Chicago Children’s Theatre bring’s Eric Carle’s Treasured Stories to life

| May 9, 2012 | Comments (0)

How many times have you taken your kids to a movie based on a beloved book, only to be dismayed and disappointed by the adaptation?  Thankfully, that is not what happens in the Chicago Children’s Theatre production of A Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle.

When I heard that A Very, Hungry Caterpillar was going to be performed on stage, I have to admit, I was skeptical.  How could such a classic, perfectly-told story be performed with justice on the stage?  Obviously I misjudged the cleverness and talent of the Mermaid Theatre group of Nova Scotia.  Their puppeteering skills are perfectly suited to bring all three of their chosen Eric Carle books magically to life.  I also underestimated the love that these performers obviously have for these books, as well as their awareness of the love that children have for these books.

I attended the production with all four of my children, ranging in age from almost 10 to 2.  I had so much fun listening to my two-year-old interact with the characters on stage as she watched, enthralled, the entire hour-long performance.  My almost ten-year-old, thought (by me) to be a little too old for the production, enjoyed it as well, as she tried to figure out how each of the story-telling elements was cleverly managed.  Thankfully, many of her questions were answered after the show when the puppeteers came out to answer questions from the audience.  All secrets were definitely revealed, to the delight of the audience, both young and old.

The “non-shushing” performance includes The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, and Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me.  Kids felt free to call out the next food that the caterpillar would eat or the animal that brown bear would see.  It is by no means a quiet performance, but the kids’ delight is evident throughout with spontaneous giggles and bursts of laughter.

Performances are May 2-27, 2012 on the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater mainstage, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago:  Tuesday through Thursday at 10:15 am; Friday at 10 am and Noon; Saturday at 10 am, Noon and 3 pm; and Sunday at 11 am and 3 pm.

 Tickets, $15 – $41, are on sale now.  For tickets and information, go to chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call the Victory Gardens box office, 773.871.3000. For discounted rates for pre-schools, schools, day care facilities and play groups of eight or more, contact GroupTix at 773.327.3778 or visit GroupTix.net.

For a Mother’s Day treat, Wishcraft Workshop, 2312 W. Roscoe, is setting up temporary shop at the Biograph on Mother’s Day to offer children and their parents free arts and crafts activities in the style of Eric Carle before or after the show.   Tickets are still available for the 11 a.m. and noon performances.

In addition, because the Chicago Children’s Theatre has a tradition of giving back to the community, they are teaming up with Open Books to for a Brown Bear, Brown Bear Book Drive.  Theatre-goers are encouraged to bring new or used early childhood reading books with them to the theater to donate to Chicago area kids in need.

To boost awareness for the drive, Chicago Children’s Theatre will have the help of three celebrity readers:  Pat Quinn, Governor, State of Illinois; WGN-TV Around Town reporter Ana Belaval, and family-friendly rocker Ralph Covert, of Ralph’s World fame.  Each one will appear before the start of a weekend performance to read aloud a favorite Eric Carle book. Pat Quinn will be reading on May 12 at noon; Ana Belavel will read on May 19 at noon; and Ralph Covert will read on May 26 at noon.

 

photo credit: © Chicago Children’s Theatre 2011

 

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About Melanie Myatt: Melanie stills feel like a child inside, even though she now finds herself the mother of four kids. Her student husband has promised that life will get easier when he is done with school, but she isn't holding her breath. In spite of two master's degrees, she's somehow never had a real job. Nevertheless, she dreams of the day when she can be . . . something. For now, she spends her days folding laundry, cooking, eating, cleaning up, wiping noses, changing diapers, and re-reading countless children's books. When she can, she tries to find time for some grown-up types of thoughts to record at tales from the crib. View author profile.

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