Upcoming Children’s Theater festival brings ‘Llama Llama,’ ‘Percy Jackson,’ a bubble extravaganza and much more to Pittsburgh

Photo above from “Llama Llama Live!” courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Spark the imagination, revisit favorite stories, be surprised by a magical spectacular… those are just a few reasons to introduce your kids to live theater this season. They’re all part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s upcoming Children’s Theater and Bridge Theater series, happening this winter.

Though the shows are still a few months away, the schedule has been released so that families can plan their next theatrical adventure.

This year, subscribers can mix and match between the Children’s Theater series for younger kids and the Bridge series, programmed for kids ages 7 and older. Flexible subscriptions are on sale for packages of three to seven shows, priced at $10 per performance. When individual tickets go on sale, the price will be $12 per performance.

Here’s the lineup:

Jan. 14: “Llama Llama Live!”

Baby Llama and his toy pals are ready to settle down to sleep after a story and a goodnight kiss. But where’s Mama Llama? This silly musical, based on Anna Dewdney’s “Llama Llama” books, comes from Bay Area Children’s Theatre. Best for ages 3 and older.

 Feb. 4-6: “Rapunzel”

This new adaptation of the classic fairytale revisits Rapunzel, whose Nan builds a tower for protection. Rapunzel’s hair grows along with her curiosity about the outside world until a friend helps her find the courage to be free. Expect songs, magic and special effects in this production by Claire Sabatine and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Best for ages 3 and older.

“Danny Carmo’s Mathematical Mysteries.” Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Feb. 23-24: “Danny Carmo’s Mathematical Mysteries”

Danny Carmo is more interested in becoming a magician than concentrating on learning math. But as Danny learns tricks involved in magic, he discovers that math is the secret behind the mystery. This spectacular, interactive performance from Cahoots is best for ages 7 and older.

March 19-20: “Jeff Boyer’s Big Bubble Bonanza”

How crazy can a bubble show be? How about bubbles that blow their own bubbles, volcano bubbles and bubble rainbows with people inside them? Jeff Boyer, Guinness Book of World Records bubble master, mixes comedy, music and mind-blowing bubbles in his sensory-friendly show. Best for ages 3 and older.

April 28: “The Lightning Thief”

Percy Jackson fans will love this adaptation of Rick Riordan’s novel. Percy has just 10 days to find and return Zeus’s master lightning bolt. Through his quest, Percy faces treachery, the riddle of the Oracle and a friend’s betrayal. Best for ages 7 and older.

“The Gruffalo.” Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

May 19-21: “The Gruffalo”

Poor little Mouse, busy searching for food, meets forest creatures who would enjoy having Mouse for dinner. To scare off Fox, Owl and Snake, Mouse tells them a story about the terrifying Gruffalo. Is the Gruffalo just a story… or is he real? This production is based on the beloved picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Best for ages 3 and older.

May 19-21: “A Letter for Elena”

Theater and dance combine to tell this story that takes the audience on a path of mourning with letters and messages of goodbye. Audience members must be 7 or older.