Best Upcoming Children’s Shows In Minnesota

July 7, 2014 7:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Kids thrive on stimulation. Four great productions are now playing and two more are coming to Minnesota’s metro area. Each is captivating and inspirational in its own way.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“Peter and the Wolf”
Minnesota Orchestral Association
1111 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 371-5600

Date: July 20, 2014 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Rich sounds and moving melodies, as only Prokofiev could write, are provided by the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Courtney Lewis. Visually rich and highly physical acting methods, a trademark of the Theatre de la Jeune Lune, is embodied by the presence of its alumni. This marriage of vibrance and motion infuses a refreshing breath of life into what could be an otherwise hackneyed classic tale. Your child may be on the edge of his or her seat for the entire, uninterrupted hour. Be sure to check out the Sound Discovery Stations in the lobby for children to learn more about instruments and actually have a go at playing one.

“The Wiz”
Stages Theatre
1111 Mainstreet
Hopkins, MN 55343
(952) 979-1111

Date: Now playing through Aug. 3, 2014

Watch Dorothy and her friends, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion, make their way down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City. See Glinda, the beautiful and gracious sorceress, and tell Dorothy to believe in herself while singing “If You Believe.” The silver shoes she was given in the beginning of her adventure always had the power to take her home. Dorothy only needed to believe in herself, just as her friends had learned earlier. This new Theater for Young Audiences super soul musical version infuses the familiar story in the Land of Oz with unforgettable rhythm and dance.

“Free To Be You and Me”
Old Log Theater
5185 Meadville St.
Greenwood, MN 55331
(952) 474-5951

Date: Now playing through Aug. 8, 2014

Inspire your child through humor and song just as Marlo Thomas conceived of this theme to expand her niece’s outlook on life. Originally a children’s book, then a star-studded record album, later an Emmy-winning TV special and finally a play, Marlo’s positive message is that by dispelling time-worn conventions of gender, anything is possible. The play takes but an hour, but it leaves children with an amazing and unforgettable memory they can share with their parents, grandparents or any other significant adult in their lives.

childrens, theatre, company, arts, theater

(credit: CBS)

Related: Minnesota’s Best Attractions For Kids
“The Cat in the Hat”
Children’s Theatre Company
2400 3rd Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 874-0400

Date: Now playing through July 27, 2014

Children’s Theatre Company’s 2012 production of Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat” sold out with an extended run and now it’s back this summer by popular demand. Seuss’ beloved story about a mischief-making cat started in 1957 in an effort to create young “reader” books that were more interesting than “The Adventures of Dick and Jane,” so common in schoolbooks of that era. “The Cat in the Hat” became the world’s ninth most sold children’s book by the turn of this century. Then, in 2009, the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain produced this play adapted and originally directed by Katie Mitchell. Kids as young as pre-kindergarten immediately understand the implications of this mischievous cat as he appears at the door in his tall, red-and-white-striped hat. Sally and her brother know it too, but they do not know what to do. The CTC theatrical reincarnation is full of magic, color and brimming with physical humor.

“Disney’s The Little Mermaid”
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
501 W. 78th St.
Chanhassen, MN 55317
(952) 934-1525

Date: Now playing through Aug. 30, 2014

Who can forget Hans Christian Andersen’s captivating tale of mermaid Ariel, “Under the Sea,” who upon spying Eric, wants to be “Part of Your World.” Will Eric “Kiss the Girl” to save her from Ariel’s unfortunate bargain with the evil Ursula? Theatergoers of all ages will cheer for the infectious charm of Caroline Innerbichler as Ariel and the handsome Frank Moran as Prince Eric who struggle to find a world together. Dazzling colors in submarine settings with undulating choreography and exciting song make this a fun time for all.

“Busytown The Musical”
Children’s Theatre Company
2400 3rd Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 874-0400

Date: Sept. 16 through Oct. 26, 2014

This fall, kids from kindergarten to fourth grade can experience CTC’s theatrical adaptation of Richard Scarry’s Busytown book “What Do People Do All Day.” This delightful musical by Kevin Kling and Michael Koerner has lots of colorful chaos, as the likes of Lowly Worm, Huckle Cat, Betsy Bear, Mistress Mouse, pirates and kittens rush onto stage, perform exaggerated acts, sing and dance to upbeat syncopated music and rush off again. Don’t worry, though—the kids know all of the characters and will identify with the storyline of planning an awesome birthday party. Lowly Worm gets the charm award as he pops up from his apple car. Single ticket sales begin July 22, but you can visit for info on CTC’s subscription packages.

Related: Best Railroad Experiences In Minnesota For Kids

Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at

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