3 shows with a powerful message

If Hamilton has taught us anything (other than the fact that you can rhyme “Socrates” with “mediocrities”), it’s that theater has the power to teach, inspire and empower. So while your kiddos might not quite be ready to visit “The Room Where It Happens,” these three shows—on a decidedly more kid-friendly level—promise the same type of inspiration as Alexander, Aaron and Hercules.

Forget Batman and The Flash and even Supergirl. The real superhero kids should know about is the Night Runner, a fast-talking woman who helps a slave girl escape to freedom. Due to its subject matter, this show is recommended for ages 9 and up. But kids who are especially intrigued will want to stick around for a post-show discussion on things like oppression, perseverance and inner strength (Jan. 26 and Feb. 5). $10. Jan. 12-Feb. 18. Chicago Playworks at DePaul University, Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo Drive, Chicago. (312) 922-1999.

We can all agree that Aesop was a pretty smart guy, right? Lifeline Theatre’s newest play, Fable-ous, is inspired by Aesop’s arguably most famous tale, The Tortoise and the Hare. But in this version, the hare is a hotshot named Harrington T. Jordan who can’t quite understand how he lost a race to that slowpoke Tortoise. Hijinks will almost certainly ensue—as well as an important message on hard work. $15. Jan. 14-Feb. 19. Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. (773) 761-4477.

It’s not always easy to fit in, especially when you look a little different. But when you have someone who is willing to stand up for you—and what’s right—it’s the basis for an amazing friendship. Chicago Children’s Theatre’s performance of The Hundred Dresses is based on the beloved book by Eleanor Estes, which is just as relevant in 2017 as it was when it was written in 1944. Jan. 17-Feb. 12. $39, $28 kids. Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St, Chicago. (872) 222-9555.

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