Embrace New Friendships with ‘James and the Giant Peach’ at the Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences

Indoor Places to GoTheater

The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire is home to children’s theatre productions that encourage even the youngest audience members to develop an appreciation and love of live theater. With it being a theater in the round, and smaller in size, there truly isn’t a bad seat in the house.

Marriott Theatre has mainstage productions, but we will be focusing on the Theatre for Young Audiences as those are the family-friendly shows for all ages.

Our family recently attended their show James and the Giant Peach. Like most other youth productions at the Marriott Theatre, James and the Giant Peach runs for approximately one hour, making it the optimal length for younger audience members.

We were invited to attend this performance to share our experiences; all opinions are my own.

Review of James and the Giant Peach at the Marriott Theatre

The newest production at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire is an adaptation of James and the Giant Peach, the novel written by Roald Dahl. After recently reading the book, my 10-year old was eager to see James, Aunt Spiker, Aunt Sponge, and all of James’ new friends come to life. Characters were constantly entering and exiting the stage down the aisles, giving us an even closer look at them.

Age Recommendations

Both our 10 and 8-year old thoroughly enjoyed the James and the Giant Peach. They were excited to see familiar characters and laughed at the witty one-liners.

This was one of the first times my 10-year-old read a book and then saw the play shortly after, making it fun for her to spot slight differences in the storyline. I would recommend reading the book or watching the movie beforehand so your child is familiar with the story, as I think this enhanced their viewing experience.

Our 5-year old also liked the music, the insect characters, and bubbles coming down from the ceiling in mid-performance.

I would recommend this show for children ages 5 and up. For those who don’t know the story, James’s parents are eaten by a rhinoceros at the beginning of the show, so you may want to prepare your littlest audience members.

Photo courtesy of the Marriott Theatre

Tips for Visiting The Marriott Theatre

Parking is free, and right in front of the theater, with a nearby lot available for overflow.

When you enter the theater, there are bathrooms on the first level, but they are a few small corridors away. There is also a second bathroom located behind section 4. Changing tables are available.

Light refreshments and snacks can be purchased at the theater, but outside food and beverages cannot be brought in.

There truly isn’t a bad seat in the house. The theater is “in the round,” and the actors do a fabulous job of facing all sides of the stage. The seats have an unusually generous amount of leg room, so if you’re tall or have a kiddo who needs to stand or wiggle during the show, you’re good to go.

Extra Bonus
If you are able to stay after the performance, stick around for the Q&A session! It’s a great opportunity for your kids to learn about the actors, characters in the show, and how theater works.

Performance Length

Children’s Theatre productions at Marriott Theatre are under an hour (unless noted on the show page) and do not have an intermission.

After the show ends, the house lights go up and the cast members take the stage for a short Question & Answer session, which usually lasts around 10 minutes. They also introduce and thank the crew, which includes a short explanation of what each crew member does and where they sit during the show. Audience members are encouraged to text their questions to the theater (the number will be provided) before and after the show, and some of those questions are selected to be answered by the cast during the session. Don’t miss this part – it’s fascinating!

Post-show Q&A session.

Ticket Pricing

Tickets for the show are $15.75/each, with group discounts for 20 or more tickets. Visit the Marriott Theatre’s website or call (847) 634-0200 for tickets.

Performances are most Thursdays through Sundays at 10:00am, with some 12:30pm performances during the last week of March.

Discounts for Marriott Theatre

Marriott Theatre offers group discounts as well as discounts for seniors, military personnel, and students 17 years old and under. Call (847) 634-0200 for more information.

Special Accommodations

The Marriott Theatre offers ASL-interpreted performances and provides Hearing Loop for patrons with hearing loss. As explained on their website, “A hearing loop is a copper wire that is placed around the periphery of a room, which is powered by a loop driver generating a magnetic field. A telecoil, a common option on most hearing aids, serves as a wireless antenna to link the listener directly into the facility’s sound system.” For those who have hearing loss but do not wear hearing aids with telecoils, loop headsets are available.

Elevators can take you upstairs to the children’s theater in addition to the stairs when you enter. Accessible seating is available if you call the theater ahead of time at (847) 634-0200. The theater is upstairs with elevator access. You can read more about special accommodations on their accessibility page.

Restaurants Near Marriott Theatre

Most of their children’s theater productions end around lunchtime, and there are a few on-site restaurants at the Marriott Lincolnshire Resort if you’d like to extend your stay. There are also ample restaurants along Milwaukee Avenue if you’d prefer a more kid-friendly option. We visited Walker Bros. Original Pancake House, a brunch favorite in the north suburbs, which was just across Milwaukee Avenue from the theater. The Marriott Theatre also has a page outlining nearby restaurant options.

Please note that outside food is not allowed in Marriott Theatre. If you have take-home containers, they will hold them for you in the lobby.

About Marriott Theatre

Founded in 1975, Marriott Theatre has received 500 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations, which is Chicago’s highest theatrical honor for artistic achievement. They sell more than 400,000 tickets each year and boast the largest number of subscriptions of any musical theater.

Marriott Theatre
10 Marriott Drive
Lincolnshire, IL, 60069
(847) 634-0200

Our guide to live theater has all of the upcoming shows at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences.

Highlights From Past Performances

Our team has been enjoying shows at Marriott Theatre for years! Here are the highlights:

Getting to see a show at the Marriott Theatre was a perfect way to introduce my kids to live theatre! The unique “in the round” seating meant that everyone was closer to the stage; having the performers enter and exit through the aisles made us feel closer to the action, too.

Elyse Polickey about The Snow Queen on November 29, 2023

The theater was filled with laughter from parents, grandparents, and little ones. The energy brought on by the cast from start to end was absolutely infectious, and everyone cheered at the end of the musical!

Rita Barry about You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown on February 28, 2023

Among our highlights were the friendly ushers, who welcomed every child like a distinguished guest.

Jamie Dougherty about The Wizard of Oz on July 18, 2022

The scenes are fast and the plot moves quickly to keep the attention of little audience members.

Charlotte Belsan about The Princess and the Pea on February 19, 2020

Our girls were engaged — and the one-liners meant for parents had us all laughing.

Katie Mayle about Pinkalicious The Musical on July 25, 2018

My husband, who has been wearing hearing aids since birth, said the Hearing Loop worked perfectly. He was able to switch his “T-coil” program and hear the production directly through their hearing aids without additional equipment. We thanked the house manager afterward for having such wonderful a system available!

Kristen Sheehan about The Emperor’s New Clothes on March 11, 2018

The performance sparked my kids’ imagination and they spent the whole way home talking about what they saw in the clouds on the way home. It warms my heart when things we do together inspires them.

Annie Tandy about The Velveteen Rabbit on July 19, 2016

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hello – Thanks for your review. We were considering going to this but our son is 2.5. Would it be suitable for that age as well?

    • Hi Julie, I would recommend ages 3+. I did see younger kids that looked like they were much younger enjoying it. The cast was extremely high energy, it was easy to get and maintain the attention of the kids.


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