Putting on good theatre for kids isn’t child’s play. It requires talented actors, a clever script and imaginative set design that can keep restless minds entertained, instead of squirming in their seats. Chicago Children’s Theatre does this and much more. I’ve seen a few of their productions over the years, and they’re always a hit with the kids, as well as the adults.
My 3 year old daughter and I recently had the pleasure of escaping a dreary Midwestern afternoon by stepping inside the imaginative world created by these gifted artists. In an age where electronics are an easy way to entertain young ones, it was a treat to enjoy high quality live theatre with my toddler. There’s just nothing like seeing real people performing on a stage. Introducing your kids to this early on may just instill a lifelong love for the art form.
Chicago Children’s Theatre’s talented cast put on a first-rate musical version of the classic bedtime story Goodnight Moon. Believe me, noone was falling asleep during this performance. Kids were howling with laughter as the banjo playing Bunny and his sidekicks attempted to avoid bedtime at all costs! Creative set design allows Bunny’s room and the moon to magically come to life. When she wasn’t laughing, my daughter was entranced by the talking moon and the Cat and the Fiddle characters dancing about the stage.
Clearly, Goodnight Moon is intended for younger children (3-6 was the recommended age). However, Chicago Children’s Theatre produces high drama for all ages. I can’t wait for their next production, The Houdini Box, written by Brian Selznic, who also wrote The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It’s recommeded for ages 5 and up, so I’ll be taking one of my older boys.
Performing at the Biograph Theater
You won’t catch a Chicago Children’s Theatre performance in the basement of a church or a school auditorium. This professional children’s troupe performs in a variety of the area’s top theatres. I’ve seen them perform to large audiences at the Goodman Theatre in the Loop. My daughter and I enjoyed Goodnight Moon in the intimate Biograph Theater in Lincoln Park, one of the many Chicago live performance venues with a unique history.
The Biograph is a local landmark on the National Register of Historic Places best known as the spot where John Dillinger was shot by FBI agents in 1934, after exiting a gangster movie.
Wherever you see the Chicago Children’s Theatre, you’re sure to see a first rate production. Top-quality children’s performances that use imagination to inspire kids and adults— imagine that!
If You Go:
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 Goodnight Moon, but opinions expressed here are all my own.