By the time Brown Bear bounds onto the stage, waiting for his big entrance, the audience at “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show” is already entranced by the lighting, sets and characters.
The puppets, which are one half of the stars of the show at Chicago Children’s Theatre, look as if they stepped casually out of the Eric Carle books which they are portraying. Styled in Carle’s unique coloring, there’s no questioning the source material for the 50-minute show.
The show is perfect for toddlers through early elementary students, who will love seeing their favorite characters brought to life in puppet imaginations of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,” “10 Little Rubber Ducks,” “The Very Lonely Firefly,” and, of course, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
The play honors Carle’s original stories as much as it delves into a child’s imagination. Watching Brown Bear, White Dog, the rubber ducks and friends explode on the stage is only a warm up to seeing the Very Hungry Caterpillar expand after a week’s worth of snacking.
The aerobics and puppet work required to keep the stories memorable to the young audience is thanks to cast Leslie Ann Sheppard, Lara Carling and Micah Figueroa.
Before the show starts, kids can try their hands at crafts and activity pages designed to jumpstart their understanding of butterflies.
After the show, theater-goers young and old will be wowed by samples of butterflies on display. Kids are encouraged to ask questions about the puppets and the story, and then can meet and touch the puppet friends in a post-production meet and greet.
Parents will be equally as amazed with the stories that bounce off the page, 50 years after the original “Very Hungry Caterpillar” was published.
If you go
Through Dec. 2; 10:30 a.m. & 2 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays (ASL and Open Caption show 10:30 a.m. Oct. 19, Touch Tour before 2 p.m. show Oct. 19; Sensory Friendly 10:30 a.m. & 2 p.m. Oct. 20) through Oct. 27; then 9:30 & 11:30 a.m. Saturdays & Sundays Nov. 1-Dec. 2.
Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago
Find more information at chicagochildrenstheatre.org.
Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram.