We love the Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel. And we love the Chicago Children's Theatre. So we really, really loved A Year with Frog and Toad presented by the Chicago Children's Theatre.
This show manages to capture the personalities of these beloved animal characters on their adventures through all four seasons. Readers of the Frog and Toad series will recognize familiar story lines woven throughout the hour-long performance. Those who are new to the tales of frog and toad will be charmed by the antics of grumpy Toad and his loyal and steadfast friend Frog. ...
You know that your kids are off school on Monday, January 21st for Martin Luther King Day, right? So what's the plan? Don't worry, I've got one for you -- and it is educational! And free!
On Monday, January 21, 2013, Chicago Children's Theatre (CCT) invites families to meet Christopher Paul Curtis
, author of Bud, Not Buddy
at the Chase Auditorium, 10 S. Dearborn St. in downtown Chicago. Curtis is visiting Chicago for the opening weekend of Chicago Children's Theatre's newest production, a live stage adaptation of his book Bud, Not Buddy
. Take advantage of this opportunity to meet Curtis, one of the most prolific African American writers of contemporary children's literature today and author of the only book to win both the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award. This free event includes a Q&A with Curtis introduced by Chicago Children's Theatre Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell
, co-moderated by Talia Garg
(12) and Olivia Garg
(10). Curtis will meet fans and sign books after the discussion...
Harold and The Purple Crayon
by Crockett Johnson is a popular bedtime story pick at our house. In fact, my husband has declared that this book was his childhood favorite and it was the first children's book we purchased when we were expecting our daughter 8 1/2 years ago. So needless to say, expectations were high for the Chicago Children's Theatre's rendition of Harold and the Purple Crayon
at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts when we went to check it out last week.
We've been lucky to see a number of performances courtesy of The Chicago Children's Theatre (most recently Goodnight Moon) -- and this group consistently delivers high quality children's theatre (that mom and dad truly enjoy as well).
In case you are new to the the story of Harold and his adventures, let me get you up to speed. Harold is a curious four year old boy dressed in super cute pjs. Armed with his trusty purple crayon, has the power to create a world of his own simply by drawing it. When Harold wants to go on a walk in the moonlight, he finds there is no moon. So Harold draws one. When he has nowhere to walk, Harold draws his own path. Along the way he encounters dangerous dragons, embarks on a perilous sea voyage in a trim little boat, takes a hot air balloon ride, and enjoys a nine-pie picnic. When he grows tired, Harold draws himself back to his own bedroom.
Chicago Children's Theatre's Chicago premiere of Harold and the Purple Crayon
stars Nate Lewellyn
(Harold), and Alex Goodrich
and Bethany Thomas
. This performance features Goodrich and Thomas as "storytellers" who embark on this creative journey with Harold. I have to confess that I have mixed feelings about this departure from the story. While I understand that the charter of Harold needed other people to interact with on stage, the other two performers were often way more entertaining and engaging than Harold himself. We absolutely love Alex Goodrich from his work in previous shows and his performance is once again the real stand out. The scenery is the other show stealer. We all loved how the set really brought the story to life as Harold used his larger-than-life purple crayon to create purple images across the stage. My kids were marveling at the special effects here. In addition to the cool set and inventive costuming, the live music was another real treat.
We took advantage of the pre-show pizza party (offered for select performances) and my kids also enjoyed the program books full of activities (and complete with a purple crayon naturally) almost as much as the show. Other pre-show activities included the chance to draw on butcher block paper attached to the wall of the theatre. The one-hour run time was about as long as my kiddos could handle on school night. They were wiped out by the end of it. The performers hung out in the lobby after the show and did an amazing job of interacting with the little theatre-goers. Seriously, this is a first-class cultural opportunity for Chicago-area families. Worth every penny...
A few years ago, I took my kids to see the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia perform a puppet show of Eric Carle's stories at the Field Museum. We were all absolutely floored by this show.
They still talk about this experience today. So I was so thrilled to hear that these amazing performers were heading back into town again with a new show.
This month, the Chicago Children's Theatre presents A Brown Bear, A Moon and a Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle
performed by the acclaimed Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia...
If you have children, you are no doubt familiar with the classic bedtime tale Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (and if you aren’t, I have no idea what is going on with bedtime at your house). This is the classic bedtime story — you have to at least read it a couple of times!... Read more »
When I was invited to experience “theatre for babies and toddlers,” I was skeptical. Seriously skeptical. We’ve had several bad experiences with children’s theater in the past (think crying, begging to leave, running out of the theater). So it was hard for me to believe that theater for babies and toddlers could possibly be a... Read more »