“Goodnight Moon” leads Chicago Children’s Theatre’s new lineup

The classic bedtime story “Goodnight, Moon” will come alive on stage this fall, the opener of the Chicago Children’s Theatre’s 2011-2012 season, which was announced Friday.

Chicago’s #1 presenter of top-quality professional children’s theater will kick off its sixth season with the Chicago debut of a new musical version of everyone’s favorite bedtime story,Goodnight Moon. Performances are October 27 through December 24, 2011 on the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater mainstage. Lookingglass Theatre ensemble member David Kersnar will direct this sweet, playful musical based on Margaret Wise Brown’s beloved children’s story. Book, music and lyrics are by Chad Henry, with new arrangements by Mark Messing, musical director of the circus punk marching band Mucca Pazza.

In January 2012, CCT will unleashThe 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 again by Mark Messing. Performances are January 27 through March 4, 2012 at Chicago’s Mercury Theater, followed by a suburban remount, March 14 through March 25 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. Note: CCT’s world premiere ofThe Houdini Box debuts just one month after the December 2011 release of Martin Scorsese’s next major motion picture, a 3D adaptation of Selznick’s Caldecott-winning novelThe 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 andThe 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. CCT has launched an Internet-only pre-sale for early bird Flex Passes – on sale now via its websitechicagochildrenstheatre.org – offering admission to the company’s 2011-2012 season for 30 percent off.

Early bird Flex Pass sales run through July 1, when standard Flex Passes still offering a 20 percent discount on single tickets go on sale via internet and phone. For complete information, visitchicagochildrenstheatre.org or call(773) 227-0180. For group inquiries, contact GroupTix at(773) 327-3778 or visitGroupTix.net. Single ticket on-sale dates are to be announced.

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