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Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012

‘Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse’ Onstage

Teaching children about mistakes

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Everyone makes mistakes. It's the simplest fact. For many it's the first abstract lesson we learn. And it's one we seem to be learning in a different way every single day for the rest of our lives. The important thing isn’t whether or not one makes mistakes, because everyone does. It’s dealing with these mistakes in the right way. This is exactly what children's book author Kevin Henkes was exploring in his 1996 work Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.

The story of a pleasantly anthropomorphized mouse and her big imagination at the school she loves has become a well-loved children's tale over the course of the past 15 years or so. Author Henkes has placed Lilly in a number of stories that have endeared themselves to readers over the years. This particular story will be brought to the stage for kids this coming January in a production by Marquette University’s Department of Performing Arts. Diana Alioto directs a Kevin Kling adaptation of the popular children's book. An author in his own right, Kling has written a couple of books of stories and has had his work appear on NPR's “All Things Considered.” In addition, he has also adapted other works for the children's stage, including Richard Scarry's Busytown and Lyle the Crocodile from works by Bernard Waber.

Marquette's production of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse runs Jan. 12-13 and 19-20 at the Helfaer Theatre, 525 N. 13th St. For ticket reservations, call 414-288-7504 or visit showclix.com/events/marquettetheatre.

 

Theater Happenings

■ On New Year's Eve, Wisconsin Actors Ensemble (WAE) and Ron Lee present Memories Are Made of This… This performance celebrates Dean Martin’s television show, with actors portraying Jackie Gleason, Marilyn Monroe, Groucho Marx, Marlene Dietrich, Phyllis Diller, Foster Brooks and Patty Page. Shows will be held at Humphrey Scottish Rite Theatre (790 N. Van Buren St.) Dec. 31 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Save Our Kids. For ticket reservations, visit dinnershowmilwaukee.com or call 1-800-504-4849.

■ The popular Danish fairy tale The Little Mermaid gets an intimate staging next month as Cardinal Stritch University presents the tale for matinee performances Jan. 13-20 at the Nancy Kendall Theater (6801 N. Yates Road). All shows are at 2 p.m. For ticket reservations, call 414-410-4171.