taste of some of the juicy reviews:

In Tents, the new show for kids at Teatro ZinZanni, is irresistibly good fun, thanks to the trio Recess Monkey and acrobat Saffi Watson, among others.”

The Seattle Times

“It was a fantastic combination of elements that transported adults and had the children staring open-mouthed in wonder.”


“If there is one show to see in Seattle with kids this summer, I think it’s the Recess Monkey’s In Tents at Teatro ZinZanni.”


“The music was accompanied by fun performances from some of the Teatro ZinZanni performers and included some seriously impressive contortions, a performing “bear”, some great juggling (my son’s favorite part!), dancing and more!”


You can catch a glimpse of some of this monkey business tomorrow morning on Q13 Fox Morning News. Don’t miss your chance to rock out with Recess Monkey and some of their friends.  The concert series continues throughout the summer: Saturday 5/12, Saturday 5/19, Saturday 6/2, Saturday 6/23, Sunday 6/24, Saturday 7/14,  and ends Sunday 7/15.

Get your tickets before they sell out (and they will at this rate)!!

And now a dancing bear for your enjoyment:

Behind the Scenes: Recess Monkey

Jack from Recess Monkey and Oscar (his son and champion phone commander) dropped by the tent to plan out an upcoming series, In Tents.

What, you don’t know of In Tents?

Allow us to explain (and if you know about it, feel free to skip down to the photos below; Oscar looks wicked cute).  A few weeks ago, kindiependent band Recess Monkey recorded a live jam session for their new album right here in the tent.  A side note: Seeing them live was like an IV drip of sugar, in music form.  Between the catchy/witty songs and the astoundingly energetic musicians, it was impossible not to bounce around in the kiddie mosh pit.

Oh yes, we said kiddie mosh pit.  Don’t worry, the kids are all fine!

After Recess Monkey completed the live recording, they worked their magic and presto: In Tents was born (we may have just glossed over an incredible amount of work).  The album will be featured in a series of kid-friendly, rock-tastic shows beginning in May on select Saturdays and Sundays through July.  Boogie down with the whole family at this circus spectacular that features performers from Teatro ZinZanni‘s renowned dinner shows, as well as Seattle circus stars of tomorrow. Arrive early for pre-show activities and snacks!

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Tickets, get your Tickets here!

We’ll post more details as they become available.  Stay tuned!

Recess Monkey Drops In

The count down has begun! Just over two weeks until Recess Monkey takes over the tent for another installation of our wildly popular kiddie concert series, Big Top Rock.  Friday afternoon, the Kindiependent artists dropped in to hang out (we couldn’t resist) and attend a planning meeting for a potential 2012 partnership.  Being avid fans, we snuck in a snapped some photos:

photo by April Glass

(L to R): Korum Bishcoff (Senior Graphic Designer), Jack Forman (Recess Monkey), Daron Henry (Recess Monkey), Andrew Holloway (Recess Monkey), and Reenie Duff (Associate Artistic Director)

photo bt April Glass

photo by April Glass

photo by April Glass

See Recess Monkey at Big Top Rock on December 22nd!

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Recess Monkey

Kindiependent band Recess Monkey is comprised of three elementary school teachers that really rock!  They make music that sings, dances, and toe-taps its way into parents and kids hearts and tops their playlists. Recess Monkey will be performing December 22 under the tent in our wildly successful Big Top Rock series (tickets on sale now).  The triumvirate of kiddie rock sat down with us to share 25 things we did not know about them!

L-R: Jack Forman, Daron Henry, Drew Holloway

1.  If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
Drew: An Owl. I can hardly stay up as late as my kids, I’d love to see what 10:30pm looks like! I’d also love to fly silently through the forest. I got buzzed by an owl when I was running through the woods at Ravenna-Cowen park. It took my breath away!

2.  What was the last movie you saw?
Daron: We just finished watching all of the X-men movies. Go Super Hero Mutants!

3.  How did you get into playing music for kiddos?
Jack: We’re all teachers, so we’re surrounded by kids everyday. It wasn’t long before we figured out that our day jobs and nighttime hobbies as indie-rockers could coexist! Kids are way cooler audience members than adults.

4.  If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Drew: I want a time turner like Hermione had in Harry Potter. An extra hour or two added to the day is as super as things could be!

5.  What television show/s do you watch?
Daron: Top Chef. I’m amazed at how they can make you long for the food by just looking at and talking about it. I can’t wait for Smell-o-vision.

6.  What was your first job?
Jack: I made a summer’s worth of milkshakes at Kidd Valley in Bellevue… I didn’t know that it was possible to get sick of milkshakes, but six a day will do that- even if you are sixteen years old. Perchance this is the root of my lactose intolerance?

7.  If you could be anyone for one day, who would it be?
Daron: I think that it would be fun to be Oprah… YOU get a car! YOU get a car!

8.  What are you scared of?
Jack: Insects with long spindly legs and/or wings- crane flies drive me absolutely crazy. They’re so gangly! Eat a sandwich!

9.  What’s your favorite food?
Jack: No question, macaroni and cheese! One of the perks of touring as much as we do is I get to try mac and cheese from every region… and if that was really the best Mac and Cheese in Tulsa, as the server suggested, I feel a deep, deep sorrow for Tulsa. No one comes even close to Beechers’ mac and cheese in the Pike Place market!

10.  What have you always wanted to do or try?
Drew: I want to sky dive but my life insurance rate will go up!

11.  Where did you grow up?
Daron: I grew up in a small town, Jamestown, IN. (pop. 900). Both of my grandparents had farms just outside of town. It was pretty great!

12.  What’s your family like?
Drew: I live with three very fun ladies (my wife and two daughters) in a very small house! There’s always a stuffed animal puppet show, singalong or art project in the works. We’re creative, messy and loud! We like to have dinner together… we have a trio of glassy baby votive holders to help set the mood for our conversation!

13.  What’s your favorite book or author?
Jack: Definitely Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan. It’s funny, observant and really, really weird… pretty much everything we aspire for our band to be.

14.  How many siblings do you have?
Daron: One, my younger sister, Caron. Even though we have rhyming names, we are not twins. Our parents just liked the sound of our names together.

15.  What would you consider as a good day?
Drew: Time for a run! And… A good talk with my oldest daughter, holding my youngest hand as we walk to school, and snuggling up to some streaming Netflix with my wife!

16.  What is your hidden talent?
Drew: Drawing, It’s not something that comes out in the band but it’s my secret weapon as a teacher at school!

17.  What’s something you dislike (activity, food, etc)?
Jack: Painting. I always seem to get more paint on me than what I was aiming for. Photoshop is a much easier way to paint.

18.  Do you have any pets?
Daron: We have a dog named Sugar. She loves to chase a tennis ball.

19.  What’s your favorite song?
Drew: Hard to choose! Maybe “Don’t Talk Put Your Head on My Shoulder” by The Beach Boys? “Mermaid Smiled” by XTC? “I’m Only Sleeping” by The Beatles?

20.  What are you most proud of?
Daron: I’m proud that I’ve been teaching for twenty years and that I’ve been with my wife for twenty-two.

21.  Chocolate, strawberry or plain milk?
Jack: Strawberry! No question. But can I trade you this strawberry milk for pumpkin pie milk? That’s a pretty good trade for you.

22.  What is your favorite toy?
Jack: My new ukulele! My wife and I are working on learning Hall and Oates’ complete catalog with ukulele-friendly chords!

23.  Do you like brussel sprouts?
Jack: YES! (though I spent 30+ years not liking them). Whenever I burn out on a food, it seems like another food that I’ve always disliked is waiting in the wings… A tough experience with tiramisu opened the door for Brussels!

24.  What is your favorite childhood memory?
Drew: Time in the car with my dad, listening to the radio or my music tapes, driving to a baseball game, ice hockey practice or a Sunday visit to my Nan’s.

25.  Have you ever tried to grow sea monkeys?  If so, were you successful?
Daron: No! But I bought a pair of X-ray glasses that were advertised right next to them in the same comic. BTW-they didn’t work.

Find out more about Recess Monkey and get your tickets to see this unforgettable band!

ParentMap Theater Review: “Big Top Rock” at Teatro ZinZanni

By John Kubalak

Big Top Rock at Teatro ZinZanni is the perfect venue for the bands of Seattle’s Kindiependent music collective, and the sold-out Oct. 8 show with Johnny Bregar & the Country Dawgs and Recess Monkey was a thoroughly captivating trifecta of fun. There are two more shows in the series, coming up on Oct. 15 (Caspar Babypants and The Harmonica Pocket) and Oct. 22 (The Not-Its! and The Board of Education), and I highly recommend you check them out. Underscore highly.

The event kicks off with a carnival staged in the Teatro ZinZanni lobby. Though the carnival portion is open to everyone, you need to purchase tickets for the show in advance or risk being shut out. While the experience of navigating the carnival in a space that can’t comfortably accommodate the audience and activities is overwhelming, the kids will have fun because everyone’s a winner at the games. It also helps that the carnival swag is decent.

If you haven’t been to Teatro ZinZanni, the décor is impressive in its over-the-top old-world theatricality. Equal parts cabaret, gypsy tent, and bordello (but in a G-rated kind of way in this context!), you can easily imagine you’ve walked into the Moulin Rouge at the turn of the 20th century. Moving from the lobby to the antique Belgian spiegeltent that houses the main performance space, it struck me that this could well be the Grand Ole Opry of Seattle’s kindiependent music scene.

Another benefit of the musicians partnering with Teatro ZinZanni is that the whole experience is presented within the wrapper of a ZinZanni performance. The ringmaster kicks off the show by setting up a simple narrative that is carried throughout the performance and provides an opportunity for ZinZanni’s aerialists and jugglers to knock the audience’s socks off. The storyline and action provide seamless entertainment bridging between one band and the next through the intermission, keeping the under-10 set transfixed.

Not to be outdone, the bands provide the heartbeat of the show with music that is a pleasure to hear for both young and old. I’m sure Raffi is a very nice man, but seriously, dude, throw the parents a bone! True all-ages appeal is where Seattle’s kindiependent music scene really shines. I’ve heard “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” so many times I just want to push them all off, but it was impressive to see how Johnny Bregar’s bluesy rendition of the kiddie classic brought the ankle-biting mosh pit spontaneously to its feet. Despite the Country Dawgs’ impressive musicianship and thoroughly entertaining set, however, Recess Monkey stole the show by turning the gig into a high-octane dance party.

I was sorry when it ended – I wanted more of everything. From what I know about the other bands that will be appearing on upcoming dates, this will continue to be a can’t-miss ticket. I hope that Big Top Rock becomes a regular event – it is a worthy idea that deserves to live on.

See the full article!