caterpillarEager to introduce your kids to live theatre, but worried about them squirming in their seats? No worries. They’ll feel right at home with the on- stage squirming, crawling and chomping of the beloved caterpillar, brown bear and assorted animals magnificently brought to life through the puppetry of the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. The Midwest visit of A Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle was hosted by the world-class Chicago Children’s Theatre.

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The life cycle of the butterfly is vividly played out in the enchanted garden they’ve created on stage, using glow-in-the-dark paint and blacklights. The audience was mesmerized by the beautiful puppets who seemed to move magically across the stage. Amazingly, there are only two puppeteers in this play. Judging from the caliber of the production, this dynamic duo does whatever it takes to introduce young audiences to the joys of reading and the art of puppetry.

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Behind the Scenes
The fun doesn’t end when the play is over. Children are amazed when the puppeteers reveal themselves and the secrets to their on-stage magic.  A delightful Q & A session with the children in attendance closes out the performance.

Biograph Theatre
My three year old daughter and I enjoyed A Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar in the intimate Biograph Theater in Lincoln Park, one of the many live performance venues in Chicago with a unique history.

The Biograph is a local landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s best known as the spot where John Dillinger was shot by FBI agents in 1934, after exiting a gangster movie.

Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia will be performing in Chicago through May 27, 2012. After that they return to Nova Scotia, but will be touring the show in Canada and the United States in the fall of 2012.

Andrea Guthmann is a freelance journalist focusing on family travel. She spent many years as a writer/producer for WTTW-TV, the PBS station in Chicago. Here travel stories have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Parent and on-line travel sites.

A native Floridian, Andrea’s now a big (windy) city mom of 3, who range in age from tot to teen. After giving birth to two beautiful children she’s had the joy of becoming a mom again through adoption. 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.

Disclosure:  The Chicago Children’s Theatre provided my daughter and I with tickets to this production for review purposes.