Tuesday, May 8, 2012


How DO they do it?  Watch the trailer for Treasured Stories by Eric Carle


Donate new or used children's books to help Chicago-area children in need  
when you bring your family to Treasured Stories by Eric Carle ,
playing now through May 27 at the Victory Gardens Biograph

We've seen this fantastic troupe's production of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" two times in years past and I'm still super excited about it, even though at ages 9 & 11, my kids have aged out of this wonderous early childhood show.   I may just have to borrow someone else's toddler so I have excuse to go again!   Eric Carle still remains one of our favorite author/illustrators and he's got a place close to my heart and even closer to my back--I have a large tattoo of his colorful butterfly from the end of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

We've been promoting this show since early bird ticket sales began last February.   Shows are selling out, so if you still haven't bought your tickets, what are you waiting for?!

 "A Brown Bear, A Moon, and A Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle"


By the company the brought you the sold out run of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,“ "A Brown Bear, A Caterpillar And A Moon: Treasured Stories By Eric Carle" will bring together old favorites and new friends.

Featuring evocative music, stunning visual effects and innovative puppetry, the triple-bill highlights three of Eric Carle’s most beloved tales. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" is joined by a whimsical cast of adventurous animals drawn from the pages of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?", and the poignant story of a young girl’s unusual quest, "Papa Please Get The Moon For Me", for an hour-long performance, which both entertains and educates.

May 2 - 27
Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre
2433 N. Lincoln Avenue

Chicago Children's Theatre has a tradition of giving back to the community with each of its productions, and their upcoming presentation, Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia's A Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle, playing now through May 27 at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, is no exception.

For this all-new triple bill of three Eric Carle all-time family favorites, Chicago Children's Theatre and Open Books are co-sponsoring a Brown Bear, Brown Bear Book Drive, and encouraging families to bring new or used early childhood reading books with them to the theater to donate to Chicago area kids in need.

To boost awareness for the drive, Chicago Children's Theatre has recruited a trio of celebrity reading ambassadors - Pat Quinn, Governor, State of Illinois; WGN-TV Around Town reporter Ana Belaval, and family-friendly rocker Ralph Covert  - who have generously volunteered to appear on stage before a weekend performance and read from another Eric Carle favorite.   (*Worlds collide alert:   ChiIL Mama has an original Ralph Covert video interview and live show footage coming soon, and we've supported and written about Open Books for years.   Both are awesome and highly recommended, as is Chicago Children's Theatre and Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia!   We love it when our favorites play well with others!!)

Here's the celebrity reading schedule:
Saturday, May 12, noon:  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn
Saturday, May 19, noon:  WGN-TV's Ana Belaval
Saturday, May 26, noon:  Ralph Covert, of "Ralph World's" fame

Governor Quinn, who kicks off the Celebrity Reading series, explains "We know that the best investment we can make in our future is giving our children a good education. From birth to 5 years old is the best time to make sure our kids learn that readers are leaders. That early childhood education will be the foundation for their success for the rest of their lives. I hope these children will love reading just like I did."

To help combat this problem locally, all books collected at the theater before and after the show will be donated to Open Books, which will in turn sell the books in their store and online to support its early childhood literacy programs across Chicago.   And the need is great.  Just check out these statistics:
* 44% of America's 4th graders cannot read aloud fluently.
* 61% of low-income households do not have any children's books at home.
* In the last 20 years, young adults have become the least likely group to read literature.

Open Books is a nonprofit social venture that operates an extraordinary bookstore, provides community programs, and mobilizes passionate volunteers to promote literacy in Chicago and beyond. Please note:  donations to the Brown Bear, Brown Bear Book Drive are tax deductible.  For tax receipts for donations and complete information about Open Books, go to open-books.org.

Daddy, daddy, what do you see?  A fun, easy Mother's Day gift idea looking at me
Dads, the pressure is on, because Mother's Day - Sunday, May 13 - is right around the corner.

Fortunately, a family outing to the Victory Gardens Biograph for Treasured Stories by Eric Carle is the ideal Mother's Day gift.  Some shows have already sold out, but tickets are still available to Mother's Day performances at 11 am and noon.  And as a special Mother's Day treat, Wishcraft Workshop, 2312 W. Roscoe, is setting up temporary shop at the Biograph on Mother's Day to offer children and their parents free arts and crafts activities in the style of Eric Carle before or after the show.

More about A Brown Bear, A Moon and a Caterpillar:  Treasured Stories by Eric Carle
Chicago Children's Theatre looks forward to hosting internationally acclaimed Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia in the Windy City, with a limited engagement of Mermaid's all-new production of A Brown Bear, A Moon and a Caterpillar:  Treasured Stories by Eric Carle. Featuring evocative music, stunning visual effects and innovative puppetry, Mermaid Theatre's all-new triple bill brings to life three Eric Carle all-time family favorites - Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. 

Performances are May 2-27, 2012 on the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater mainstage, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago:  Tuesday through Thursday at 10:15 am; Friday at 10 am and Noon; Saturday at 10 am, Noon and 3 pm; and Sunday at 11 am and 3 pm. 

Tickets, $15 - $41, are on sale now.  For tickets and information, go to chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call the Victory Gardens box office, 773.871.3000. For discounted rates for pre-schools, schools, day care facilities and play groups of eight or more, contact GroupTix at 773.327.3778 or visit GroupTix.net.
Mermaid Theatre has performed for more than four million spectators on four continents. Locally, Chicago Children's Theatre last hosted Mermaid Theatre's smash hit, nearly sold-out run of The Very Hungry Caterpillar at the Field Museum in 2010. Mermaid's emphasis on imaginative design elements, original music, and challenging texts syncs right up with Chicago Children's Theatre's aesthetic.  So what better way to acquaint young audiences with the visual and performing arts as well as the pleasures of reading than a school or family trip to enjoy the wonder of A Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle.

About Chicago Children's Theatre
Chicago Children's Theatre focuses on the production of first-rate children's theatre in Chicago, with top writing, performing and directorial talent and high-quality design and production expertise. Chicago Children's Theatre aspires to enrich our community through diverse and significant theatrical and educational programming that engages and inspires the child in all of us.
Led by Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell, and Board Chair Todd Leland, the company is supported by a committed Artistic Council of Chicago-based actors, directors, musicians and designers, and a dynamic Board of Directors comprised of dedicated individuals from the fields of entertainment, philanthropy and business.  Officers include David Saltiel, President; J. Scot Pepper and Jacqueline Tilton, Vice Chairs; Lynn Lockwood Murphy, Vice Chair and Secretary; and David Chung, Treasurer.
Launched in 2005, Chicago Children's Theatre strives to provide affordable and accessible theatre for families and area school children. To enhance the impact of any given production's themes, Chicago Children's Theatre offers educational materials and programs for families and educators.
Chicago Children's Theatre's 2011-2012 season is made possible in part by the generosity of its sponsors:  ComEd is the Official Lighting Sponsor. Goldman Sachs Gives is the Official Season Sponsor.  JPMorgan Chase is the Official Education Sponsor. Target is the Official School Field Trip Sponsor.  United is the Chicago Premiere Sponsor as well as the Official and Exclusive Airline Sponsor.
For more information about Chicago Children's Theatre visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call 773.227.0180.

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