Let the sociologists bemoan the tot-culture franchise machine. Sure, very young kids are hooked early by arguably benign tube-born icons. They watch and then wail for shoes, cereal, juice and backpacks with the beloved images. Parents realize quickly if they buy 'em, the kids will wear 'em, eat 'em, drink 'em or carry 'em. The latest gotta-get-it, gotta-go money-makers are nationally touring live stage shows from kid-TV. Disney's Bear in the Big Blue House is coming to the Majestic Theatre for an impressive eight performances of A First Time for Everything at kid-friendly times from August 21 to August 24. Unlike animated characters, Bear and friends are puppet creations by the late Muppet-master Jim Henson, so the TV format should translate well to the stage. All seats for opening night at 7 p.m. are $12 through Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000. Get the full schedule at www.bearinthebigbluehouselive.com. --Annabelle Massey Helber
Pounding It Out
We often can't come to an agreement with Todd Rundgren ("No, Todd, we can't still be friends. C'mon, Todd, don't cry."). But on this one point, we are in accord: We don't want to work; we just want to bang on the drum all day. And maybe if we were Kweku Codrington, we could. Codrington has studied African percussion for more than 20 years, including dundun and djembe drumming and the cultures that developed this rhythmic music. His Library Live! presentation also will touch on the meanings and rituals behind the beat. And maybe he'll even let you bang on his drum. Learn all about West African percussion at the Pleasant Grove Branch Library, 1125 S. Buckner Blvd., Tuesday at 4 p.m. Call 214-670-0965. --Michelle Martinez
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Hot & Cold
Kids tackle the elements
Fire and ice. Like most, we're sure, the polar description brings two things to mind immediately: lukewarm water and a preserved moose. Still, there's (almost) no reason to be disappointed that the IMAX and corresponding presentations taking place Saturday have nothing to do with Spinal Tap or the philosophical musings of bassist Derek Smalls. No, the Fire and Ice event at The Science Place (which is what Derek might call "a lab"...but it isn't) and TI IMAX Theater is much more literal. The family can enjoy a big-screen study of the elemental dichotomy along with on-site looks at the wonders of liquid nitrogen and...money burning. All right, then. We're also promised a look at what happens when "science heats up," although it's probably not as saucy as it sounds. Picture it: "TONITE! DRY ICE and SPINAL TAP." The Science Place is located at 1318 Second Ave. Call 214-428-5555. --Matt Hursh