Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and Joshua Bell.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Life is unfair, especially for younger brothers, and Judith Viorst's classic 1972 picture book manages to illuminate that truism in such a wonderfully real fashion that it seems downright dangerous to turn it into a play. But Viorst has freshly adapted her work for the stage, developing it into an hour-long show complete with delightful songs. Alexander (MJ Sieber, pictured, simultaneously maddening, sympathetic, and funny) tells the story of a day that starts when he wakes up with gum in his hair and gets no better until bedtime. Seattle Children's Theatre, Seattle Center, 206-441-3322. $14-$28. 7 p.m. Fri.; 2 and 5:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends Sun. May 8. GEORGE HOWLAND, JR.

Joshua Bell

Used to be that violin prodigies were notorious for difficult transitions from early fame to stable adulthood (q.v. Michael Rabin or Eugene Fodor). Luckily, those romantic days when artists were practically required to be self-destructive seem to be over, and careers like Hilary Hahn's, Midori's, and Bell's show no signs of flameout. Next week, he'll join the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for Saint-Saƫns's Third Concerto, which lies somewhere between the "serious" 19th-century concertos (Beethoven, Brahms) and the era's unabashed showoff fluff. The OCO, who, conductorless, brings a chamber-music intimacy to everything they play, will also perform works by Gubaidulina, Prokofiev, and Sibelius. Benaroya Hall, Third and Union, 206-215-4747. $26-$92. 7:30 p.m. Tues. May 3. GAVIN BORCHERT

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