Emerald City’s THE CAT IN THE HAT Gets Back to Basics

CatInTheHat_ECTC_13-019-2335977697-ODr. Suess’ The Cat in the Hat has gone through many incarnations of late, including a big budget Hollywood film that went a bit astray.   The mischievous Cat that we all wanted to show up at our door to play on a rainy day has gone back to his roots thanks to Katie Mitchell’s lively adaptation for Emerald City Theatre which is currently being remounted at the Broadway Playhouse.

This is children’s theatre at its best and purist.   Spryly directed by Ernie Nolan, this tight and heartfelt production will engage your toddlers from moment the lights go up.   The cast of six is lead by the nimble and confident Danny Taylor, who has an instant connection with his intended audience.   Erik Strebig just about steals the entire show as the puppeteer of Fish, who certainly gets the bad end of the play date with the Cat; while Michael CatInTheHat_ECTC_13-022-2335979235-O (1)Richardson (Boy) and Giselle Vaughn (Little Sally) are the embodiment of Dr. Suess’ characters as they come to life. (Liam Dahlborn, Lilly Dahlborn, Avery Claire Moss and Jordan Rice alternate Thing One/Two)

Robert Kuhn’s set is simple yet colorfully effective, as are Nathan Rohrer’s picture perfect costumes.

The production runs just over 30 minutes and afterwords, the cast engages their young patrons with a question and answer session.   If that weren’t enough, they meet their fans one by one in the lobby of theatre, giving each new young theatre goer a bit of their time.  That personal engagement is something neither a book or a cartoon can ever match.  The living theatre weaves its magic at the young, who will then become patrons for the rest of their lives.   If anyone doubts the power of children’s theatre, then one just has to see the faces of the impressionable young fans sitting next to our favorite Cat.

Emerald City Theatre’s produciton of Dr. Suess’ THE CAT IN THE HAT plays through September 1, 2013 at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.  Tickets range from $16-$22. A select number of premium seats are also available for many performances. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Kiosk at Water Tower Place (845 N. Michigan Ave.), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com.  For calendar information, please visit www.TheatreInChicago.com