Pennsylvania Ballet Presents Carnival of the Animals

Artists of Pennsylvania Ballet in Christopher Wheeldon’s
Carnival of the Animals.
Photo: Paul Kolnik

Narrated by Tony and Emmy Award winning actor John Lithgow
With George Balanchine’s Ballo della Regina and The Four Temperaments

Let your imagination soar with Christopher Wheeldon’s charming Carnival of the Animals, narrated live by Tony and Emmy Award winning actor John Lithgow, May 9-12 at the Academy of Music. The program also includes two George Balanchine masterpieces: Ballo della Regina and The Four Temperaments.

Carnival is such a clever, beautiful production,” Artistic director Roy Kaiser says. “The narration is just brilliant, and we are so honored to have Mr. Lithgow performing with our dancers.”

Carnival of the Animals follows the dream of a young boy, asleep in the American Museum of Natural History. Wild creatures emerge, and hilarious antics ensue. With witty narration written and performed by Tony and Emmy Award winning actor John Lithgow, Carnival unfolds to the well-known Camille Saint-Saëns score.

Opening the performance is the joyous allegro of Ballo della Regina. This pageant of pastels and precision is a tour de force of virtuoso variations and ballerina bravura that merits its translation, “Dance of the Queen.”

The stunning simplicity and angular architecture of The Four Temperaments became the standard for Balanchine works. The ballet is an abstraction of ancient doctrines that enumerated the four aspects of a person’s disposition: melancholic, sanguinic, phlegmatic, and choleric. Having performed The Four Temperaments countless times throughout its history, the Company has been invited to present this work at Ballet Across America III at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC this June.

Tickets to Carnival of the Animals at the Academy of Music are on sale now, starting at $30. Tickets are available online at, by phone at 215.893.1999, and in person at the Kimmel Center Box Office. Casting is subject to change.

Carnival of the Animals performances at the Academy of Music:

  • Thursday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 12 at 2 p.m.

About John Lithgow
John Lithgow may be most widely known for his three-time Emmy-winning role as Dr. Dick Solomon on the NBC sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. His roots, though, are in theater, having appeared on Broadway more than 20 times and winning the first of his two Tony Awards just weeks after his Broadway debut in David Storey’s The Changing Room. Among his more than 30 films, Mr. Lithgow received Academy Award nominations for his work as Roberta Muldoon in The World According to Garp and as Sam Burns in Terms of Endearment. He also won a Golden Globe Award and Emmy for his role on Showtime’s Dexter. Additionally, Mr. Lithgow has done extensive work for children, including several books and albums. His next kids’ book, Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo, will be published by Simon & Schuster in October.


About Steven Weisz

A Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with advanced degrees in Psychology and Education is an entrepreneur and CEO for several for-profits and non-profit corporations in the region. He is also an adjunct professor of Psychology with several local Universities.

Steven is currently the CEO of Delaware Valley on Line, one of the first regional Internet Service Provides that now focuses on business-class web hosting, design, and internet marketing. He is president and founder of Rainbow Promotions Inc., a special events and entertainment agency established in the late 70’s, that services corporate and retail accounts both locally and nationally.

Steven is the Founder of, the largest web presence and resource for the dance community in the greater Philadelphia region, and the Founder and Editor of The Dance Journal. His involvement in the dance community extends to being Director of Graffito Works, an international platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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