Arts & Culture

'Dinosaur Train' pulls into Tampa

Most kids think dinosaurs are really cool. Most kids think trains are pretty cool, too.

And almost all kids love the puppet creations of Jim Henson's studios.

All those things come together in "Jim Henson's Dinosaur Train Live: Buddy's Big Adventure," the stage show based on the hit PBS series "Dinosaur Train." It's coming to Tampa this weekend, for two Saturday afternoon shows at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.

The series uses CGI animation, but the stage show uses the creative and whimsical puppets that Henson's studio is known for.

The live, 75-minute show features all the characters your kids know and love from the TV show, including Buddy the Tyrannosaurus and his siblings Tiny and Don.

As on TV, they travel through prehistoric times, encountering creatures from the distant past.

It's all fanciful fun, but there's some education going on as well. The interactive show encourages basic scientific thinking skills as the audience learns about life science, natural history and paleontology.

That's why parents appreciate both the stage show and the series. For kids, it's more about the laughs, the music and the chance to see their TV favorites in person.

Details: May 16, Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Show times: 1 and 4 p.m. Tickets: $25-$35 plus service charge Information: 813-229-7827,

-- Marty Clear