The best children's shows place a high premium on audience interaction, unlike the opera or traffic court. Rustle up some kid-friendly fun with this GrouponLive deal to see Harold and the Purple Crayon, presented by the Chicago Children's Theatre at the Beverly Arts Center. For $23, you get one ticket for main-floor center seating (up to a $46.50 value, including all fees). Doors open one hour before each performance. Choose from the following showtimes:
- Saturday, November 10, at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m.
- Sunday, November 11, at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m.
Chicago Children's Theatre continues its mission to deliver inspiring theatrical experiences for all ages with its production of Harold and the Purple Crayon.
Based on the beloved picture books by Crockett Johnson, Harold and the Purple Crayon thrusts show-goers into the imagination of the titular 4-year-old. Reshaping reality with the power of his giant crayon, Harold slips the bonds of his bedroom to travel to such exotic locales as the moon and the bottom of the sea. The book's freeform plot mirrors the delightful chaos and exuberant aimlessness of youthful curiosity, and the stage adaptation follows suit, moving quickly from scene to scene for a zippy runtime that keeps kids from getting fidgety and cars from turning back into pumpkins before rides home.
Director Sean Graney and his design team mix high-tech wizardry with lo-fi magic to re-create Harold's whimsical mental world. As he draws in his notebook, projections of his doodles appear on the three white clouds that make up the stage’s backdrop, hovering for a moment before the pictures come to life. Two quick-changing actors help people visualize the imaginative worlds, switching between elaborately costumed characters, such as crayon-eating aliens and helmet-selling sea captains. Puppets flesh out the magical landscape alongside undulating, umbrella-like jellyfish and majestically soaring rockets. All audience members receive their own purple crayon and have free rein to doodle on the theater's paper-lined walls, drawing fantastical creatures of their own or writing notes to their favorite janitors.
Jeff Award–winning Chicago theater personality Graney directs the production with his trademark, flamboyant élan. Onetime Chicago Tribune Chicagoan of the Year for theater, Graney and his exuberant aesthetic suck audiences into his productions with immersive stage magic and engaging audience participation. His energetically joyful style of theater finds full expression in Harold and the Purple Crayon, prompting Time Out Chicago to rave, "Graney perfectly captures the kinetic and digressive imagination of a young kid, and spills it all out onto the stage in an unspooling spectacle."
Chicago Children's Theatre
Chicago Children's Theatre's productions sprout up on stages in and around the city, inspiring families' imaginations and engaging Chicago's diverse communities. Past seasons have staged adaptations of books, such as Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Kafka's The Metamorphosis, and interactive parable plays geared toward toddlers and their teddy bears. Committed to making theater accessible to all, the troupe's Red Kite Project composes multisensory works tailored to children with autism.