Spring Children’s Theatre Guide presented by Gorton Community Center {2017}

Children's Theatre productions this season

Our guide to Spring 2017 Children’s Theatre in and around Lake County is presented by the Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest.  See the pages of your child’s favorite Eric Carle stories come to life at “Brown Bear, Brown Bear and other Treasured Stories by Eric Carle” on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the Gorton Community Center. 

Spring Children's Theatre 2017

Spring Children’s Theatre in Lake County

When your kids are itching to get out of the house, the theatre is just the place to stretch their minds when it’s not yet nice enough to stretch their legs. Geared towards wiggly bodies, these kid-friendly performances are short and very entertaining… guaranteed to give your family a great glimpse of the arts!

Events are listed chronologically. Please click on the links for full information and ticket purchasing information. Little Lake County is not responsible for sold out shows.

February 25- April 15
Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire | 847-6334-0200
Tickets: $17.23
Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and, of course, those hilarious, plotting penguins as they bound onto our stage in the musical adventure of a lifetime. Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar – A Musical Adventure follows all of your favorite crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar. Read Rosemary’s review of the show.


Property of Marriott Theater

Beauty and the Beast
April 3-14
Metropolis School of the Performing Arts, 111 W Campbell Street, Arlington Heights | 847-392-0100
Tickets: $14 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under
Don’t miss Chicago Kids Company’s newest show. Full of comedy, romance, and plenty of audience participation, this one-hour musical adaptation will have everyone believing in love. Come and find out if true love can turn the Beast into a handsome Prince! Recommended for grades PreK-3rd

The reluctant dragon

PASTA Presents The Reluctant Dragon
April 8, 1:00 p.m.

Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest
Tickets: $5 each, available online or at the door.
Join the cast of Walt Disney’s animated cartoon, Mortimer the dragon. The good King Rufus summons the great Saint George to slay the dragon and save the village!  The only problem is Mortimer the dragon is friendly and doesn’t want to fight.  He wants to have a picnic and read books.  Mortimer’s friends Danny and Dottie must save their friend by traveling to the Master Guru of the Mountains who teaches them how to train their dragon for battle! Performed by children ages 7 – 14.

Willy Wonka Jr.
April 7, 7:00 p.m. and April 8 , 1:00 , 4:00, & 7:00 p.m.
St. Bede’s Drama Club, Lakes Community High School, 1600 Eagle Way, Lake Villa
Tickets: $10 each
The delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale. Featuring the enchanting songs from the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder in addition to a host of fun new songs, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR. is a scrumdidilyumptious musical guaranteed to delight everyone’s sweet tooth.

NSSRA-Shake With A Zombie
April 8th 1:00pm and 5:00pm
Northbrook Theatre for Young Audiences, 3323 Walters Ave., Northbrook | 847-291-2367
Tiuckets: $12 each
NSSRA-Shake With A Zombie is …Horror and hilarity abound when Mongo, a rock chomping beast from the center of the earth,connects with bright-eyed Pete Berserker,proprietor of Pete’s Luncheonette

Honk Jr.
April 20-23
Big Deal Productions, Community Arts Center, 225 McHenry Rd., Buffalo Grove
Tickets:  $7 in advance, $9 at the door general admission
Ugly looks quite a bit different from his darling duckling brothers and sisters. The other animals on the farm are quick to notice and point this out, despite his mother’s protective flapping. Feeling rather foul about himself, the little fowl finds himself on an adventure of self-discovery, all the while unknowingly outwitting a very hungry Cat. Along the way, Ugly meets a whole flock of unique characters and finds out being different is not a bad thing to be.

Kidstage Presents Legally Blonde!
April 21 and 22, 7:30 p.m.

John & Nancy Hughes Theater, Goton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest | 847-814-2464
Tickets: $10
Legally Blonde JR. may be a comedic, light-hearted show, but it also explores serious themes of self-discovery and independence which resonates with people of all ages.

PASTA present Peter Pan
Saturday April 22, 1:00pm
Gorton Community Center, 400 East Illinois Road, Lake Forest
Tickets: $5
When the Darling children fly to Neverland with Peter Pan, they encounter the evil Captain Hook and his pirates.  Wendy, John and Michael join Tiger Lily and the Lost Boys to help Peter Pan defeat the mean and nasty Hook!  Watch out for the crocodile! Performed by children ages 7 – 14


Disney’s Aladdin Jr.
April 27 – May 6, 2017
Spotlight Disney’s Aladdin Jr. Youth Theater, Christian Arts Auditorium 2500 Dowie Memorial Drive, Zion
Tickets $12-$14
Welcome to Agrabah, City of Enchantment, where every beggar has a story and every camel has a tail! All of your favorite characters are here in this stage adaptation of the Disney hit, including Aladdin, Jasmine, and of course, the Genie. Filled with magic, mayhem, and flying carpet rides, audiences’ spirits will soar with excitement. Most of all, the tuneful, Academy award-winning score with songs including “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me” will certainly make this musical a favorite for many years to come!


Cinderella Kid’s Performance
April 28 at 7:00 p.m.  & April 29 at 2:00 & 7:00 p.m.
Rising Stars by the Round Lake Area Park District, Park School Campus, 400 Townline Rd., Round Lake
Tickets: $5 at the door
This rags to riches fairy tale is an adaptation of the treasured animated film that will charm its way into your heart. Dreams can come true for your little stars. Poor Cinderella is endlessly mistreated by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, and denied a chance to go to the royal ball. With a little help from her mice friends – and a lot of help from her Fairy Godmother-Cinderellas dreams come true. She goes to the ball, meets the Prince and falls in love!

Photo Courtesy of Gorton Community Center

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and other Treasured stories by Eric Carle
April 29, 10:00 a.m and 2:00 p.m.

Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest | 847-234-6060
Tickets: $15
The hour-long production showcases the imaginative blend of innovative puppetry and striking scenic effects that has won international acclaim for the Nova Scotia-based theatre. To date some 400 performances have been applauded by close to 250,000 spectators across North America and Singapore. The Very Hungry Caterpillar joins a whimsical menagerie drawn from the pages of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, the story was written and illustrated by Carle and Bill Martin, Jr., and has served to introduce generations of toddlers to the delights of identifying colours and objects.

May 4-6
Metropolis School of the Performing Arts, 111 W Campbell Street, Arlington Heights | 847-392-0100
Tickets: for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under
Geppetto the toy maker wishes on a star that his puppet could be a real boy, to have a son of his own. The Blue Fairy brings the puppet to life and names him Pinocchio but it’s his job to become a real boy by learning to tell the truth and obeying his father. With many temptations along the way, will Pinocchio ever get to be a real boy? Recommended for grades 1-5.

Studio 13! Theatre Presents James and the Giant Peach Jr.
May 5
and 6
Park School Campus Stage, 400 W. Townline Rd., Round Lake | 847-546-8558
Tickets: $5
Sponsored by Huebner Fishery Management Foundation.  When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions. James befriends a collection of singing insects that ride the giant peach across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements along the way.

Improv Playhouse Presents Hansel and Gretel
May 6

Waukegan Public Library, 128 N. County St., Waukegan | 847-623-2041
Improv Playhouse brings their funny and entertaining twist on Hansel Gretel. Using Improvisational humor, props and help from the audience they bring Hansel and Gretel out of a book and into our Bradbury Room. The play is for families. Children 3 and up will get the most out of this humorous play.

Kidstage Productions Presents Vaudeville!
April 23, 30 and May 7
John & Nancy Hughes Theater, Gorton Center, 400 E .Illinois Rd., Lake Forest | 847-234-6060
Tickets: $10
Vaudeville is a type of entertainment that was popular in the United States in the early 1900’s.  It was a mixture of specialty acts like comedians, singers, dancers, acrobats, and magicians. Vaudeville actors traveled around the United States performing their show in various cities. Getting to perform in New York City was a big deal because it was only “45 Minutes from Broadway.”

Worth the Trip

Good children’s theatre is worth the drive. Once you’ve seen all the local shows check out some of these shows that are worth the trip


Photo Property of: Chicago Chilldren’s Theater

Chicago Children’s Theater has a fantastic line up this spring. 

Ruth Page Center for the Arts |1016 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago | (872) 222-9555
Tickets are $28-$39 or get a family 4 pack for $80

The Year I Didn’t Go to School
February 28 – March 19
Join seven-year-old Giselle and her sister Chloë as they spend a year traveling through Italy by truck, performing in their parents’ puppet theater company, The Mystic Paper Beasts. Get a glimpse into the childhood that no doubt helped foster her development as an artist.

April 20 – May 7
A boy marionette, a toy maker, and a talking cricket. You think you know the story of Pinocchio, but you’ve never experienced it like this.How do you allow joy and grief to live in your heart simultaneously? With the collaboration of Deaf and Hearing actors, the beloved story Pinocchio comes to life as on stage at our new home – The Station in April. It’s a love letter to our youth, and the life that’s ahead of us – just so long as we put one foot in front of the other. Ideal for ages 7 and up.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and other Treasured Stories
May 2 – 28
Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Other Treasured Stories, by Eric Carle brings together old favorites and new friends. The hour-long production showcases the imaginative blend of innovative puppetry and striking scenic effects which won international acclaim for the Nova Scotia-based theatre. Enjoy a whimsical menagerie drawn from the pages of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Celebrating its 50th anniversary, this story has served to introduce generations of toddlers to the delights of identifying colors and objects.


Peter Pan
Compass Creative Dramatics
Saturday, April 22 at 2:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 23, at 11:00 a.m.
Tickets are $12 – 18
1225 W. Belmont, Chicago
They are debuting their latest original musical, Peter Pan, a new retelling of JM Barrie’s classic story about the boy who won’t grow up. Compass Creative Dramatics usually works with kids aged 3-18 — and for the  fifth anniversary celebration, we’ve gathered a cast of spunky grown-up Chicago theatre performers to join the professional cast of our new adaptation of Peter Pan for family audiences!


The Wiz
Emerald City Theater at the Apollo Theater | 2540 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago | (773) 529.2690
March 25-June 8
Tickets are $24
Your family will “Ease on down the road” with the music you know and love in this adaptation of The Wiz, based on the classic tale, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum and popularized by the 1978 film of the same name. Culminating Emerald City Theatre’s 20th Season, fans of all ages will follow Dorothy’s exploration of love, home, and family through a magical musical mixture of rock, gospel, and soul in a fantastical Chicago setting. “Living here in this brand new world might be a fantasy, but it taught me to love, so it’s real – real to me!”

What’s on your “must-see” list this spring? Did we miss it? Leave it in the comments so we can add it!

Photo Source kidsentertainment.net

The touring production of Brown Bear, Brown Bear and other Treasured Stories by Eric Carle brings your child’s favorite storybook friends to life at the Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest.  The hour-long production employs innovative puppetry, striking scenic effects, and evocative music to join together a colorful cast of  animals from the pages of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  Their whimsical adventure is followed by a young girl’s quest in Papa Please Get The Moon For Me.

You can purchase the featured book titles by Eric Carle from the Lake Forest Book Store, who will be present at the 10:00 a.m. performance.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear and other Treasured Stories by Eric Carle
Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Appropriate for ages 1-5 +
Tickets are $15 per person

Gorton Community Center
400 East Illinois Road Lake Forest
(847) 234-6060 | Facebook | Twitter |Instagram

Disclosure: Gorton Community Center is the paid sponsor of our Spring Children’s Theatre Guide 2017. 



About Jessica Gebbink 46 Articles
Jessica is a mom of 3 girls from Spring Grove, IL. Next to her relationship with the Lord, her other passions include cooking, playing the violin, photography, and helping other moms to realize their true potential.

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