Best Children’s Theater, August 2009
The audience at Storybook Theatre is known to get into the act, which keeps young playgoers engaged. Part of the nonprofit arts facility Theatre West in Hollywood, Storybook mounts two shows a year for the three-to-nine set. Scripts are largely based on traditional fairy tales, with the scary parts excised but enough chase scenes left to have the kids on their feet. For this fall’s Princess and the Frog, several children will be invited on the spot to join the actors for the dinner party scene, to be followed by a keep-it-on-the-stage food fight. Pop culture figures prominently in the musical numbers, including this ditty from the recent Pied Piper: “You make me go bananas. You make me feel like Hannah Montana.” After the show, kids can hobnob with the performers.