Hard to believe that it is the end of MAY and it was time for my five year old and me to use the last of our season tickets at Seattle Children’s Theatre. We have enjoyed each show this year and this special collection of Eric Carle stories is no exception.
This show is much different than the others because there are no people on stage. The production is entirely comprised of unique puppetry, and bright bold colors set to the backdrop of a black light. It was like watching a book come to life before your eyes.
The show begins with Little Cloud, which I was not familiar with. Very cute and delightful to watch. It was the perfect mix of movement, narration, and music. The puppetry was so seamless; I forgot at times that I was watching puppets at all. Since the theatre is so dark, it is truly like watching pictures on a page move. As the narrator speaks and the music moves things along, the images adopt little personalities.
Once Little Cloud had ended, we transitioned directly into the next story: The Mixed-Up Chameleon. I loved the cute little chameleon and adored the message of how we should each be happy with whom we are, rather than wanting to be like everybody else. When the chameleon goes to the zoo, children in the audience enjoyed watching all the different colored animals pop up on the wall and laughed out loud as the chameleon took different parts of each animal and attached it to himself. There was a sad moment, though, when the little guy was starving and wanted so badly to eat a nearby fly, but couldn’t because he was so mixed up with all those different body parts attached to him! In the end, he realized, he was fine as he was and didn’t need to be anyone but himself. Older kids will get it, and for younger ones, what a great opportunity to talk about that topic on the way home.
The most anticipated part of this show for my date was, of course, the beloved story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I think he asked me five or six times when it was going to start! The show plays out exactly how it reads in the classic book, but in this iteration, the audience gets to see the squirmy little guy eat all that food! It really is ingenious how the puppeteers make the bites of the fruit “disappear.” I won’t spill their secrets, but the kids get to see how they work their magic after the show.
I would recommend this production for any child over the age of two or three. It isn’t too long, running about 50 minutes with no intermission. Keep in mind that the theatre is very dark throughout the performance, so some very young children may not be comfortable with that. It would also be fitting to read the story before attending the show so that your child can make connections between the book and the live performance.
Get your tickets while you can – this show ends its run June 14!
Seattle Children’s Theatre
201 Thomas St.
Seattle, WA 98109
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