Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The Houdini Box from Chicago Children's Theatre

I'm reading: The Houdini Box from Chicago Children's TheatreTweet this!

photo courtesy of Chicago Children's Theatre
My 11-year-old son and I were invited to a recent performance of The Houdini Box, a new play based on Brian Selznick's book of the same name. The brick walls and old-timey feel of the Mercury Theatre was an ideal setting for the story of a boy who tried emulate the great Houdini back in the day.

Much to the chagrin of his mother and aunt, the protagonist, Victor, spends his days wreaking havoc as tries to fashion the kinds of escapes that his hero, world renown escape artist Harry Houdini, manages so effortlessly. One day, he has a chance encounter with Houdini and then...well, you'll just have to see the play or read the book to find out.

I bought a copy of the book in the lobby just before the show. It's such a short story that my son was able to read me the entire thing to before the play began, leaving me just enough time to wonder how it would be translated into an hour-long performance.

It was done so quite well. The play, written by Hannah Kohl, was enhanced with music by Mark Messing of Mucca Pazza and supplemented by puppetry courtesy of Redmoon Theater founder Blair Thomas.

My son enjoyed the play and felt the stage adaptation was quiet creative. That said, he told me he might have been a little old for the show. I'd place the target age around 6-10 years old.

With tickets starting at $15, the show is a lovely way to share a live, professional theater experience including music(!) and puppets(!) with your child.

The Houdini Box is playing at the Mercury Theatre through March 4, 2012.
After that, it will run in Skokie at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts March 13 - 25, 2012.

Disclosure: I received two tickets to see The Houdini Box. All opinions are my own.

1 comment:

Shari said...

I love everything the Chicago Children's Theatre performs. They are truly a treasure!