Review: The Hundred Dresses from Chicago Children’s Theatre

We had the pleasure of seeing Chicago Children’s Theatre’s The Hundred Dresses, a musical with live music, great performances, and a valuable anti-bullying message. It opened last weekend and runs through February 12, 2017 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts.

Christine Bunuan plays Maddie and Erin O’Shea is Peggy in The Hundred Dresses.

Before the performance started, the actors mingle with the audience, as well as sing and dance on stage while engaging the audience. We arrived early to make sure we found a parking spot and found one on the street right in front of the theater faster than I thought, so it was nice to be entertained while waiting!

The Hundred Dresses was adapted and created by Ralph Covert, from Ralph’s World, and G. Riley Mills, so you know the music is going to be good, snappy, and enjoyable for kids. The characters each play instruments both on stage while talking, singing, and dancing, and as part of the small band in the back section of the stage.

The kids have the option of sitting in the audience seats in front of the stage or sitting on benches on the stage, which was a fun treat. My daughter chose to sit on the stage and the actors did a good job facing everyone in front and in back. There was a few times that I thought maybe she was missing some of their facial expressions, but that didn’t seem to affect her enjoyment or understanding of the show.

Emily Berman (center) plays Wanda, who is taunted by her classmates (from left) Maddie (Christine Bunuan), Cecile (Dana Omar), Peggy (Erin O’Shea/obstructed), Jack (Donterrio Johnson) and Willie Bounce (Nik Kmiecik) in The Hundred Dresses.

I love theater that is not only enjoyable to watch, but has meaning and purpose behind it. The show emphasizes not only how hurtful it is to be bullied and wrong it is to behave like a bully, but how it feels and what it means to say and do nothing. The main character realizes that she will never do nothing again. It teaches all of these things while being entertaining with prankster school boy characters, girls in a rainbow of dresses, high-energy rock music, and fun choreography!

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Show Synopsis

Meet Wanda Petronski, the new girl in school. Wanda talks with a funny foreign accent and wears the same faded blue dress to school every day. Yet she swears her closet back home is lined with 100 beautiful silk dresses. Still, the “mean girls” at school pick on Wanda relentlessly. And those who stand by silently soon learn that doing nothing can be the worst form of bullying of all.

Based on Eleanor Estes’ timeless children’s novel, Chicago Children’s Theatre’s smash hit The Hundred Dresses takes audiences of all ages on a fun, funny, heartwarming musical journey that explores the bonds of friendship and the courage to be yourself.

Performance Information

Performances are now through February 12, 2017 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Show times are Tuesdays through Friday at
10 a.m., Saturdays at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., and Sundays at 11 a.m. and
2 p.m.

The Hundred Dresses runs approximately one hour and is ideal for ages 6 to adult. Single tickets are $10-$39. For tickets and information, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call (872) 222-9555.

Chicago Children’s Theatre’s performance home, the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, is convenient to public transportation, surrounded by family-friendly restaurants and located just steps from the Magnificent Mile.

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CCT also offers discounted group rates for schools, playgroups, birthday parties and scouting groups. Email GroupSales@chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call
(773) 227-0180 x 15 to learn more.

Details for the Access Weekend

Access Weekend for The Hundred Dresses is Saturday and Sunday, February 4 and 5, with services for persons with disabilities integrated into public performances. These include:

Live open captioning for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing:
Saturday, February 4 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., Sunday, November 13 at 11 a.m. and
2 p.m.

Sensory friendly performance with quiet room for children on the autism spectrum or with Down Syndrome:
Saturday, February 25 at 11 a.m.

For more information about access services, visit chicagochildrensteatre.org/access or contact access administrator Alex Mauney at cmauney@chicagochildrenstheatre.org.

About Chicago Children’s Theatre

Since its launch in 2005, Chicago Children’s Theatre has cemented its reputation as the city’s largest professional theater company devoted exclusively to children and young families.

The company evolved out of Chicago’s need for high-quality, professional year-round children’s programming to match the quality and significance of theatrical powerhouses such as Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre.

Likewise, CCT has always believed children should be treated as the sophisticated audiences that they are with high-profile and award-winning talent, inventive production values and compelling stories that challenge, educate and entertain.

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This post brought to you by Chicago Children’s Theatre.

About the Author

Annie Tandy
Annie loves making great memories with her kids and started Kidlist in 2011 so she can help others do the same! Besides finding fun and exciting things to do, Annie, her husband, and their kids enjoy caring for their chickens and hanging out with them in the backyard. Click here to read about Annie's chickens and see pictures! She also finds joy in gardening, home improvement projects, knitting, soap making, and painting along with being active in her community, church, and as a board member of the Western Springs Business Association. Click here to follow Annie on Instagram.

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