Orchestra will spotlight Babar, Dr. Frankenstein

Babar, beloved children's book character, will jump off the page and into the Belk Theater this fall thanks to the Charlotte Symphony.

The noble elephant will kick off next season's edition of the orchestra's Lollipops concerts for young people.

The Saturday morning concerts, about an hour long, are always kicked off by a preconcert festival including hands-on activities for kids, such as a "musical petting zoo" of instruments and a drum circle.

Next season's four programs:

"The Story of Babar," Sept. 24. Actors Michael Boudwyns - from last season's "Green Eggs and Ham" - and Sara Valentine bring Babar and his friends to life, with the help of Francis Poulenc's music.

"The Phantom of the Lollipop," Oct. 29. Dr. Frankenstein tries to create his masterpiece, the Great Phantom. The Grey Seal Puppets take the spotlight.

"A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra," Feb. 11. Benjamin Britten shows how descriptive the orchestra can be.

"Peter and the Wolf," May 5. The Project Trio - a chamber group with flute, cello and bass - helps the orchestra tell the ever-popular tale by Sergei Prokofiev.

The concerts are Saturdays at 11 a.m., and the orchestra's associate conductor, Jacomo Rafael Bairos, will conduct. "Peter and the Wolf" will be at the Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St. The other concerts are at the Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St.

Subscriptions covering all four concerts start at $40. Details: www.charlotte symphony.org ; 704-972-2000.