Disney’s Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation will offer a sensory-friendly performance on Friday, May 27, at 7 p.m. at Mercury Theatre Chicago (3745 N. Southport Avenue). The modified presentation will include reduced noise levels, additional house lighting and designated spaces with minimal stimuli.
“Winnie the Pooh is a universally beloved story and character, beloved by all ages. Our show is equally already accessible for all -- no matter what age or ability -- but in our special sensory-friendly performance we make even further minor tweaks to ensure the Hundred Acre Wood and the theatre environment is an even more welcoming and relaxing place for all," said Jonathan Rockefeller, creator and producer of Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation.
Chicago Autism Network will collaborate with Winnie the Pooh to ensure the performance will be suitable for those with autism sensory processing disorder and other developmental diagnoses.
Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “charming… (and featuring) a message of kindness and friendship is what the world needs right now,” the arrival of Winnie the Pooh in Chicago brings to life a new story from the Hundred Acre Wood. Using life-size puppetry created by Rockefeller Productions, the show welcomes attendees of all generations into the adventures of Pooh and friends. Classic songs from The Sherman Brothers, including Winnie the Pooh, The Blustery Day, The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers and Whoop-De-Dooper Bounce and A.A. Milne’s The More It Snows (featuring music by Carly Simon) and Sing Ho, a new arrangement, are omnipresent throughout the play and transport audience members into the world of Pooh.
“Accessibility to thoughtful arts and performances strengthens our community. This sensory-friendly production allows neurodiverse families to be enriched by the timeless messages of friendship and inclusion dominant in the stories told by Winnie the Pooh,” said Kimi Matsumura, founder and CEO of Chicago Autism Network.
For tickets to Disney’s Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation, visit. winniethepoohshow com. Ticket prices start at $38.
ABOUT THE SHOW
Winnie the Pooh has been enjoyed by millions of readers and viewers ever since English author A.A. Milne first chronicled the adventures of Christopher Robin’s friends in the Hundred Acre Wood in 1926. The books, featuring illustrations by English illustrator E.H. Shephard, have sold over 50 million copies worldwide. The theatrical rights to the Pooh stories were acquired by Disney in 1961, with an original intent to produce a feature film, but after production began, Walt Disney decided to make short featurettes instead. The three featurettes were subsequently incorporated into the feature The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. This was the last film in the Disney canon in which Walt Disney had personal involvement. The first featurette, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree was released during his lifetime, while Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day was still in development. Disney’s Winnie the Pooh has since become one of the best-loved and most successful franchises in history.
The Sherman Brothers are the multi-talented Oscar® and Grammy® Award-winning American songwriting duo of Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. The Sherman Brothers wrote more motion-picture musical scores than any other songwriting team in film history. Among these are the Disney classics Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and The Aristocats. The Sherman Brothers worked directly with Walt Disney on the first two Winnie the Pooh featurettes: Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (which garnered a Grammy Award nomination) and Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. The brothers won a Grammy Award for the third featurette: Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too. All three featurettes were incorporated into the 1977 musical film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. The duo also wrote songs for Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore and The Tigger Movie, with their music also featured in the movie Christopher Robin.
Jonathan Rockefeller and Rockefeller Productions embraced the challenge of re-imagining Disney’s Winnie the Pooh for a new audience by bringing it to life on stage in puppet form. The company has garnered global accolades, from critics and audiences alike, for their production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, with 14 productions playing on four continents. An extended run of the show in New York City culminated in Drama Desk and Off-Broadway Alliance nominations, as did Paddington Gets in a Jam, which tours China and the US in 2022. Other projects include the award-winning short film, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, written by preeminent author/illustrator Eric Carle and the recently released Christmas special Paddington Saves Christmas.
Produced in association with Disney Theatrical Productions