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Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012

Lois Ehlert's Stories Brought To Life for Toddlers

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Milwaukee's Lois Ehlert has been a hugely successful author of children's books. Her life path seems well constructed: she got a degree in English and psychology from UW-Madison before going on to get an art degree elsewhere. Then she went to work putting together her training and her life experiences while writing children's books. She won a Caldecott Honor and has produced more than a couple dozen stories that mix vivid block-color visuals with very simple but important stories for young children.

With a nationally recognized children's author living in Milwaukee, it's only natural that there should be some kind of collaboration with a nationally recognized children's theater program. And so it is that First Stage continues its First Steps Series for very, very young theatergoers with Lois Ehlert's Mole Hill Stories. Based on a number of books by Ehlert, the show was adapted for the stage by Alvaro Saar Rios. More than just a vividly produced series of short stories designed to illustrate the importance of dreaming big and various other things to children, the play is presented bilingually. It's also involves collaboration with Danceworks Inc., as choreographer Dani Kuepper has worked with First Stage to develop a comprehensive package that is certain to maintain the interest of young toddlers and parents alike.

Lois Ehlert's Moe Hill Stories
runs Jan. 12-27 at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 W. Walnut St. For ticket reservations, call 414-273-7206.

 

Theater Happenings

■ The Quasimondo theater company opens one final holiday show this season as it presents Nutcracker vs. Mouse King, an adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffmann's original 1816 story that served as the basis for the popular ballet. Performances run Dec. 21-Jan. 5 at Milwaukee Fortress, 100 A E. Pleasant St. For more information, call 717-34QUASI or visit thequasimondo.com.

Skylight Music Theatre brings Gilbert and Sullivan back to the stage with Here's A Howdy Do. Dale Gutzman has returned to the Skylight to write a tribute to the legendary songwriting duo, performed Dec. 31-Jan. 13 at the Broadway Theatre Center Studio Theatre. For ticket reservations, call 414-291-7800.

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