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First up this season is Leo Lionni’s Frederick, a world premiere musical based on beloved children’s author Leo Lionni’s Caldecott Award-winning book about Frederick the mouse. Stuart Carden, the Chicago-based director and new play specialist responsible for Writers Theatre’s wildly acclaimed The Old Man and The Old Moon with PigPen Theatre Co., will make his CCT debut with this new family musical, adapted for the stage by Suzanne Miller, featuring songs by Sarah Durkee and Paul Jacobs.
While other mice are gathering food for the winter, Frederick daydreams the summer away. When dreary weather comes, it is Frederick who has stored up something special for the long cold winter. The classic, much-loved early reading book celebrates the idea that there is a place for all of us in this world.
In Chicago Children’s Theatre’s hands, Frederick is getting a decidedly raucous and playful adaptation via a new musical featuring six actor-musicians playing spirited folk and blues music. The world of Frederick will also feature an inventive, homemade, do-it-yourself, trunk show style of production that will be highly physical and transforms ordinary objects and everyday ideas into the extraordinary.
Leo Lionni (May 5, 1910 – October 11, 1999) was an author and illustrator of children’s books. Born in the Netherlands, he moved to Italy and lived there before moving to the United States in 1939, where he worked as an art director for several advertising agencies, and then for Fortune magazine. He returned to Italy in 1962 and started writing and illustrating children’s books. In 1962 his book Inch by Inch was awarded the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award.
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