Review originally posted on ChicagoParent.com:
Based on a short story from Oscar Wilde, The Selfish Giant – the latest production from Chicago Children’s Theatre – features music by Chicago folk legend Michael Smith and production by Blair Thomas & Company.
The show, which runs a short and sweet 50 minutes, tells the story of a grumpy giant who restricts children from playing in his garden. He locks the children out and winter descends on the garden for eternity. Winter continues until a hole is found through a wall around the giant’s garden and the kids sneak back in. You can guess the rest.
The songs describing the plot are downright funny, enough to get full belly laughs from the audience. The puppets, created specifically for this performance, carry expressiveness and whimsy. (The humorous music and lyrics make an otherwise gruff giant less stern looking.)
Speaking of the puppets, the puppeteer, Sam Deutsch, does a masterful job of orchestrating solo through a variety of set and puppet changes.
I took my two sons, ages eight and five, to see the show on opening night, and the performance is suitable for kids in this age range. My eldest son, mesmerized by the engineering of how the puppets work, had this to say about the play:
“The Selfish Giant is a very fun play to watch. The artwork is outstanding. It is amazing to see how the puppets work on stage. The background music fits right into the play, with no speaking.”
The performance runs through Feb, 22, 2015 at the Ruth Page Center for Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street.