Kids act out stories through music and dance at Roxborough Library

Song, dance and laughter lit up the room inside the Roxborough branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Janet Schreiner, Emily Bate and Zack Kuzel – three members of The “Cat’s Pajamas” – performed some of their famous songs for local children. 

The show began with “Grandma Moses,” a staple starter for the band’s performances.

“It forces the audience to start the show,” Schreiner said. “We won’t start the show without them, until they yell ‘hit it cats!’ It communicates to them, in this concert; you have to be part of the show. We’re all going to have fun together. When I play pretend, you’re going to play pretend, too, even if you’re 65.”

In 1995, Schreiner and Stahl formed the band “The Cat’s Pajamas” and released their first duo album in 1999, “Cool Music for Kids,” and came out with their first band-released album, “Going Bananas” in 2001.

“It was a wonderful album. At the time, it won ‘Best Album’ for the Kids Music Web Awards in 2001,” Schreiner said.

In 2005, the band released the winner of The Kids Music Award for Best Album, “Reading Rocks,” and decided to hold the concert on their 10th anniversary and filmed it live at the Colonial Theater in Phoenixville. The band decided to release their first DVD, “Pajama Party” in 2011, filmed at Philadelphia’s World Café Live.

After the show, DVDs and CDs were sold and parents lined up to get autographs for their children. Isabella, 7, has been coming to the show with her mother for three years and decided to spend her birthday with the group. Newcomers and regulars alike shared the same amount of high energy. 

“This little girl with blond hair, who has never seen us before, never took her eyes off of us,” Schreiner said. “She had to be at least four [years old]. She followed every dance and every step.”

“We’re very lucky to say that’s typical for us,” she added. “It’s just something that children are able to connect to. I think it’s the storytelling. Because we have things to help the stories come to life – puppets, costume pieces, props – helps them access the story. They’re acting out the stories with their bodies.”

Parents with children of all ages love to show support to The Cat’s Pajamas. Megan O’Neill, a mother of a one-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son said she enjoyed the time spent out with her children. 

“We had a lot of fun,” O’Neill said. “It’s something nice to do in the evening before bedtime, when it’s not too late and not too early.”

For more information on “The Cat’s Pajamas” go to the group’s facebook page

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.