CLICK CLACK MOO: COWS THAT TYPE

CLICK CLACK MOO: COWS THAT TYPE

review by Luke Heiden

At Lifeline theatre

If you’re looking for a way to introduce your young child(ren) to more live theatre without the show title starting with “Walt Disney presents…”, I implore you to look no further than Lifeline Theatre’s inventive and winning re-mount musical production of Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type, now playing through December 5. Based on the best-selling picture book by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin, CCM tells the story of two cows and a hen who are getting cold living in Farmer Brown’s drafty barn. Finding an old typewriter in a corner of the barn one day, they decide to petition Farmer Brown for some electric blankets by typing him messages to better communicate their needs. Of course, Farmer Brown doesn’t believe that cows can type, let alone need electric blankets, and so the story becomes a parable for children about the virtues of peaceful, democratic protest and never giving up the fight.

What makes CCM so engaging is that it understands what a show like Sesame Street has for so long: mix lessons and themes aimed at children with a substantial dose of adult humor and everyone comes away happy. And by “adult humor” I don’t mean “adult content”. What I mean are jokes like one of the cows becoming inspired by reading Animal Farm, and the character of the Duck (who serves as narrator with the help of a “universal remote”) accidentally turning on the director’s commentary in one scene. These are but two of many examples. At the performance I witnessed, the adults were almost having more fun than their kids.

At less than an hour running time, CCM also understands the attention spans of children, and the director, Shole Milos, keeps the pacing brisk. The score by George Howe appropriately serves the story, and though the pre-recorded orchestra occasionally threatened to overpower the singing, mostly the words were clear.  And although Click Clack Moo is a children’s play, I know more than a few adult politicians who could do worse than heed its lessons on compromise and civilized discourse.

Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type runs matinee productions Oct. 16 through Dec. 5 at Lifeline Theatre in Rogers Park. Tickets can be purchased by calling 773-761-4477 or visiting Lifeline Theatre’s website.

Highly Recommended