elephant-whaleChicago’s known as a great theater town… not just for adults, but kids, as well. Two of my favorite theater groups joined forces in an incredible production that is terrific for just about any age.

Redmoon Theater is known for its innovative use of set design and imaginative, often life-size, puppets. Since 1990, their vibrant theatrical pageants and spectacles have been a local favorite.

 

The Chicago Children’s Theatre is another world class group of performers. They stage professional, imaginative productions of both beloved and original tales. They’re far more than just a children’s theater group. I’ve attended many of their performances, and have never been dissapointed. When I heard they were teaming up with Redmoon, I knew this was an event not to be missed.

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“The Elephant and The Whale” is a fable about friendship, taking place in a turn-of-the-century traveling circus. Using imaginative hand cranked machinery, period music and costumes, the era of the traveling circus is brought to life. Creative shadow puppetry brings the enormous elephant and whale into this intimate theater for an evening of eye-popping entertainment. I attended with my 4 year-old and 12 year-old. All three of us were charmed by the play.

This was the Chicago Children’s Theatre’s first play at its new permanent home, the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, in Chicago’s tony Gold Coast neighborhood. It’s a great choice and will hofefully be a big draw for families traveling to Chicago, as it’s just a few blocks off the Magnificent Mile.

In another first, the Chicago Children’s Theatre will be doing a special presentation of “The Elephant and the Whale” in what is considered Chicago’s first autism-friendly live theater performance on May 4, 2013 at 11am.

“The Elephant and the Whale” runs through May 26 at Chicago’s Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St.

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 magazine and various on-line 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.

Disclosure: The author was given complimentary tickets to the performance for this review.