Chicago’s known as a great theater town… not just for adults, but kids as well. Chicago’s Emerald City Theater continues that tradition with its newest play, an adaption of author Roald Dahl’s classic, the B.F.G. (Big Friendly Giant).
It’s the story of the lonely orphan Sophie, who is wisked away by the Big Friendly Giant to an enchanted land. As the title suggests, the B.F.G . is a delightfully harmless creature, who befriends Sophie and escorts her on an incredible theatrical adventure.
B.F.G. and Sophie hatch a plan to save the world from other menacing giants who eat “human beans”. The plan requires enlisting foreign dignitaries, like Queen Elizabeth, played royally silly by Judy Knudtson. John Keating and Jeffy Meyer are superb as the absurd heads of the Army and Air Force. The entire theater was filled with howels of laughter during their comical skit together.
B.F.G. is inventive, funny, and sometimes just a bit confusing. It requires the audience to use their imagination to step inside Sophie’s dream world to follow the story. At times it’s difficult to know when the dream world ends, and the real world begins. My 6 year old couldn’t summarize what the play was about to me afterwards, but she was mesmorized by the giant puppet, as well as the delightful shadow puppetry. It’s propably best for kids eight and older. Those who really love the story will be happy to hear that Dreamworks is making its own movie version of B.F.G. directed by Steven Spielberg, set to be released in 2016. BFG runs at Chicago’s Apollo Theater, October 25 – January 4, 2015. For tickets, $10 – $20, call 773-529-2690 or visit EmeraldCityTheatre.com.