Family and school audiences will see the Berenstain Bears in a new musical by children's authors Stan and Jan Berenstain at The Grand Opera House, 651 Mulberry St., Macon. Performances are scheduled for 9:30 and 11:30 a.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, September 20-21. Tickets are $6 each.
Written exclusively for the Omaha Theater Company for Young People, Berenstain Bears On Stage! is based on five of the most popular Berenstain Bears books, including The Messy Room, The Double Dare, New Baby, Get Stage Fright and The Truth. With music by Elliot Lawrence, the musical director of the Tony Awards, and his son, Jamie Broza, and lyrics by Stan Berenstain, the famous Bears and their timeless messages come to life on stage through songs like "Parents," "Home Sweet Tree," "You Can't Make the Truth Out of a Lie" and "You Gotta Practice."
Tickets may be purchased through Mercer Ticket Sales at (478) 301-5470
or online at thegrand.mercer.edu
Berenstain Bears On Stage! is part of the GrandKids Arts Education Series presented by The Grand Opera House. The GrandKids program was created by Mercer University in 1996 to offer rich learning opportunities for young people through exposure to professional music, dance and theatre performances in Macon's historic Grand Opera House, a performing arts center of the University. The GrandKids program provides performing arts education to more than 6,000 Central Georgia students each year.
From Page to Stage
The books that inspired this new musical production are five of the best-selling Berenstain Bears books in the series. Brought to life on stage, audiences will enjoy the Bears' charm and wisdom like never before as the character, Bear Country Joe, the self-proclaimed "world's foremost expert on the Berenstain Bears," leads audiences through the five Bear tales, and reinforces the morals of each story.
In the first scene, Mama and Papa Bear discover Brother Bear is lonely as an only cub and surprise him with the news of a baby on the way. Brother and Sister Bear grow up together and learn the values of keeping their room clean, standing up for themselves against bullies, telling the truth to build trust, and finally, the importance of humility. Lawrence's delightful songs enhance the action of the play and add to the unique live experience of Berenstain Bears On Stage!
Stan Berenstain designed the scenic plans and worked with Omaha Theater Company for "page to stage" authenticity. The Berenstain Bears On Stage! set design looks like a page right out of a storybook—a Berenstain Bears storybook, to be exact.
The Bears' Message
Co-authors Stan and Jan Berenstain began the Berenstain Bears series in 1962, and in 43 years the Berenstain Bears have become the biggest-selling children's series in the history of publishing. Published in more than 20 countries and in over a dozen languages, the award-winning authors certainly struck a chord in the hearts of their readers, adults and children alike, with their universal, gentle messages about the struggles of life and responsibility.
"The timeless wisdom of the Berenstain Bears book series has resonated with families for generations, making the books a treasured part of so many family and childhood memories," says James Larson Omaha Theater Company artistic director. "We're grateful to the Berenstains for their decision to collaborate with us."