GOODNIGHT MOON Launches Chicago Children's Theater Season

A new musical version of Goodnight Moon like you've never seen before will launch the 2011-2012 season for Chicago Children's Theatre (CCT), Chicago's #1 presenter of top-quality professional children's theater.

And one thing is certain, Chicago Children's Theatre's technicolor take on Margaret Wise Brown's beloved bedtime tale promises to be an "eyes wide open" show for audiences of all ages. Catchy songs performed by live musicians, delightful choreography, a colorful set that pays homage to Clement Hurd's vivid book illustrations and the humorous antics of one very nocturnal bunny will all play a part in CCT's family-friendly celebration of one of the most iconic children's books of all time. Watch as Bunny's room magically comes alive as he dances and sings his way to sweet dreams through nursery rhyme scenes with dancing bears with chairs, the Cat and the Fiddle, the Cow Jumping Over the Moon and even a trip through the night sky with dancing constellations.

Already announced are the show's lead creative team: David Kersnar (director) is a founding member of Lookingglass Theatre, where his directing credits include The Last Act of Lilka Kadison and the critically-acclaimed musicals Brundibar and Sita Ram. Mark Messing (music arrangements), current musical director of the Chicago-based circus punk marching band Mucca Pazza and former music director for Redmoon Theatre, is creating snappy new arrangements for CCT's production. The original book, music and lyrics are by Chad Henry.

Some of Chicago's top professional theater artists have joined the Goodnight Moon creative team, including Andra Velis Simon (music director), Tommy Rapley (choreography), Rick Simms (sound design), Jacqueline and Richard Penrod (set design), Sarah Hughey (light design) Alison Siple (costume design), and Jesse Gafney (prop design). The cast features Alex Goodrich as Bunny, Sara Sevigny as Old Lady, Becky Poole as Mouse, and Aaron Holland in multiple roles.

Chicago Children's Theatre's Goodnight Moon will fill the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater 299-seat mainstage with joy and laughter October 27 through December 23, 2011 Single tickets ($25 children; $35 adults) as well as Flex Passes offering a 20% discount on Chicago Children's Theatre's 2011-2012 season are on sale now at chicagochildrenstheatre.org. Phone and in-person sales begin September 1 via the Victory Gardens Box Office, 773.871.3000. For group inquiries, contact GroupTix at (773) 327-3778 or visit GroupTix.net.

United is the Chicago Premiere Sponsor of Goodnight Moon.

Goodnight Moon performance schedule

Performances are October 27 through December 23: Tuesday through Friday at 10:15 am; Saturday and Sunday at 11 am and 3 pm. Press opening is Sunday, November 6 at 3 pm. Audiences are encouraged to wear their pajamas to the theater for two added "Pajama Party" evening performances on Friday, November 11 and Friday, December 9 at 7 pm. There is no performance on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24.

Victory Gardens is conveniently located in the heart of Lincoln Park at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago. Discounted parking is available one block south at Children's Memorial Hospital for all weekend and evening performances (no overnights). Metered and street parking is available, but mind the neighborhood parking restrictions. By CTA train, take the Red, Purple and Brown lines to the Fullerton stop. Walk east on Fullerton to Lincoln, then north 1/2 block to the theater. The #8 Halsted, #11 Lincoln, #37 Sedgwick/Ogden, and #74 Fullerton CTA buses all stop at the corner of Fullerton and Halsted, 1/2 block south of the theater.

More about Goodnight Moon

For more than 60 years, parents and children have read and re-read Goodnight Moon, the beloved tale of a little bunny who just can't go to sleep by Margaret Wise Brown. The book was first published in 1947. By 1990, the total number of copies sold was more than 4 million. The text is a simple poem describing a bunny's bedtime ritual/delay tactic of saying "goodnight" to various objects in the room: a red balloon, a dollhouse, the kittens, etc. One memorable aspect of the book is the wealth of detail in Clement Hurd's illustrations. Although the entire story takes place in a single green-themed room, the careful reader will notice numerous details from page to page, including the progression of the hands on the two clocks from 7 pm to 8:10 pm, a red balloon that disappears and reappears from page to page, and the mouse and young kittens wandering to different places in the room on virtually every page.

Also on tap for Chicago Children's Theatre audiences in 2011-2012

Following Goodnight Moon, in January CCT will unleash The Houdini Box, a world premiere musical adventure based on the book by award-winning children's author Brian Selznick. Master puppeteer Blair Thomas will direct and create puppetry for this captivating story about a mischievous boy who receives a special box that just might contain the secrets of Harry Houdini's success. Book and lyrics are by Hannah Kohl, with original music by Mark Messing. Chicago Children's Theatre has received two major grants from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the development of The Houdini Box. Performances are January 27 through March 4, 2012 at Chicago's Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave., followed by a suburban remount, March 14 through March 25 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 N. Skokie Blvd. in Skokie.

Note: CCT's world premiere of The Houdini Box debuts just one month after the December 2011 release of Martin Scorsese's next major motion picture, a 3D adaptation of Brian Selznick's Caldecott-winning novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

Chicago Children's Theatre's sixth season culminates with a return visit by the internationally acclaimed Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia for the Chicago premiere of their newest production, Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle. Featuring evocative music, stunning visual effects and innovative puppetry, this triple?bill brings thrilling new life to three Eric Carle family favorites - Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Performances are May 2 through June 2, 2012 at the Mercury Theater.

Families that enjoy theater and like to save money, take note: Chicago Children's Theatre is offering its first-ever Flex Pass program for its 2011-2012 season. Flex Passes offer a 20 percent discount on single tickets and are on sale now at chicagochildrenstheatre.org or by calling (773) 227-0180.

About Chicago Children's Theatre

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. 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.

Led by Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell, Board Chair Todd Leland and Board President Tom Herman, the company is supported by a dynamic Board of Directors comprised of dedicated individuals from the fields of entertainment, philanthropy and business, and a committed Artistic Council of Chicago-based actors, directors, musicians and designers.

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 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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