A trip to Navy Pier during the busy summer season can be kind of an ordeal. Unless you are entertaining out-of-town guests and feel compelled to show them all of the typical tourist spots, my guess is that most of you could skip the crowds, ridiculous parking prices and souvenir booths at Navy Pier. (At least, that's how I feel.)
Despite my bad attitude, I've made two separate trips to Navy Pier in recent weeks to check out limited engagement performances. And I have to say that I didn't regret either visit (despite the crowds, parking fees, and souvenir shops).
A few weeks ago, my kids and I enjoyed the show Cloud 9 by Cirque Shanghai (you can read more about how great this show was here). And last Saturday, my six year-old and I took in a performance of The Emperor's New Clothes at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
This family musical is grown-up theater for kids. The venue is intimate,
but also very much a "real" theater. The set design is vibrant. The
three-piece live orchestra creates a lively atmosphere. The actors
portray their quirky characters in an endearing way. The show
runs for about an hour and fifteen minutes -- which is plenty o' time at
the theater for little ones.
The Chicago Shakespeare Theater
recommends the show for everyone age 5 and up -- and I would definitely
heed that suggestion. The sensory components of the show can be kind
of intense for the younger set (at least, that's what my 6 year-old
would tell you).
I would also take a minute to familiarize your
little theater-goers with Hans Christian Anderson's classic tale before
you see the show. Some basic info about the story will provide
some much-needed context for the performance (I learned this lesson the hard way).
The Emperor's New
Clothes runs through August 29th at the Courtyard Theater at Navy Pier.
Tickets ($18-$23) are available through the website.
Edited to add: If you are interested in purchasing tickets to The Emperor's New Clothes, I have a discount code that I wanted to pass along to you. Wee Windy City readers can get a $5 discount on tickets for any upcoming performance! All you have to do is enter or mention the code "MOM" when you purchase tickets online or by calling the box office at 312/595-5600.