Klickitat Street. Beezus and Howie. And of course, Nosmo King. If any of these ring a bell, you’re the target demographic for Emerald City Theatre’s fantastic new show, Ramona Quimby. This tale of everyone’s favorite third grader, directed by Emerald City’s Education Director Jacqueline Stone, follows a year in the life of Ramona and her family. Themes of this sweet story (based on Beverly Cleary’s beloved book series and adapted by Len Jenkins) include growing up, tough times, and the constancy of a family’s love through it all.

(photo credit Tom McGrath)

 The production’s multitasking cast is an absolute joy to watch; Marsha Harman’s hilariously creaky Mrs. Kemp (and overworked Mrs. Quimby), glamorous Aunt Bea (portrayed by Emerald City fave Giselle Vaughn), Aaron Lawson’s impressive turn as Howie, Uncle Hobart, and Mr. Quimby (that’s right, every single dude in the show), Molly Parchment’s long-suffering Beezus and, of course, the whirlwind that is Rachel Van Marter’s energetic Ramona. And the set, designed by Michelle Lilly, is a striking series of dollhouses which turn and change with the seasons on Klickitat Street.

emerald city theater chicago

(Nora and Director Jacqueline Stone)

 Gliding seamlessly between funny, poignant, and cool, the show does justice to a childhood mainstay. Although the show is geared towards kiddos ages 5-10, my four year-old was absolutely in love with this play- as were the adults who rocked out to the downright killer soundtrack of 70s classics and deep cuts. Emerald City productions are always a sure bet but, if I had to pick a favorite, Ramona Quimby would absolutely be it.

Runs February 6th- May 18th

For tix and info, visit www.emeraldcitytheatre.com or call 773.529.2690

Disclosure: I was provided complimentary tickets to this show, but all opinions are my own.