Dec. 21, 2006
Theatreworks USA will present a musical revue, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie & Other Story Books at the Rose Lehrman Arts Center on Sunday, January 14 at 2 & 4:30pm. The afternoon will feature a celebration of books and reading with free events before and after each show, including performances by SuperReader, free books and cookies for the kids, and a photo opportunity with the "Mouse" character. Support for this RLAC event comes from the American Literacy Council and PNC Bank. Cookies are provided by Cookies by Design and the Media Partners for the event are Central Penn Parent and ABC TV 27.

Based on popular children's literature, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie & Other Story Books is a sparkling musical revue based on the popular picture book by Laura Joffe Numeroff, as well as seven other stories familiar to the younger generation. Presented by a multi-racial cast, the stories represent various issues, themes and ideas relevant to a broad and diverse audience of children. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Joffe Numeroff, is the story of a boy who shares his snack with a hungry, demanding mouse and learns a hilarious lesson about cause-and-effect in the process. Other tales are: Amazing Grace, by Mary Hoffman, which follows young Grace as she attempts to break stereotypes in an effort to play the title character in her school's play; Borreguita and the Coyote, by Verna Aardema, a classic Mexican tale of a little lamb, or borreguita, who uses her wits to escape a hungry coyote; Imogene's Antlers, by David Small, the tale of a young girl, Imogene, who is delighted to wake up with "cool" antlers, but soon discovers others do not share her enthusiasm;. Martha Speaks, by Susan Meddaugh, is the adventurous tale of a family dog who literally becomes outspoken after dining on alphabet soup; Master Man, by Aaron Shepard, with muscles that are as big as his ego; Math Curse, by Jon Scieszka, which addresses the phobia some kids have when tackling seemingly impossible math problems; and Owen, by Kevin Henkes, who just can't bear to part with his beloved blanket, Fuzzy.

Theatreworks USA has a distinguished history of not only providing young audiences with their first taste of the performing arts, but also giving young actors, writers, directors, and designers an early opportunity to work in this field. A list of their alumni reads like a veritable "who's who" of theatre. Among them are four-time Tony-winning director Jerry Zaks, Robert Jess Roth (Beauty and the Beast), and Michael Mayer (Thoroughly Modern Millie); writers Marta Kauffman and David Crane (TV's "Friends"), Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (Avenue Q); and Tony-winning actors Roger Bart, Chuck Cooper, and John Glover. Esteemed performers F. Murray Abraham, Henry Winkler, and Judy Kuhn also got their start with Theatreworks.

TheatreWorks USA is the only children's theatre to receive both a Drama Desk and a Lucille Lortel Award. In addition, it was the recipient of a 2001 Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, and in May 2000, The Actors Fund of America bestowed its Medal of Honor upon Theatreworks founders, Jay Harnick and Charles Hull.

Free pre-and post-performance events round out a fun filled day on Sunday, January 14! SuperReader, American Literacy Corporation's "Super Hero," will present a pre-event performance in the Studio Theatre at 1pm and 3:30pm. SuperReader, alter ego of Floyd Stokes, executive director of ALC, dons a yellow mask, a blue cape and an "R" emblazoned uniform to "save" children from a life deprived of books. After each Theatreworks USA performance there will be a free "Book and Cookie Party" in the lobby. Books will be given to each child courtesy of the American Literacy Council, while free cookies are provided by Cookies by Design - the original cookie bouquet company of Harrisburg. There will also be a free photo opportunity with the "Mouse" character at the post-show parties.

Theatreworks USA musical production of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie & Other Story Books will be presented at RLAC, HACC on Sunday, January 14 at 2pm and 4:30pm. Tickets for the one-hour show, recommended for 4 years and up, are $10 with an $8 ticket price for ages 4 to 12. The pre-event performances by SuperReader begin at 1pm and 3:30 pm in the Studio Theatre. RLAC Box Office phone is 717-231-ROSE (7673). TIX sales online

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