How do you get kids excited about reading? Magic seems to be just the trick for magician Joe Romano.
Romano's one-man show kicked off Tuesday afternoon at the Broadneck Library where he hosted three performances through the day.
Dozens of children were mesmerized by Romano and his huge banner in the library. The show consisted of a combination of stand-up comedy, skits and a traditional magic show.
But the focus of it all was inspiring kids to enter magical worlds through reading as part of the Anne Arundel County Public Library System's summer reading program, titled "Dreams and Magic."
At the start of the show, Romano stepped behind his banner and was introduced by an audio recording of James Earl Jones, who called Romano the man "who makes magic out of books."
Romano brought traditional stories to life by incorporating children from the audience in short skits. Four children were selected to enact a marriage between a princess and one of three not-so-viable candidates—a prisoner, a dragon and a frog.
The audience chose the frog as the best suitor. The princess and her frog prince were about to seal their marriage with a kiss in front of everyone, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. The kids refused to kiss, and so ended their magical tale.
Romano performed his first show in Broadneck, but he'll be touring around the county's libraries throughout the summer.
Here's a list of Romano's next library performances:
- Mountain Road Branch Library—June 27 at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.
- Crofton Branch Library—June 28 at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
- Annapolis Area Library—July 10 at 1:30, 3:30 and 7 p.m.
- Severna Park Branch Library—July 12 at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
- Brooklyn Park Branch Library—July 17 at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
- Linthicum Branch Library—July 18 at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
- West County Area Library—July 19 at 1:30, 3:30 and 7 p.m.
- Edgewater Branch Library—July 23 at 1:30, 3:30 and 7 p.m.
- South County Branch Library—July 25 at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
- North County Area Library—July 26 at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.