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Eric Petersen as Shrek

Dennis McGrath, Dreamworks Theatricals (Joan Marcus)

Mike Myers in "Shrek: The Final Chapter"

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'Shrek,' 'Scarecrow' and 'Cinderella on tap for Children's Theatre

  • Article by: Rohan Preston
  • Star Tribune
  • February 28, 2013 - 8:25 PM

The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis has announced a new season with three world premieres, two collaborations with guest companies and its own version of the Broadway comedy “Shrek the Musical,” directed by Peter Rothstein (April 22-June 8, 2014).

The 2013-14 slate gives Twin Cities audiences the chance to be the first to see the stage version of English writer Philip Pullman’s “The Scarecrow and His Servant,” adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher and directed by Children’s Theatre artistic director Peter Brosius (March 11-April 6, 2014). Pullman is best known for his “His Dark Materials” trilogy, including “The Golden Compass.”

The company collaborates with New York’s Ma-Yi Theater on the premiere of Lloyd Suh’s anime-inspired sci-fi piece, “The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!” (Oct. 8-Nov. 17). The show will then travel to New York and play off-Broadway.

The lineup includes such old favorites as John Davidson’s pantomime-inspired adaptation of “Cinderella” (Nov. 12-Jan. 5) and “Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat,” which was oversold during the holidays and is returning for a warm-weather engagement (May 22-July 20, 2014).

The theater has been developing shows aimed at preschoolers for its Cargill Stage. The premiere of playwright Barry Kornhauser’s “Balloonacy,” a wordless piece about an old man who is helped by a tenacious balloon to find his inner child, is pitched to that demographic (March 25-May 4, 2014). So is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites,” produced by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia (Jan. 14-Feb. 23, 2014).

“Studies show that kids have the bulk of their brain development before age 5,” said Brosius. “This show, our third world premiere for preschoolers, is a very important part of our programming.”

Children’s Theatre starts the season with its first-ever production of “Charlotte’s Web,” adapted from the E.B. White book by Joseph Robinette and staged by Greg Banks (Sept. 17-Oct. 27).

“We’re bringing work here that has been gestating for a while, work that’s proven its mettle elsewhere and work that showcases invention and theatricality,” said Brosius, who directs several of the shows.

Subscription packages, which range from $36 for three shows to $219 for six, are on sale. Single tickets go on sale July 23; 612-874-0400 or childrenstheatre.org.

Rohan Preston • 612-673-4390

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