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“Mesmerized: A Ben Franklin Science & History Mystery” at Chicago Children’s Theatre is a Hilarious Riot

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Part farce, part docudrama, Chicago Children’s Theatre’s world premiere fall opener Mesmerized is a fun new introduction for kids to Ben Franklin, one of our country’s founding fathers and most famous scientists.

Mesmer (Tony Carter, front) wields his magic healing wand for King Louis (Dustin Valenta, back left) while Mesmer’s assistant Charles (Kasey Foster) plays a Glass Armonica in Chicago Children’s Theatre’s electrifying world premiere production, Mesmerized: A Ben Franklin Science & History Mystery. Part farce, part docudrama, Mesmerized is a fun new introduction for kids to Ben Franklin, one of our country’s founding fathers and most famous scientists. Performances are September 23-October 15, 2023 at Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine in the West Loop. Tickets and information: chicagochildrenstheatre.org or (312) 374-8835. Credit: Charles Osgood

Witnessing the on-stage pandemonium unfold through the eyes of Ben’s young niece, Sarah, kids will be having such a good time that they won’t even realize they’re learning about science, history, the American Revolution and Ben Franklin’s many scientific discoveries and inventions. 

Through fabulous storytelling, fast-paced comedy and audience interaction, Ben and his smart, outspoken young niece, Sarah, embark on a journey to France where they discover that people are being magically cured by a mysterious man – Dr. Mesmer. So Ben and Sarah agree to employ the Scientific Method to put Dr. Mesmer’s mystical powers to the test. Is it science, is it magic, or will we all be Mesmerized?

Watching the on-stage pandemonium unfold through the eyes of young Sarah, kids will be having such a good time that they won’t even realize they’re learning about science, history, the American Revolution and Ben Franklin’s many scientific discoveries and inventions. 

Marie Antoinette (China Brickey, center) learns a surprising lesson about the Scientific Method from Ben Franklin (Shawn Pfautsch, left) and Franklin’s niece, Sarah (Rika Nishikawa, right) as King Louis (Dustin Valenta) looks on in Chicago Children’s Theatre’sworld premiere Mesmerized: A Ben Franklin Science & History Mystery. Part farce, part docudrama, Mesmerized is a fun new introduction for kids to one of our country’s founding fathers and most famous scientists.It runs September 23-October 15, 2023 at Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine in the West Loop. Tickets and information: chicagochildrenstheatre.org or (312) 374-8835. Credit: Charles Osgood

Mesmerized runs approximately one hour, and is recommended for ages seven and up.

The team for Chicago Children’s Theatre’s premiere of Mesmerized: A Ben Franklin Science & History Mystery includes (top, from left) Suzanne Maynard Miller (adaptor), Tommy Rapley (director) and cast members China Brickey, Tony Carter, (bottom) Kasey Foster, Rika Nishikawa, Shawn Pfautsch and Dustin Valenta.

The team for Chicago Children’s Theatre’s premiere of Mesmerized: A Ben Franklin Science & History Mystery includes (top, from left) Suzanne Maynard Miller (adaptor), Tommy Rapley (director) and cast members China Brickey, Tony Carter, (bottom) Kasey Foster, Rika Nishikawa, Shawn Pfautsch and Dustin Valenta.

Now playing at Chicago Children’s Theatre through October 22, 2023. You can get tickets and showtime details at ChicagoChildrensTheatre.org.

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