cinderellaOnce upon a time, in a land far, far, away, children’s theater consisted of neighborhood kids putting on small-time productions, often in church basements or school auditoriums. Alas, those days are no more. Today, high-quality children’s theatres are thriving throughout the country. My home town of Chicago has several great children’s theatres, including suburban Lincolnshire Marriott’s Theatre for Young Audiences, a half hour north of Chicago and O’Hare Airport. Located on the 168 acre grounds of the Marriott Resort, it’s known for presenting Broadway musicals like Annie and Mary Poppins, as well as classic fairy tales.
A recent gloomy winter afternoon was brightened by their charming production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. The theatre recommends the show for ages six and over, but my four-year-old daughter sat on the edge of her seat through all (well, okay, most) of the performance. She was dazzled by the elaborate costumes and enchanted by the romance between the prince and his beloved Cinderella.

 The Marriott Theater is set up in the round, so it’s a circular stage surrounded by the audience. With only nine rows, there is literally no bad seat in the house. The theatre in the round design sets the stage for a highly interactive performance. Since there is no backstage, actors and sets enter the stage through the audience and occasionally interact on the way. A highlight is when the prince’s doorman brings the glass slipper into the audience and starts trying it on people. It’s also great fun to see the different props brought down the aisle between scenes.

cinderella2This is a show targetted mainly at little girls. It was delightful to see so many of them come in their princess costumes, complete with tiaras. It’s best for girls between the ages of four through ten. 

Parking

Ample free parking is available for all shows on several lots adjoining the theatre.

Tickets

Cinderella is presented daily at 10:00 AM through January 5th. There are several select performances at 12:30 PM. See the Marriott Theatre website or call the box office at 847-634-0200 for the schedule. Single ticket prices are $15 per person and are available at the Marriott Theatre Box Office or at Ticketmaster.

Disclosure: the author was provided tickets to Cinderella, for purposes of this review.

Andrea Guthmann is a freelance journalist. She spent many years as a writer and producer for WTTW-TV, the PBS station in Chicago. Her travel stories have been published in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Parent, Make It Better and on-line travel sites. 

A native Floridian, Andrea’s now a big (windy) city mom of 3, who range in age from pre-school to high school. She loves sailing Lake Michigan and visiting the world class museums and restaurants in her sweet home Chicago. Being a scenery starved city girl, she loves escaping to the outdoors during vacations and is working hard to raise 3 happy campers! You can follow her on Twitter at @AndreaGuthmann.