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  The Houdini Box at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts

The Houdini Box

North Shore Center for the Performing Arts
9501 Skokie Blvd Skokie

As famed escape artist Harry Houdini circles the globe performing one incredible stunt after another, Victor, a young devotee goes through his own rigorous magician’s training – locking himself in closets, holding his breath under water and walking into walls. After a chance encounter with his hero, Victor receives a special box that just might contain the secrets of Houdini’s great success.

Thru - Mar 25, 2012

Tuesdays: 10:15am
Wednesdays: 10:15am
Thursdays: 10:15am
Fridays: 10:15am
Saturdays: 11:00am & 2:00pm
Sundays: 11:00am & 2:00pm

Price: $15-$36

Show Type: Childrens

Box Office: 847-673-6300

  The Houdini Box Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Directed by Chicago’s own theatrical magician, Blair Thomas (a master of blending live actors and puppetry of every variety), with a book and lyrics by Hannah Kohl, and music by Mark Messing, this witty, whimsical, exquisitely produced riff on one boy’s obsession with Harry Houdini is being produced by the Chicago Children’s Theatre. But with its terrific cast, sharp wordplay, deliciously droll humor (the “water torture cell” involves nothing but a Houdini puppet and a glass jar), exquisite visual aura and crystal clear storytelling, it has delights for the oldest as well as youngest members of its audience."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Kohl's book moves fast, while puppetry and a lively xylophone-and-accordion accompaniment add whimsy. Blair Thomas's distinctive visual touch comes through in the scenic and puppet design for this Chicago Children's Theatre production, effectively capturing the flat three-dimensionality of a pop-up book."
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Keith Griffith

Centerstage - Recommended

"...As Victor, Alex Weisman captures all the energy, innocence and enterprise of a young boy. Derek Hasenstab does some of his best, most versatile work in this production playing multiple roles, including the narrator, Victor’s Aunt and Houdini himself. Sara Sevigny does a nice job both as Victor’s mother and Bess Houdini. Kudos go to Elizabeth Wislar’s period perfect costumes and to CCT’s beautifully designed, creative study guide, that allows the magic to linger long after the final curtain."

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Director and puppet designer Blair Thomas packs the show with delightful details. The three-person cast brings plenty of talent, too, especially Sara Sevigny, a truly chameleonic performer who seems perfectly at home in any era. But the show still seems overlong. Thomas and company clearly felt the need to stretch the material to the hour mark, yet Hannah Kohl’s script doesn’t invent enough extra story to fill the time."
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Web Behrens

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"... The Houdini Box is a fun show for the kids who seemed to enjoy the performance I attended. I’m sure their imaginations werestimulated by Victor’s pursuit of Houdini’s magic."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"..."The Houdini Box" is based upon children's author and illustrator Brian Selznick's popular first novel. Mr. Selznick has also captured fame since his award winning book "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" debuted as "Hugo," a first-ever family film by Martin Scorese which was nominated for 11 Academy awards. The Chicago Children's Theatre's small but entertaining cast consists of Alex Weisman, Derek Hasenstab and Sara Sevigny and they all do a great job."

Sally Jo Osborne

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"... This is a one hour musical based on the book by Brian Selznick and written by Hannah Kohl. Mark Messing wrote the music which is handled by two musicians who play many instruments. Sam Deutsch and Tyler Culligan are the ace puppeteers who make Mr. Thomas’ magic come alive.The production is staged/directed by Blair Thomas who also designed the puppetry used in the show. Some very cool puppets and techniques. There is some choreography in the show by Stacey Flaster and working on the small “puppet like stage, I am sure was not an easy task, but as always she was up to it."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...“Every trick is rooted in mystery.” What’s in the Houdini box? Even though the audience never sees the contents, they all find out there is a lot to love in The Houdini Box."

Katy Walsh

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