REVIEW: The True Story of the 3 Pigs (Emerald City Theatre)

Hamming it up for the over 5 set!

3pigs

Emerald City Theatre presents:

The True Story of the Three Pigs

By Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
Adapted by Alyn Cardarelli
Directed by Ernie Nolan
Thru March 25th (ticket info)

By Katy Walsh

Joe Goldammer (little pig) with Ruby Aufmann The media investigates a double ham-icide. Emerald City Theatre presents The True Story of the Three Pigs. The play starts where the three pigs fairytale ends. Two pigs are dead. The wolf is in jail. Random Adjective, a reporter, has been assigned to examine the evidence. The audience is invited to accompany her as greenhorn reporters. Her investigation leads to interviews with the surviving pig, Red Riding Hood, and the wolf. The True Story of the Three Pigs is an interactive play that teaches children that there are many sides to a story and to always cover your mouth when you sneeze.

Joe Goldammer uses distinctive voices to play multiple roles: a high pitch squeak for the surviving pig, garble growls for nana wolf, and portrays Red Riding Hood as a German research expert on wolves. Although entertaining for adults, Goldammer’s best comedic moments may be lost on the little ones. Samantha Nicodemus plays Random Adjective as a fast talking reporter from the 1940’s. Nicodemus does a great job of keeping the kids connected to what’s happening by reviewing the evidence after each interview. Matt Olson is the Big Bad Wolf or Alexander T. Wolf. In two of the crime reenactments, Olson is the stereotyped Big Bad Wolf. However, when Alexander T. Wolf gets to tell his version of the story, he is a vulnerable, misunderstood wolf with allergies. Ernie Nolan  directs the action and keeps the cast animated with exaggerated gestures to elicit giggles.

pigs2It’s obvious upon entering the Apollo Theatre that Emerald City Theatre loves kids! They keep the 60-minute show interactive. Kids volunteer to come up on stage to verify huff puff results or model reporter moxie. After each interview, the audience members (i.e., greenhorn reporters) are invited to ask questions and assess the 5 W’s and 1 H (who, what, when, where, why and how). The repetitive nature of the reenactments help the younger audience members follow the story. Emerald City also adds to the children’s theatrical experience by providing coordinating gifts and games, pre-show pig-snout-making activity and post-show autographs with the cast. The kids even decide one of three endings. Applause determines what the newspaper headline will be. (for the opening performance the greenhorn reporters voted that the wolf was actually innocent)

The show promotes its target audience as 3-8 years old. Observing the children in the audience, a 5 years-or-over rating seems more realistic. Newspaper reporter, ham on a platter, German scientist – the story has some complicated elements to follow. Although the cast has colorful costumes (Ernie Nolan), the minimal scenery isn’t visually exciting. Unable to follow the story and without colorful stimulation, the pre-schoolers may become victim to the paparazzi. They don’t care about the truth! They want the three pigs fairytale.

Rating: ★★★

Helpful links:

3LittlePigs-Emerald

Matt Olson as the Big Bad Wolf (aka Alexander T. Wolf) greets greenhorn reporters Max and Ruby after the performance.


Creative team includes: Nic Jones (lighting), Joe Court (sound), Jenny Pinson (props), Joshua Lansing (technical director) and Scott Deter (stage manager)

Jonathan Heuring – Porchlight Music Theatre’s new managing director

JONATHAN HEURING appointed as new managing director

jonathan-heuring Porchlight Music Theatre has announced the appointment of Jonathan Heuring as full time managing director for the fifteen year old company. As managing director, he will oversee a variety of operations including marketing, development, vendors, subscription and single ticket sales—all the behind-the-scenes activities that support the artistic program.

Jonathan Heuring has worked the past 15 years in a wide variety of theatrical management roles, most notably nine years on the senior staff at Victory Gardens Theater as the Production Manager. He helped produce more than 50 world and regional premiere productions, including the 2001 season when Victory Gardens was the recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. He also played a major role in the growth that saw the company double in size and he was an integral member of the team that oversaw an $11.6 million campaign to renovate the landmark Biograph Theater into the company’s new home in 2006. Other theater companies he’s worked for include Indiana Repertory, Emerald City, TimeLine Theatre, Oak Park Festival, Lifeline, Famous Door and Center Theatre Ensemble.

Heuring has also worked locally in non-profit management software development and sales for Easy-Ware Corporation, and in commercial theatrical production for Jam Theatricals. He is a charter member of the Joseph Jefferson Awards Arts & Technical Committee, an advisory board member of Premiere Theatre and Performance, and is a proud graduate of Indiana University. He loves to volunteer his spare time to many local non-profits including Inspiration Corporation, Preservation Chicago, and Organizing for America.

From Porchlight’s board president Jeannie Lukow:

It is Porchlight’s privilege to welcome Jonathan Heuring as managing director. His knowledge of the Chicago theatre community, his skills as a theatre administrator, and most of all, his passion for theatre will serve the company well. As Porchlight celebrates the milestone of its 15th anniversary, bringing a full time managing director on board is critical to our growth in the next 15 years."

 

We here at Chicago Theater Blog wish Jonathan the best of luck.

Emerald City offers an encore run of “If You Take A Mouse To School”

Emerald City Theatre Presents
An Encore Presentation of

Mouse show image

August 6 – September 27

Emerald City Theatre is celebrating the "Back to School" season with an encore presentation of If You Take a Mouse to School, last season’s wildly popular world premiere adaptation based on Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond‘s national bestseller.

INFO: Performing August 6 – September 27 at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Avenue, this play is best suited for families with children ages 3 to 6.
Tickets are $15 (adults), and $12 (kids). For tickets and further information, call the Apollo Theater box office at (773) 935-6100 or visit emeraldcitytheatre.com.

SneezeSYNOPSIS: In a rollicking romp, Numeroff and Bond send the energetic, exuberant star of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Take a Mouse to the Movies (and his boy sidekick) into the classroom. Once at school, the mercurial mouse happily bounds from one activity to the next: he spells "a word or two" on the blackboard, conducts a science experiment, builds "a little mouse house" out of blocks, and fashions furniture for it with clay. Realizing he needs something on his new bookshelf, the ambitious critter collects paper and pencils and creates his own book, which he then wants to take home, in "your" lunch box. As animated as the whiskered student it depicts, Bond’s art lives up to expectation, featuring her customary crisp colors and kid-pleasing details. Its school setting, tried-and-true tone and popular protagonist mark this title as a winner."

PERSONNEL: If You Take a Mouse to School is directed by Ernie Nolan (Associate Artistic Director). Cast members include Matt Olson (Boy), Joe Goldammer (Mouse), and Sam Nicodemus (Various Women). Designers are Katie Schweiger (Scenic), Nathan Rohrer (Costumes), Patrick King (Lighting), Joe Court (Sound), Tara Morton (Puppets/Props), Joshua Lansing (Technical Director) and Scott Deter (Stage Manager).

Mother’s Day theater specials

Stumped on a Mother’s Day gift?  Take her to the theatre!!

 

Don José (Noah Stewart) and Carmen (Sandra Piques Eddy) in Chicago Opera Theater’s production of La Tragédie de Carmen. LA TRAGÉDIE DE CARMEN AT 3PM!

Chicago Opera Theatre

MOTHER’S DAY TICKETS specially priced!

312.704.8414
Tickets also available on May 13 and 15!

“Those with a passion for the minimalist aesthetic will be enthralled by ‘La Tragedie de Carmen’…This Carmen is a realistic acting vehicle as much as a musical one.” – Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Opera Theater performs at:
The Harris Theater in Millennium Park
205 East Randolph

 

 

Mark 5:27 — When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak...

Mark’s Gospel, starring Max McLean, the hit Chicago premiere presented through May 17 at The Mercury Theater, is featuring a special Mother’s Day celebration on Sunday, May 10.  The first 25 moms to arrive at the theater prior to the 3 p.m. show will receive a treat-filled spring gift bag from popular Southport candy shop Candyality.  All mothers in attendance will receive a rose from Southport Blooms, and after the performance everyone in the audience is invited to indulge in complimentary cake and coffee, served by Cullen’s Bar and Grill in the lobby following the show.

 

cinderalla-hug The Emerald City Theatre Company invites you to celebrate Mother’s Day Weekend with Cinderella on either May 9 or 10. Cinderella, an original musical adaptation of the classic fairytale, has been extended through May 31 by popular demand!  Tickets available either through website or calling 773.935.6100.

Mom’s ticket is FREE (with the purchase of 3 regular priced adult or child tickets) when you celebrate Mother’s Day by bringing her to Cinderella on May 9 or 10. We’ll shower her with 3 ways to say ‘I love you’. In addition to her free ticket, the Fairy Godmother will give her a flower and chocolates!

 

Jersey Boys, now playing in the theatre district in Chicago's Loop Buy Jersey Boys tix for mom, and get her a FREE MASSAGE as well.

Purchase a pair of tickets by Mother’s Day to any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday performance through June and receive a certificate for a FREE ONE HOUR MASSAGE* courtesy of Massage Envy! Click here and use the code MASSAGE in the ‘Promotions and Special Offers’ box when ordering. Certificates will be mailed via USPS within five (5) business days of purchase to the billing address. Hurry! Offer only valid while supplies lasts through May 10.


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Other Mother’s Day Specials

  • Brunch at Hyatt Regency McCormick Place’s SHOR on Sunday, May 10. For reservations, call 312.528.4140
  • Mini massages at Geja’s Café on Sunday, May 10. To make reservations, please call 773-281-9101.

Think Fast: Talk Like Shakespeare, Oz Ball, iPhone theatre

In honor of “Talk Like Shakespeare Day“, Chicago Public School students talk like Shakespeare…..

  • You have only until Tuesday, April 28th to pick up reduced tickets to Emerald City Theatre’s “Oz Ball” fundraiser in the Harold Washington Library Winter Garden.  

Chicago theater happenings – Pegasus Players, Mary Poppins, Emerald City, and Porchlight Theatre

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»» Broadway in Chicago’s upcoming musical, Mary Poppins, has extended their run for 2 more weeks, which now will run through July 12th.  Contact Broadway in Chicago for info and tickets.
 

 

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»» Emerald City Theatre will be offering a St. Patrick’s Day special for Saturday, March 14 and Sunday March 15 – wear green to performances on these dates and receive a free special gift from the Wizard!  More info.
    
  e1235510044Porchlight Music Theatre will be holding their 3rd Annual Jazz Brunch at the Drake Hotel on Sunday, March 29th.  Porchlight is Chicago’s music theatre leader, and this annual event is an important part of raising funds to continue their award-winning productions. 
For more info, send e-mail to porchlighttheatre@yahoo.com, call at 773-325-9884, or visit their website.
 

DuncanIlesa  joanmacleod  Wedoff picture_small

»» Don’t miss out on Pegasus Players newest production, the world premier of “The Shape of the Girl” by Joan MacLeod.  Starring Alice Wedoff, this one-woman show deals with the code of silence and tacit complicity surrounding the Reena Vick murder in Canada in 1997.  Directed by Ilesa Duncan, The Shape of the Girl , running March 2nd through April 12th, is the perfect production to help celebrate the 30th-anniversary (!!) of Pegasus Players, a true Chicago theatrical treasure.

 

xx

For Kids of all ages: Emerald City’s “Cinderella”

cindypage 

Emerald City Theatre‘s new whacky musical adaptation, Cinderella, with book and lyrics by Alyn Cardarelli (Artistic Director of Emerald City Theatre), music by Steve Goers and direction by Aritistic Associate Matthew Gunnels, opens tomorrow (February 14th) and runs through May 24th.  From Emerald City’s flyer:

Anybody who’s anybody is going to the Royal Ball.  Anybody that is except Cinderalla, whose feet are such an unusual size there are no shoes to fit them.  But with the help of a fairy godmother, a little sword fighting and some sensible footwear, a happy ending is certainly in sight! This adaptation, designed to appeal to both boys and girls, is full of audience interaction!  Children are invited to meet the actors after each weekend performance.  (stress mine)

Sounds like a lot of fun to me!  I always get a kick out of the raw response one gets from an audience filled with kids – and their eager interaction with the actors.  Priceless.

One more cool thing: you can download preview songs from Cinderella  here.

 

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