“Open your heart. Someone will come. Someone will come for you. But first you must open your heart.”
— Kate DiCamillo, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
If you are a fan of the early chapter book series, Mercy Watson, you know author Kate DiCamillo’s vivid characters and settings, humor, and ability to find subtle poignancy in just about anything. Her novels for older kids quietly, yet fearlessly breathe life and honestly grab it in such a way that both youth and their parents can be intrigued and entertained. Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane are some of her award winning works.
St. Louis’s Metro Theater Company brings the novel, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, to the stage (adapted for the theater by Dwayne Hartford) in a new family friendly play. The open to the public performances are Dec 9-30 at the Missouri History Museum, Lee Auditorium. The play, which explores love, family, friendship, and adventure, is 70 minutes, and best enjoyed by families, adults, and children (age 7 or second grade and up).
Edward Tulane is a toy rabbit who cares for nobody but himself. Ripped from the arms of the little girl who adores him, this privileged toy rabbit is thrown into a life-changing adventure. From the depths of the ocean to the top of a garbage heap, Edward discovers
what it means to love others on his extraordinary journey home. With themes of family, home, and redemption, this play is the perfect way to celebrate the warmth of the holiday season.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is the winner of the Boston Globe Horn Book Award for children’s fiction and Parents’ Choice Award for fiction. It was a finalist for the Quill Awards for children’s chapter books, and named U.S. National Education Association “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.” The New York Times Book Review said, “Perhaps no other current American children’s book writer has appeared on the scene so quickly or so brightly as Kate DiCamillo… The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, may well be her best.”
Since 1973, Metro Theater Company has been creating accessible sensory productions that respect young people’s intelligence, tell compelling stories, stimulate curiosity and provoke thoughtful reflection. The Company has reached a total audience of more than two million and has a national reputation for excellence in the field of professional theater for young audiences. Metro Theater Company has received major honors and awards, both locally and nationally, and has 15 consecutive years of support from The Shubert Foundation and 31 years of funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
There are so many exciting live performances geared towards kids this Fall and Winter in St. Louis. Here are a few shows not to miss!
Note: Performances at the Florissant Civic Center are nationally touring productions, feature excellent artists, and are top rate experiences! Don’t be misled by the inexpensive ticket prices.
October 2-11, 2015 (Limited ticket availability) COCA presents wUNDERland Founders’ Theatre at COCA
524 Trinity Avenue, St. Louis
Tickets $16 to $20
Call 314.725.6555 or purchase online.
Run time: Approximately one hour.
Fall down the rabbit hole with this original dance production, created and choreographed by Anthony “Redd” Williams, that puts a hip-hop spin on Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.” Experience the classic upside-down fantasy world through a whole new lens with dazzling costumes and cutting-edge choreography, led by the larger-than-life Mad Hatter and many more lovable, whimsical characters.
“Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!” The cap peddler wears a huge stack of caps, balanced carefully on top of his head. Brown caps, blue caps, gray caps, and red caps. When no one buys a cap, he takes a nap under a shady tree. But, when he wakes up, the caps are gone! Was it bears, pirates, one thousand thieves, or a band of merry mischievous monkeys? Read more about the production.
“Welcome to the deliriously amusing, heartwarming, head-spinning world of MATILDA THE MUSICAL. You won’t want to leave” says Bloomberg News. It’s Time Magazine’s #1 show of the year! Winner of 50 international awards, including four Tony Awards®, MATILDA THE MUSICAL is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, MATILDA continues to thrill sold-out audiences of all ages on Broadway and in London’s West End. The Wall Street Journal says, “The makers of MATILDA have done the impossible – triumphantly! It is smart, sweet, zany, and stupendous fun.”
Celebrate Halloween with a spooktacular concert along with help from special guest, Luna the Bat. Luna will take you on a musical tour of all the wickedly wonderful animals that relish the night. Featuring Night on Bald Mountain from Fantasia and John Williams’ Hedwig’s Theme from the popular Harry Potter films. Presented in partnership with the Saint Louis Zoo.
10:00 to 10:30 am
Kota project (Pulitzer Arts Foundation)
At the Pulitzer, discover the hidden histories of Kota reliquary guardian figures, produced in Central Africa between the 17th and 20th centuries, and play an interactive digital game in the Pulitzer’s exhibition Kota: Digital Excavations in African Art.
10:45 to 11:15 am STL Improv Anywhere performance (CAM)
At CAM, enjoy face painting and help create a “Haunted Garden” mural made out of cardboard with artist Daniel Raedeke. STL Improv Anywhere will lead a performance, and the New Art in the Neighborhood high school art students will guide special art activities.
11:30 am to noon Uncle Albert performance (Sheldon Art Galleries)
At the Sheldon Art Galleries, enjoy crafts from 10:00 am to noon and a performance by acoustic group Uncle Albert at 11:30 am.
Epic story, pocket-sized proportions—seven actors share one tiny platform (just 3-by-7 feet of space!) and upon it an original Superman tale unfolds. Set in a fictional 2050 Metropolis with a remarkable resemblance to Chicago, this Theater Unspeakable production highlights imaginative, resourceful cast members who use only their bodies and voices to create every prop, scene, sound effect, and character in a battle between Superman and Lex Luthor.
A new musical revue based on favorite children’s books. Book titles subject to change: Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl by Tedd Arnold, Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin, Fluffy the Classroom Guinea Pig by Kate McMullan, Horace & Morris But Mostly Dolores by James Howe, Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes, Lilly’s Big Day by Kevin Henkes and Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. Read more about the production on Theatreworks USA’s site.
December 19-23, 2015
Imaginary Theatre Company presents The Elves and the Shoemaker Heagney Theatre at Nerinx Hall High School 530 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves
Run time: Approximately 50 minutes.
When a kindly shoemaker gives his only remaining pair of shoes to a cold and hungry beggar woman, he finds his good deed rewarded in unexpected ways. The shoemaker is shocked by the appearance of magic elves who turn his simple shoe shop into a great success, thrilling customers with their special creations. Based on the tale by the Brothers Grimm, this beloved, warm-hearted story is perfect for the holiday season, reminding us that where we find kindness, generosity and hope, anything is possible.
Savor the tale of a determined young rat with a cultivated palate who gets an unlikely chance to do what he dreams of most—cook in a French restaurant in Paris. In a hilarious chain of events that turns the City of Lights upside down, he achieves his dream with his good pal Linguini. Bring the whole family to experience the Academy Award-winning film Ratatouille on the big screen while the beloved score by composer Michael Giacchino is performed live by the St. Louis Symphony. Learn more about the production.
Theatreworks’ production of Charlotte’s Web is based on E.B. White’s loving story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte. Wilbur has a problem: how to avoid winding up as pork chops! Charlotte, a fine writer and true friend, hits on a plan to fool Farmer Zuckerman–she will create a “miracle.” Spinning the words “Some Pig” in her web, Charlotte weaves a solution which not only makes Wilbur a prize pig, but ensures his place on the farm forever. This treasured tale, featuring mad-cap and endearing farm animals, explores bravery, selfless love, and the true meaning of friendship. Read more about the production on Theatreworks USA’s site.
The irrepressible Moses Pendleton presents Alchemia, his new work for the dazzling dancer-illusionists of MOMIX. Just as he led audiences on a surreal journey through the four seasons in Botanica, Pendleton manipulates the four classic elements–earth, air, fire, and water–in Alchemia to produce a show about the art of alchemy, and the alchemy of art. A multimedia spectacle, Alchemia bursts with beauty, daredevil thrills and playful humor. It’s MOMIX at its most magical.
“Oh, the thinks you can think” when Dr. Seuss’s best-loved stories collide and cavort in an unforgettable musical caper! Adapted from the Broadway version, this adaptation especially for young audiences features thirteen actors and enhanced production values. Seussical is TheatreworksUSA’s biggest show ever.
The Cat in the Hat is the host and emcee (and all-around mischief-maker) in this romp through the Seuss classics. When the sweet, good-natured elephant Horton hears a small cry for help coming from a small speck of dust, he promises to rescue and guard it because “a person’s a person, no matter how small.”
On that small speck of dust lives JoJo, an imaginative young Who. JoJo has astounding “thinks,” in which anything’s possible, but his parents believe this creativity is inappropriate for the son of the Mayor of Who-Ville.
Meanwhile, the one-feathered bird, Miss Gertrude McFuzz, desperately wants Horton to notice her. Maybe, she thinks, she just needs a more impressive tail. At the same time, the amazingly lazy Maysie La Bird connives, cajoles and convinces Horton to sit on her egg while she goes off on a spree.
Will the planet of Who survive? Will Horton pay attention to Gertrude? Will Maysie ever return for her egg? Dr. Seuss’s beloved classic characters find themselves intertwined in an incredible crazy-quilt adventure, in which the power of imagination and the most miraculous “think” ever save the day! Read more about Seussical the Musical.
Photo at top: Joan Marcus for Theatreworks USA, Seussical
Starting at 1 pm, children ages 3 to 10, can participate in fun interactive activities, face painting, a magician, clowns, and more. The performance of “The Tortoise and the Hare” begins at 2:30 pm.
Tickets are $12 per person in advance and $15 per person at the door. Purchase your tickets securely online. For group reservations, contact Lisa Greening at email@example.com. Questions? Call 314.564.8070.
The Tortoise and the Hare, a production of The Imaginary Theatre Company
One of Aesop’s fables springs to life in this fun new musical adaptation. Henry is a racer, one of the fastest bunnies the forest has ever seen. Shelly’s a tortoise, his quietly devoted best friend. Henry has always been the star of the show, until one day Shelly starts to have some dreams of her own. With the help of their forest friends, Shelly realizes her own worth and Henry finds out that sometimes being the best is not the most important thing. Run time is approximately 45 minutes. See photos from the production!
The Imaginary Theatre Company (ITC) is the resident, professional, touring ensemble of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Through the use of literature, folk tales, fairy tales, and new adaptations of classic works, ITC is committed to providing the very finest in theater for young audiences and strives to bring quality performances to schools and community venues throughout the bi-state area.
Ready Readers Ready Readers is a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring preschool age children from low-income communities to love books and to have the emergent literacy skills necessary to become readers when they enter kindergarten. Trained, passionate volunteers read high-quality books aloud to the same classroom of children for 30 minutes every week, and then provide stimulating reading-related activities. Six times during each school year and once during the summer, the volunteer readers also distribute new books for each child to take home and keep.