When my son was two, we took him to see his first live theatrical performance: A Charlie Brown Christmas. I was a little nervous about whether he would make it through the entire hour-long performance. I could barely get him to sit still for 15 minutes to eat dinner; how would he endure an hour in a dark theatre? But he was enchanted – he loved the larger-than-life characters, familiar music and brightly colored sets. Winter children’s theatre performances are a wonderful escape from the slushy chill of the season, and a relaxing, fun activity that the entire family could enjoy.
Since then, we’ve seen dozens of shows. Lake County is fortunate to have a thriving children’s theatre scene, so it’s easy to find a fun, affordable show at any time of the year. Beat the mid-winter doldrums by escaping to one of the following local performances.
Winter Children’s Theatre Performances in Lake County
Peter and the Wolf
Dates: Every Saturday, January 28 – February 18, 2017
Times: 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Cost: $12 Buy tickets here
Location: Northbrook Theatre for Young Audiences, 33323 Walters Ave., Northbrook
Peter and the Wolf is a colorful, musical adaptation of the classic tale based on the music of Prokofiev. This exciting and fresh adaptation features puppets and entertaining musical numbers.
A Fairy Tale Adventure
Dates: February 11, 12, 18, 19, 2017
Times: 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Cost: $11 Buy tickets here
Location: Highland Park Players, Edgewood Auditorium, 929 Edgewood Rd., Highland Park
The Wicked Witch has changed the endings to all the Fairy Tales so that evil will triumph, and she’s kidnapped The Fairy to stop him from reversing the spell. Only Hansel, Gretel, and Paddy the Gingerbread Man can save the tales for a happily ever after ending! You’ll know and love all of these classic fairy tale characters, but you’ve never seen them like this before. With a live band rocking original music, this engaging musical will be a hit with young audiences and fun for all ages!
Madagascar – A Musical Adventure
Dates: February 25 – April 15, 2017
Cost: $17.23 Buy tickets here
Location: Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire
Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip-hip Hippo and, of course, those hilarious, plotting penguins as they bound onto our stage in the musical adventure of a lifetime. Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar – A Musical Adventure follows all of your favorite crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.
A special one-hour presentation for kids (and parents) of all ages. Filled with outlandish characters, adventure galore and an upbeat score, Madagascar will leave audiences with no choice but to “Move It, Move It!” All performances followed by a question and answer session with the cast.
PASTA Presents Jack and the Beanstalk
Dates: March 18, 1:00 p.m.
Location: Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois, Lake Forest
Come along on the tale of jack who sells his cow for magic beans. The magic beans grow into a huge beanstalk up to the sky. Jack knows that a family of giants who live in the clouds have been making life miserable for his village. Jack climbs the beanstalk to face these giants and along the way he meets terrible trolls, a queen held prisoner and a chicken! Performed by children ages 7 – 14.
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Dates: March 31 – April 2
Location: Mundelein High School Auditorium, 350 W. Hawley St., Mundelein
Cost: Adults $20, Children (12 and younger) $10 Buy Tickets Here
The master of imaginative enchantment, has created a unique world which invites children to walk into it and enjoy both surprise and adventure. A charming play about courage and the love of freedom.
Jack Hanna – Into the Wild Live!
Dates/Times: Friday, April 7, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Cost: $26, $36 Buy tickets here
Location: Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee Street, Waukegan
America’s most beloved animal expert, Jack Hanna, brings his three-time Emmy Award winning television series to the live stage with Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live! In this awe-inspiring event, Jungle Jack will introduce you to some of the world’s most spectacular animals. Jack will also share humorous stories and amazing exclusive footage from his worldwide adventures. From the jungles of Rwanda to the savannas of Australia, Jack has explored the corners of the globe as one of the most visible and respected animal ambassadors. You’ve seen his countless appearances on David Letterman, Good Morning America and so many more – now you can enjoy Jungle Jack’s infectious energy as he takes you “into the wild!” to see some of the world’s most fascinating animals, LIVE!
Which Lake County theatre productions are on your list this winter? Leave us your recommendations in the comments section below.