New Emerald City Theatre show will be hit with llama-loving Chicago kids

Fans of Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama book series will be thrilled to note that a llama drama adaption has finally made it to the stage.

If you go

  • Llama Llama runs through Jan. 5
  • Apollo Theater, 2540 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago
  • (773) 529-2690
  • Tickets start at for children and adults.

To the relief of Llama Llama fans, Emerald City’s Producing Artistic Director Ernie Nolan adapted the play from the books so closely that many of the lines came directly out of them: Llama Llama Misses Mama, Llama Llama Red Pajama and Llama Llama Mad at Mama.

Unlike other plays, which are based on princesses, flying people and other fantasies, many parents and kids will relate to the everyday dramas that take place within little llama’s life: Boring trips to the supermarket, scary first days of school and distracted mothers who talk on the phone when their children would rather they comfort them or put them to bed.

In fact, some of these everyday dramas hit so close to home that I wanted to tell Llama to stop whining and complaining so much – but each little episode ended with a nice little moral of the story from llama mama about why we need to do seemingly difficult things (trips to the store aren’t usually much fun for anyone, but at least shopping at the supermarket is more fun when we do it together – and then when we’re done, we can go home and read books).

The stories and play are geared toward a preschool audience – and the recommended ages 3-6 is right on the mark. It’s all about adjusting and coping with new situations: New schools, being alone in a room at night in the dark, and having to do errands without complaining.

While the show may not win awards for being the most thrilling (no special effects, no fancy set or fun costumes), it’s a cute little play and it does what it sets out to do. Llama Llama brings the story of a favorite preschool series to life in a cute way, and it’s worth seeing, especially if you’ve got a fan of the books in your home.

We also brought along a younger sibling, 2, who is also a Llama Llama fan, and she managed to sit through the 60-minute, no-intermission show, too.

Her big complaint: “Those aren’t real Llamas!” It’s hard to please everyone.

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