Saturday October 22nd 2016

“School House Rock Live!”

banner_schoolhouserock_1000x235Recommended *** Back when my kids were growing up, I mean, way back in the ’70s, every Saturday morning, in-between regular programming, they would toss in some snippets called “School House Rock”. These were musical numbers that besides being fun and entertaining, reinforced what they were learning at school. Math, English, History, Social Studies, Science and whatever it was that took your fancy. My son was attracted to the English (“conjunction function, being his favorite), while my daughter loved the Math.

These are fun songs and short and sweet learning experiences that have been transformed to a “live” entertainment in a one hour musical play now on the stage at The Apollo Theater in Lincoln Park as the opener for Emerald girls at rockCity Theatre’s new season. The show is geared for kids, ages 3-13, but to be honest, I do not think the three -year -olds will see any major attraction in the presentation. While it is a slick one directed by Morgan Ashley Madison, I saw the “little ones” in the audience getting fidgety after the first scene. I brought, as usual, some grandkids along. As Adam was off in Wisconsin skiing, I brought Sarah ( now 7 ,very soon becoming 8) and Rebecca who is about to turn 6. Neither of them fell in love with the show. Rebecca felt that although she understood the math, some of the items mentioned were “over my head, so bring me back when I am 12″. Sarah, on the other hand, did get more involved in the musical numbers. Of course, she is the actress in the family, so it is easier for her to get into a story.

The show is fun! The four actors who perform are highly energetic and talented. Jed Feder is an amazing talent and Lillie Cummings has more energy than any 10 people I know. Emily Goldberg is adorable (they need body mikes the 4 actors as the hand mikes did not do the job) and Ron King is powerful. Mr. King plays Tom, a school teacher who is about to do his first day of school. He nervously awakes and puts the TV on. It is then that the characters of Dori (Ms Cummings), Shulie (Ms Goldberg) and George (Mr. Feder) come to life. From this point, through musical numbers, a myriad of costumes (Sarah Jo White) and props (Greg Pinsoneault) along with video projections (Michael Stanfill) the theater is filled with the learning that was brought to the television screen” back in the day”.

The book is by George Keating (a local talent, who appears as well on many local stages) Kyle Hall and Scott Ferguson with music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg, Kathy Mandry, George Newall and Tom Yohe, we are treated to lessons in Math, Women’s rights, Constitutional law, English, Science/Health ( a wonderful lesson about “circulation” that will lose many younger kids, but well taught to the elder audience members. It is a learning experience for the kids (as well as the adults who bring them).

Tickets start at $15 and can be ordered by calling 773-935-6100 or online at    apollo

“School House Rock Live!” will continue through June 5th with performances as follows:


Sun, Feb 28: 1:00pm
Thu, Mar 3: 10:15am
Sat, Mar 5: 1:00pm
Wed, Mar 9: 10:15am
Fri, Mar 11: 10:15am
Sat, Mar 12: 1:00pm
Sun, Mar 13: 1:00pm
Tue, Mar 15: 10:15am
Thu, Mar 17: 10:15am
Sat, Mar 19: 1:00pm
Wed, Mar 23: 10:15am
Sat, Mar 26: 1:00pm
Sat, Apr 2: 1:00pm
Wed, Apr 6: 10:15am
Sat, Apr 9: 1:00pm
Sun, Apr 10: 1:00pm
Mon, Apr 11: 10:15am
Thu, Apr 14: 10:15am
Sat, Apr 16: 1:00pm
Thu, Apr 21: 10:15am
Sat, Apr 23: 1:00pm
Sun, Apr 24: 1:00pm
Wed, Apr 27: 10:15am
Sat, Apr 30: 1:00pm
Tue, May 3: 10:15am
Sat, May 7: 1:00pm
Sun, May 8: 1:00pm
Tue, May 10: 10:15am
Fri, May 13: 10:15am
Sat, May 14: 1:00pm
Tue, May 17: 10:15am
Fri, May 20: 10:15am
Sat, May 21: 1:00pm
Sun, May 22: 1:00pm
Wed, May 25: 10:15am
Fri, May 27: 10:15am
Sat, May 28: 1:00pm
Fri, Jun 3: 10:15am
Sat, Jun 4: 1:00pm
  Sunday, June 5th 1:00pm

The Apollo Theater is located at 2450 N. Lincoln Avenue. There is a parking lot adjacent to the theater ($10)

To see what others are saying, visit Go to Review Round-Up and click at “School House Rock Live!”

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