Tollbooth: A Clown Show | Humboldt Park | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Kyle Geissler in Tollbooth: A Clown Show

Kyle Geissler in Tollbooth: A Clown Show

Molly FitzMaurice

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through May 18 2014
Price: $20, $10 for students and community members, free for participating kids
Here's some fun for kids of all ages: a clown and puppet show "loosely inspired by" Norton Juster's children's book The Phantom Tollbooth. It starts with a birthday party for a somewhat shy little boy named Shiloh, then morphs slowly into a journey featuring shadow plays, letter orchards, an infinity staircase, a spanking tunnel, and finally an epic battle against the Demon of Ignorance, all in an attempt to free Wisdom and Whimsy (now there's a cause we can all get behind). There's a king who cares deeply about words getting the respect they sorely deserve; one clown wears a beanie and a very cool sound-system backpack. It's best not to take it all so seriously, these clowns remind Shiloh (and us). This work is presented by First Floor Theater in conjunction with the Chicago Park District; Sunday performances are free for kids participating in a 2 PM preshow workshop on clowning and puppetry. —Suzanne Scanlon


4.6 out of 5

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