Seattle is known for many things, and music is absolutely at the top of the list. From Hendrix to Cobain to Macklemore, we have rock cred in spades, and we ain’t afraid to sing about it. Cue Teatro ZinZanni’s newest rock ‘n roll circus extravaganza—Big Top Rock: Dream On. Your little headbangers will be right at home at this rockin’, rollin’, foot stompin’, hand clappin’ spectacle of chart toppin’ music and acrobatics fun for all ages.

Dream On mosh pit

We Are Family
Yes, we music-savvy Seattle parents used to come home from moshing in the clubs about the time we now wake up with our little future rock-gods, but guess what? This rock-tastic show combines all that pre-kid coolness in a flashy, fantastic AND family-friendly package. The Teatro Big Top opens at 10 a.m., and mom and dads can grab a drink (yes, that kind of drink—there’s a full bar) and treats like yogurt cups and tater tots (and even baked penne and cheese or hot dogs) for your toddler and head inside before the 11 a.m. start time. Seating is first-come, first-served, so we suggest getting there early and nabbing a front row seat. We recommend that your little roadies park it in the kid-only mosh pit at the foot of the stage, where they’ll be first in line for the singing, flying, conga line-dancing and rock training that’s soon to follow.

I Love Rock and Roll
This show is a crash course in all that is rock legend—classic hits from such rock gods as Joan Jett and David Bowie, performed by the awesome “all girl and a guy Seattle band” (and real Aerosmith cover band) Dream On. Their leader, the Debbie Harry-esque Jen Ayers, leads the totally cool quintet through decades of kid-friendly hits, while your kiddo learns to headbang, mosh, and foot stomp his way into rock history. Chart toppers like Blondie’s “Rapture” and (of course) Aerosmith’s “Dream On” will have your kids rocking out while you fondly sing along, reminiscing of high school dances and mix tapes made in your bedroom.

dream on jen ayers

Puttin’ on the Ritz
Do you have a little toe tapper in your tribe? Then she (and you) will be thrilled by the foot stomping and body grooving of the NLC Sapphires, a young trio of totally talented tap dancers from the Rainier Valley’s Northwest Tap Connection. After attending a few classes, Dream On’s director Reenie Duff asked Nia, Lacey and Cipher if they’d like to join the fun under the tent, and the NLC Sapphires were born. These tweens really know how to jam, and their fast feet will impress even the sleepiest dad. You may want to price out tap shoes now for the inevitable request for lessons that is sure to follow.

Learning to Fly
What about the circus, you ask? Well, that’s what Teatro ZinZanni is known for, and they certainly pull out all the stops at this show. From the high flying Teatro regulars Duo Madrona to the graceful movements of young Anastasia Voronina (daughter of Svetlana and Voronin, also Teatro regulars) and the show stopping aerial acrobatics of another Teatro member, Terry Crane, you’ll be craning your neck (see what we did there?) in the best way to catch every awesome act. Don’t be surprised if your babycakes begs for circus lessons after this amazing artistry.

Teatro ZinZanni Tambourine Submarine

Send in the Clowns
If you like a little laughter with your rock ‘n roll, there’s also a comedy duo to keep you giggling–the odd couple pairing of hippie Jethro and nerdy Angus (do we see an AC/DC reference?) as honorary band roadies just bursting at the seams to be cool. From their first stumbling moments on stage to their final (air) guitar solo, watch as they trip, slip and eventually fly their way into your hearts, becoming rock gods in their own right.

Ticket to Ride
This kid-tastic rock and roll pageant only lasts through June on select weekends, so get your tickets now and surprise your littlest rocker with an afternoon of lofty tunes and headbanging heraldry that will rival any (OK, almost any) rock show you’ve attended. (The show may be extended into the summer, so check the website often for more info).

dream on band

Planning Your Trip 
Traffic on lower Queen Anne is pretty gnarly because of the construction on Mercer, so plan accordingly and check out this website for up-to-date information and closures.

Teatro ZinZanni
222 Mercer St.
Seattle, Wa 98109

Dates and Times
April 18, 19, 25 and May 2, 3, 9, 17, 23, 24 & 30, 2015. All shows start at 11 a.m. and run approximately one hour and 15 minutes. Doors open at 10 a.m.

Order online; $25 for chair seating (closer to stage), $20 for booth seating; babes in arms are free. All tickets will be waiting at Will Call.

Have you seen Dream On? Are you planning to see it again? Let us know in a comment below.

— Erin Cranston

Photos courtesy of Teatro ZinZanni & Erin Cranston