Children's Theater puts spotlight on classic characters

May. 17, 2014 @ 04:27 PM

Characters from books, TV and film will share the spotlight at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte in 2014-15, including three productions making their world premiere.

One of the national leaders in theatre for young audiences, Children’s Theatre – located uptown at ImaginOn – has planned an exciting season full of colorful characters, Broadway-style productions featuring professional actors, a diverse lineup of “spotlight” guest performers and lots of ways for families to save on tickets.

“I am so happy to announce that three premieres highlight our 2014-2015 season: new plays by CTC favorites Max Bush and Joan Cushing as well as up and comer playwright Nicole Adkins,” said Adam Burke, Children’s Theatre’s artistic director. “Our eclectic offerings range from an amazing, new musical version of one of my all-time favorite books, ‘101 Dalmatians,’ to a poignant story of a boy’s search for Jackie Robinson in Steven Dietz’s ‘Jackie & Me.’”

Be the first to see an all-new adaptation of the classic novel “101 Dalmatians,” a musical written by Cushing and developed in partnership with Imagination Stage in Maryland. It joins a retelling of Bush’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and the preschool gem “The Lion and the Little Red Bird” (written by Adkins) as new works premiering on Children’s Theatre’s stage.

Other highlights include holiday shows “Scrooge!” and “The Story of the Little Gentleman”; adaptations of popular books such as “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse,” “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel” and “Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat”; and exciting presenting performances, such as the debut of Omimeo’s “Black Light Magic: Halloween Dream” and the world-famous Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia performing “The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites.”

Children’s Theatre offers several ways for families to save on tickets including Fabulous Friday opening nights in the McColl Family Theatre, special ticket packages and group discounts.

For more information, or to order tickets, visit ctcharlotte.org or call the Customer Sales and Service Center (10-5 M-F): 704-973-2828.

 

The season includes:

101 Dalmatians (Sept. 19-Oct. 19): Be the first to see this all-new musical adaption of the classic children’s book, making its world premiere. The story follows Pongo and Perdita, two lovable Dalmatians trying to rescue their puppies from the clutches of the scheming Cruella de Vil and her bumbling henchmen. Recommended for ages 5+

The Emperor’s New Clothes (Nov. 8-23): This world premiere is a delightfully funny retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen story. The vain and selfish Emperor is duped by a mother and her son, who convince him they can make a unique suit of clothes for him that is not only beautiful but magical -- it can only be seen by those who are smart and worthy. Recommended for ages 5+

Scrooge! (Dec. 5-22): Celebrate the holidays at Children’s Theatre with this charming musical extravaganza. When miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former partner and three Christmas spirits, he learns to change his ways -- just in time for Christmas Day! Recommended for ages 7+

The Story of the Little Gentleman (Dec. 13-28): Get into the spirit of the holidays with this delightful story about the true meaning of friendship. Nobody seems to have time for the little gentleman, which makes him sad. But he soon discovers a wonderful new friend who changes his life forever. This beautiful, funny and moving tale features live musicians and a uniquely intimate style all its own.  Recommended for ages 3+

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse (Jan. 23-Feb. 15): Lilly is a mouse who knows what she likes. Most of all, Lilly likes her brand new purple plastic purse! Along with her friends Chester, Wilson and her beloved teacher, Mr. Slinger, Lilly finds endless adventures fueled by her delightfully oversized imagination. Recommended for ages 5+

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (Jan. 24-Feb. 8): Mike Mulligan and his beloved Steam Shovel, Mary Anne, have been together for many years. But fancier shovels have become fashionable, leaving them out of work and down to their last dime. Their final hope lies in the little town of Popperville, which needs a basement dug for its new City Hall. The story of hard work, determination and friendship comes to life in this charming musical adaptation.  Recommended for ages 4+

Jackie & Me (Feb. 27-March 15): Take your family out to the ballgame, and back in time, with this powerful, heart-warming story about the true meaning of courage. Ten-year-old Joey Stoshack has a special talent for time travel; so when he gets an assignment to write a report on a role model, he uses his powers to travel back to 1947 and meet the legendary Jackie Robinson, the first African-American baseball player in the major leagues. Recommended for ages 7+

Interrupting Vanessa (March 21-29) Ten-year old Vanessa is a collector of stuff -- keys, string, broken flashlights, wires -- and she uses her treasures to create inventions and conjure up stories. One day, her well-intentioned mother does the unthinkable: She invites Timmy Fibbins to visit for the afternoon. An unlikely friendship emerges, and gradually, these classmates discover that courage, self-reliance and a generous dose of humor can create a common bond. Recommended for age 8+

Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat (April 10-May 3): Everyone’s favorite feline in the red-and-white hat brings his mischief and wacky adventures to the stage in this Dr. Seuss classic. Recommended for all ages

 

PRESCHOOL

Uh-Oh! (Aug. 13-23): Adults often take their work too seriously, but little ones always seem to find a way to play. In Uh-Oh!, an artist learns to step away from his easel and have some fun as ordinary objects become extraordinary. For Birth-3 Years

The Lion and the Little Red Bird (Oct. 11-12): Don’t miss this delightful tale of an inquisitive bird and a good-hearted lion, making its world premiere! Little Red Bird sets out to discover why Lion’s tail keeps changing colors. Preschoolers will love this charming story, told with an imaginative mix of actors and puppets. Recommended for ages 3+

Pocket (June 2-6): Imagination comes alive as PlayPlay! explores the many surprises we find hidden within our pockets. Discover the connections between thoughts, sounds and words as we play together. For Birth-3 Years

 

SPOTLIGHT SERIES

The Giver (Sept. 26-27): Performed by Children’s Theatre’s High School Conservatory students and based on the Newbery Award-winning book, everything is under control and safe in Jonas’ world. But when he turns 12, he is chosen to receive and keep the memories of the community. Now Jonas will learn the truth about life—and the hypocrisy of his utopian world. Recommended for ages 9+ (Contains mature subject matter)

Omimeo’s Black Light Magic: Halloween Dream (Oct. 24-Nov. 1): Join Charlotte's Omimeo Mime Theatre as they bring you into a marvelous, luminescent reality, full of crazy characters, unusual illusions and spectacular special effects. Wear your Halloween costume, fluorescent or white clothes and you’ll really be part of the show! Recommended for ages 5+ (with some age-appropriate “spookiness”)

Step Afrika! (Nov. 7-8): Experience Step Afrika!, the world’s first professional company dedicated to stepping, a unique art form born at African American fraternities and based in African traditions. Don’t miss a show the Washington Post called “a virtuosic performance to make the venerable Alvin Ailey dancers sigh.” Recommended for ages 5+

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites (March 15-22): The work of award-winning author/illustrator Eric Carle comes to life in this delightful show that combines colorful puppets and black light fun. Follow the brave journeys of three of Carle’s most-treasured stories, reimagined by Nova Scotia’s Mermaid Theatre. Recommended for ages 3+

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is a national leader among theatres for young audiences, serving nearly 300,000 young people and families annually with professional productions and innovative education initiatives.

 

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is supported, in part, with an Operating Grant from the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc. and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.