I took E to his very first play! The Chicago premiere of a new musical version of Harold and the Purple Crayon, directed by Sean Graney (Oct. 11-Nov. 4, 2012), performed by Chicago Children’s Theatre, at their new home– the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, Chicago.


Credit: Michael Brosilow

Credit: Michael Brosilow



I was part of my college’s theater group, and have loved loved loved the stage since my mom FORCED me to read TS Eliot’s poems about Cats, and then took me to see the aptly-named musical. The poems and characters that I loved were live, in front of me, singing! It was magical. It was worth being forced. 

E and I have been reading Harold and the Purple Crayon in preparation for the play, and it was such a treat to hear him giggle, watch his eyes dance, and then see his little face get starstruck when he actually got to meet and talk with “Harold!” He was chewing on his hands, he was so excited. 

The programs were activity books, everyone (of course) gets a purple crayon, and you can even draw on the walls in the theater! The play had kids (ages 3 to about 8-years old) bent-over-belly-laughing! 

After the show, Harold gave little audience members some of his drawings from his notebook, and even commented on the coolness of E’s ninjago lizard (I mean, you can’t get better than that). 

He is dying to go back and we will probably bring little brother next time. 

HOW TO GET FREE TIX: 

E and I got to see the play for free because we signed up to be ushers (I also mentioned my blog and got a Press Kit–I’m big time now!) 

Anyway, I got an email from Margaret McCall last night, and they need more ushers. It’s an easy job–the seating is general, so really you just welcome people and tell them where the bathroom is. Your child will get an “usher badge” to take home (which E was thrilled about!) And you get your pick of the seats before the show begins. 

If you want an awesome outing with your kiddos/nieces/nephews/nannying-wards–this is a fabulous (and free!) way to see the show. 

Here are the dates she mentioned: 

Thursday, November 1 (5:30 p.m. call) — we have a Pizza Party before the show; you could join us for pizza at 5:45p.m., then usher at 6 p.m.!


Sunday, November 4 (10 a.m. call). 

Email Margaret at mmccall@childrenstheatre.org and tell her that you read about the play on my blog and would be interested in ushering with your child.  The show runs about 50 minutes, so it’s a decent time-frame for bedtimes or naps.

Credit: Michael Brosilow

Credit: Michael Brosilow

Otherwise, tickets are available online at chicagochildren’stheater.org (generally $20-36) or you can purchase them half-price at Goldstar.com 

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