Disney's 'Winnie the Pooh Kids' musical coming to Lake Forest in October

Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and friends from the Hundred Acre Wood will be singing and dancing in Lake Forest during Disney's Winnie the Pooh KIDS musical, presented by Citadel Theatre. Performances will be at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sat. Oct. 12, Sun. Oct. 13, Sat. Oct. 26 and Sun. Oct. 27 at the Gorton Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd. in Lake Forest. Tickets are $12.50 for all ages and can be purchased at or by calling 847-735-8554.

"Generations of children have fallen in love with Winnie the Pooh, and here's a chance for families to share a classic story together," says Citadel Theatre Artistic Director Scott Phelps. "With my own grandkids, I see how accessible 'entertainment' is on their devices. It's completely different when you're fully immersed in a live production, experiencing a captivating and inspiring story along with other audience members."

Based on the beloved characters of A.A. Milne and the 2011 Disney animated feature film, Disney's Winnie the Pooh KIDS features songs from the film, and new hits by the Academy Award-winning Robert and Kristen Lopez (Frozen). While searching for honey in the Hundred Acre Wood, Winnie the Pooh stumbles into an adventure. Christopher Robin has been captured by the mysterious Backson, and as Pooh and friends prepare for a rescue operation they learn about teamwork, friendship and sharing snacks.

Gregg Dennhardt of Lincolnshire has directed hundreds of theatre shows, for adults and children, and has taught acting at the University of Illinois, St. Ambrose College, the University of Arizona and Northwestern. He's directed Disney's Winnie the Pooh KIDS several times, and is excited to direct Citadel's production.

"Winnie the Pooh's simplicity and honesty communicates to kids on their level," said Dennhardt. "Children understand Pooh. We all know a Tigger, a Piglet, an Eeyore. Children have friends who are Pooh. They know adults who are a Kanga or an Owl. This makes the show all the more real to them."

"Pooh originally gained popularity for its simplicity," Dennhardt adds. "The world had just emerged from a horrific war (WW1). Pooh offered a safe, uncomplicated and humorous world far different from reality. It gave people, children in particular, something to believe in that was good, honest and fun. The themes of Pooh continue to be important today. Getting along with one another, accepting others despite their differences, helping one another. These are all basic human traits that bring out the best of humankind."

Directed by Dennhardt, Citadel's cast features Jessica Suprenant (Pooh), Stefan Schallack (Tigger), Saige Chaseley (Piglet), Caitlin Wolf (Rabbit), Jenna Fawcett (Kango/Roo), Brooke Haylee (Eeyore) and Max Downs (Owl/Christopher Robin). The production team includes Brenda Good (Choreographer), Matt Salvo (Music Director), Samantha Thielman (Stage Manager), Sandy Bacon (Scenic Charge Artist) and Rick Torres (Sound, Light and Projection Operator).

Citadel's 2019-2020 mainstage theatre season includes other family-friendly hits including Peter and the Starcatcher (Sept. 18 - Oct. 20), Annie (Nov. 20 - Dec. 22), The Fantasticks (Feb. 5 - March 8) and Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs (April 22 - May 24).

"Citadel's past year was one of the most highly acclaimed in our history, receiving three Jeff nominations and winning a Jeff award," said Phelps. "We began also offering theatre for young audiences because we feel it's our responsibility to cultivate an appreciation for live theatre. So get your family off their devices and into the theatre!"

For information about Citadel Theatre's Winnie the Pooh KIDS performances and tickets, visit or call 847-735-8554.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.