Kid’s Theater Review: Charlotte’s Web at The Arden

One of my most reliable methods for determining the quality, or at the very least the stickiness, of a product or performance is the time it takes the Bear & Mouse to fold what they have just experienced into their extremely imaginative play. It took nearly 24 hours from us discovering HUMBLE spelled in the final cobweb spun on the F. Otto Haas stage of the Arden Theatre, but lo and behold, Wilbur and his selfless friends have arrived in my barn house.  It’s worth noting that the radiant pig is now carrying a sword and Charlotte the brave has a wand in one hand and a Rudolph stuffed animal tucked under the opposite arm, but still, they are here and happy with no fear of ever being turned into bacon.

Over the years, the Arden Theatre has brought to life many familiar kid-friendly tales on their two stages with panache and a healthy dose of razzle-dazzle but for E.B. White’s classic childhood tale of friendship on a farm, the Olde City Philadelphia theater company opted for a very human and very on-the-surface production.  While the ingredients may be different, the final product is as tasty a treat as ever.  (That last sentence is in no way a yummy pork product reference, I swear)

[All photos by Mark Garvin]

The Arden’s Charlotte’s Web skews young, but you probably could’ve guessed that if you’re at all acquainted with the simple story.  Still, my nearly 8-year old found the actors-as-animals very humorous and my youngest (4 1/2-years old) was able to suspend disbelief, making this production a wonderful all-ages family event.

Charlotte’s Web has been extended through February 10, 2012!  The show runs almost daily and tickets range from $16-$32 with a couple Target-sponsored 2-for-1 ticket dates remaining.  Check the schedule for all performance dates & times and to buy your tickets today.

*OWTK was provided tickets to attend a performance of Charlotte’s Web for review consideration.  The opinions above are honest and unbiased.

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