#100. “Shut off your cell phone” is a familiar announcement. But what happened next was a complete surprise. The nice lady told the audience if they wanted to tell the story along with the narrator to go ahead. “This is a no shushing show.”
Chicago Children’s Theatre hosts Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia presenting an all-new production of A Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar: TREASURED STORIES BY ERIC CARLE. A puppet show showcases three beloved children stories by Eric Carle. His illustrations jump off the page and onto the stage with amazing accuracy. Utilizing black lights and vibrant painted puppets, the black-clad cast makes the sun rise, the moon disappear and a caterpillar eat. The puppeteers are cloaked in invisibility adding to the magical illusion. A Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar: TREASURED STORIES BY ERIC CARLE enchants with vivid imagination by the book.
When was the last time you smiled all the way through a play? Or actually heard theatre patrons *squealing* in delight. One of the next generation of subscribers enthusiastically greeted every new movement. This adorable kid would exclaim, “the moon, yay!” And then she would clap. You can’t buy that kind of appreciation of art. This show is as much fun to watch as it is to listen to. And not just the narrator, I’m talking more about the audience. The laughing and gasps of excitement is genuine feedback from these kids. They make the show… even more delightful.
The stories are simplistic. The visuals are transfixing. The audience is animated. This is a very family-friendly show. Eric Carle’s books seem to be geared toward youngsters, ages 2-5. That seems about the right range for this show too. Most of the kids seemed well-versed in these tales. When a young boy was calling out ‘it’s an orange’ during “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” I smugly thought he was wrong about a peach. Guess what? I’m the one who didn’t know my fruits.
Want to see – and hear- your kids have fun with a learning experience. Take them to A Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar: TREASURED STORIES BY ERIC CARLE. It’s the perfect family outing to talk up before, during and after the show.
Running Time: Sixty minutes with no intermission plus a 10 minute Q&A with the puppeteers
At Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre, 2433 N. Lincoln
Based on the book by Eric Carle
Conceived and executed by Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays at 10:15am
Fridays at 10am and noon
Saturdays at 10am, noon and 3pm
Sundays at 11am and 3pm
Thru May 27th
Buy Tickets at www.chicagocgildrenstheatre.org