Wednesday August 23rd 2017

“Arnie the Doughnut”

A lovable chocolate-covered doughnut with sprinkles, a very happy doughnut ( a delightful interpretation by Brandon Paul Eells) is about to embark on an adventure that will change his life as well as that of the man who buys him, Mr. Bing ( deftly handled by Anthony Kayer). That is what the delightful new production at Lifeline Theatre’s KidSeries of “Arnie The Doughnut” is all about. A new musical  adaptation of Laurie Keller’s book of the same name by Frances Limoncelli, with music and lyrics by George Howe, is a delightful one hour story that will please every kid as well as parents and grandparents, as we watch the “new kid”, Arnie, come fresh from the baker’s  fryer to the shelves and learn about what it means to be a doughnut in the best bakery in town.

Arnie is so happy to be selected by Mr. Bing, but the other pastries did not tell him what to expect when he gets to Mr. Bing’s home. When Mr. Bing prepares to eat this doughnut, it all changes. How can Arnie stay off the plate? Once Mr. Bing learns of Arnie’s feelings, he decides that he cannot eat him and yet, he can’t keep him, or can he” This is a delightful romp directed by Elise Kauzlaric on an adorable set by Melanie Lancy and bright costumes by Kat Doebler. The puppets by Katherine Greenleaf, who also handled the props are adorable doughnut holes and are good enough to eat! The other donuts ( who play many other roles in this five member cast) Audrey Flegel as powdered,Julia Merchant as Jelly and Abby E. Sammons as french cruller are all solid singers and actresses.

Children’s books have a moral and in this one we learn about relationships. While in many cases, it is not human and doughnut, the point of “playing with your food” is not lost on the audience members. My grandkids , Adam ( 6 years old) and Sarah ( 3 years old) had a wonderful time with this show. They attend a lot of plays with me and often I express their views to help thoseof you with little ones, so here goes:

Adam found this to be a very colorful production with great costumes and lots of funny lines. When Arnie was in pain and said he felt like someone had punched a hole in his middle, Adam became hysterical- after all, he did have a hole in his middle, he was a doughnut! Sarah thought the costumes were very funny. The jelly filled doughnut had a red cap so she thought that would be tasty and she loved when the powdered doughnut dusted he face with more powder. They both enjoyed the music and asked me to purchase the book for them so they could have this adorable story on their shelf to share with baby sister Rebeca when she is a bit older.

Arnie will continue at Lifeline Theatre located at 6912 N. Glenwood in Rogers park through May 15th with performances as follows:

Saturdays at 1 p.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. ( no performances on Easter or Mother’s day)

Tickets are a mere $12 and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 773-761-4477 or online at

Lifeline offers a pay what you can program on day of performance only ( subject to availability) one half hour prior to performance.

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