My family was given four tickets to see Lyle Finds His Mother at Lifeline Theatre in exchange for posting a review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
We had the incredible opportunity of returning to Lifeline Theater for their new KidSeries performance of Lyle Finds His Mother. The boys loved their last show, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!, so for several days we have been fielding how-long-until-the-show questions. Lyle did not disappoint.
Based on the book by Bernard Waber, with script by Jessica Wright Buha, music and lyrics by Michael James Brooks, and directed by Dorothy Milne; Lifeline’s adaptation of this classic children’s book was both heartwarming and creative. Lyle says goodbye to his human family and pairs up with Hector P. Valenti, Star of Stage and Screen, to earn his way through song and dance to the land of the crocodile, and his birth mother. Through his adventures he comes to learn both the importance and uniqueness of family.
The performance wasn’t quite as tight as what I’ve come to expect from Lifeline in The Three Little Pigs, but I blame it on the fact we only visited the second public performance. My boys of course loved the show in it’s entirety. This is what I loved:
What I loved about the show
- I mentioned this the last time I reviewed a show at Lifeline, but it is totally worth mentioning again. All of Lifeline’s shows are original adaptations of written works. This extends the theater experience for young families beyond the actual show, creating space to explore the story again through the original author’s point of view.
- The Lyle script is fantastic and engaging. The story follows Bernard’s closely, but the added musical and dance numbers give it a certain theatrical sparkle. My favorite scene was a duet between Lyle and his mother that incorporated a pretty impressive dance routine for such a small space.
- I am always amazed at the creativity and versatility of the cast and crew at Lifeline. The staging for Lyle is bold and colorful, changing scenes effortlessly and believably. The five person cast is spread convincingly over eleven different characters by way of subtle costume changes. They are experts at transforming the room over and over and over again into the imaginary world of the story they are sharing.
- I love that the actors and actresses are available immediately following the show to mingle with the kids and sign autographs, not only for the boys to meet the performers, but to give them an opportunity to say thank you as well.
- Hands down, my favorite part of this show was the message – that every family is unique and that every family is important – absolutely perfect for our family adventure day.
Show run & ticket information
- Lyle Finds His Mother runs through Sunday, April 27 (no performances Easter Sunday, April 20) at Lifeline Theatre in Rogers Park (6912 N. Glenwood Ave). Regular performance times are Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the Lifeline Theater Box Office (773-761-4477) or by visiting www.lifelinetheatre.com.
- Free parking is available at the designated lot west of the theatre (NE corner of Morse and Ravenswood) with free shuttle service before and after the show. Street parking is also available. Lifeline Theatre is handicapped and CTA accessible (Red Line Morse stop/busses).
- Copies of the book are made available in the lobby after the performance for $7.
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