The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences {Review}

The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences presents special one-hour presentations for kids (and parents) of all ages!

July 8 – August 14, 2016

The cherished children’s tale springs to life for a whole new generation in a wonder-filled musical production.

The Velveteen Rabbit

The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences {Review}

From The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences’, The Velveteen Rabbit, previewed July 8, running through August 14, with a press opening on Saturday, July 16th at 10 a.m. at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. I attended the press opening and was so pleased with the performances!

This was our 3rd visit to The Marriott Theatre and as soon as we walked in, and I brought my son along to this performance. My daughters were telling him how fabulous the plays were, so he agreed to attend. But, I truly think the draw of The Velveteen Rabbit was too high.

We love the stage and the seating at this theater. The stage is small and all the seats are surrounding the stage, which is in the center. I can't image there is a bad seat in the theater at all. stage with the seats surrounding the center stage is an ideal setup for a young audience. 

The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences {Review}

The Velveteen Rabbit was sweet and tender, age-appropriate and really delightful take on the much beloved storybook. The actors were great and we were happy to see Dara Cameron again! Everyone in the audience was well engaged.

The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences {Review}

The on-hour presentation of The Velveteen Rabbit was a play presented with a new twist on a much cherished children's tale. We discover the boy's name in this play and his brother is brought into the mix.  The toys still come to life and they make us laugh and cheer for them.

The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences {Review}

Batteries Not Included

The boy comes to cherish his forgotten toy, the Velveteen Rabbit, and learns that even a stuffed toy can emote wonderful play time with great imagination. The toy boat is a sassy, perky, vivacious, red boat that garners many laughs from the audience. The wooden rocking horse is just as wise as ever and full of wisdom for the Velveteen Rabbit.

The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences {Review}

The Velveteen Rabbit, Dara Cameron, shows the rabbit's sweetness and really exemplifies the tenderness of the rabbit. The two brothers, the boy and his older brother had a great rapport. The older brother was funny, perfectly sarcastic and full of older brother angst.

The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences {Review}

Toy Magic

The actors were really able to show the words of The Velveteen Rabbit through their tones, bodies and their speaking and interactions. This is a much loved story in my home, really one of my daughter's favorite stories. I have spent many nights reading this book over and over. 

The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences {Review}

I was wondering what The Marriott Theatre would do with The Velveteen Rabbit and I loved the play. This is a play you really want to take your children to see, especially if you love the story as much as my family does!

A joyous testament to the eternal power of a child's imagination, The Velveteen Rabbit springs to life July 8 through August 14, continuing The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences’ 2016 season. A musical adaptation of the classic Margery Williams’ tale, with music by composer Jimmy Roberts (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change), book and lyrics by James Still, and direction and choreography by Amanda Tanguay (Pinocchio at The Marriott Theatre), The Velveteen Rabbit fuses the power of childhood play and fancy with the timeless need for unconditional love. Followed by a special Q&A session with the cast, The Velveteen Rabbit is sure to captivate audiences of all ages.

The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences {Review}

When Steve comes upon one of his long lost toys, it sparks a memory that takes him back in time to when he was an inspired 6-year-old. We meet his 12-year-old brother, Ben, a typical tween who’s more interested in playing videogames and meeting girls then playing with his little brother. Left alone with his toys, Steve’s imagination leads him on exciting adventures with his new best friend, the Velveteen Rabbit, whose dream is to someday become “real”.

The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences {Review}

As Steve and the Velveteen Rabbit’s bond grows, the other toys’ spirits are brought to life on stage as they learn what it means to love, and be loved in return. Return to a simpler time with this heartwarming retelling of the enchanting children’s story, reminding audiences of all ages of the true power of love.

The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences {Review}

The Velveteen Rabbit stars Jeff Award nominee Devin DeSantis as “Steve” (City of Angels, Godspell and Pinocchio at The Marriott Theatre), Jonathan Butler-Duplessis as “Ben” (Sister Act and Dreamgirls at The Marriott Theatre), Jeff Award nominee Dara Cameron as “Velveteen Rabbit” (Sister Act, ELF and October Sky at The Marriott Theatre), Jeff Award nominee Sharriese Hamilton as “Boat” (Sister Act at The Marriott Theatre; World Premiere: Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure at Lookingglass Theatre Company), Jeff Award winner Mark David Kaplan as “Rocking Horse” (The Lion King Broadway National Tour; Anything Goes and The Wizard of Oz at The Marriott Theatre), and Zoe Nadal as “Wild Rabbit” (ELF and City of Angels at The Marriott Theatre; West Side Story at Paramount Theatre).

The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences {Review}

The production will feature musical direction by Ellen K. Morris, set and properties design by Greg Pinsoneault, costume design by Theresa Ham, lighting design by Nick Belley and sound design by Bob Gilmartin.

The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences has presented numerous original works as well as classic fairy tales. Through these special one-hour productions, over 2 million children have experienced the joy and magic that is live theatre. To date, The Marriott's Theatre for Young Audiences has presented more than 75 productions to critical (and kids’!) acclaim.

The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences team created an engaging play for all ages. Although The Velveteen Rabbit may be tailored more for a young audience, I took all my kiddos to see The Velveteen Rabbit. This is a much loves story in my home and they have had this book read to them throughout their young lives numerous times. All my kids, even my teen son, enjoyed The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre.

The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences {Review}

Directly following the one-hour presentation of The Velveteen Rabbit, there is a Question & Answer session with the cast. They come right out on the stage and the audience is allowed to ask questions. They especially foster relationships with young children and encourage all questions.  I have said this so many times, but it is just such a true fact . . . I think it is so very important to take our children to see the arts. Children need exposure to theater, live theater in particular and to be able to interact with the artists is just an added bonus. When theaters include the children during these Q&A sessions, it just brings so much more to live theater and joy to the children in the audience.

The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences {Review}

The Velveteen Rabbit will continue at Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire, located at Ten Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire (Entrance is on the east side of Rte 21/Milwaukee Avenue, one light south of Half Day Road/Rte 22) through August 14th with plays most Tuesdays through Sundays at 10 AM and 12:30 PM.  Single ticket prices are $17.23 per person (includes fees and taxes).

Free parking is available at all shows.

Buy Tickets at

Disclosure: The Velveteen Rabbit Production Photos All photos are courtesy of The Marriott Theatre and used with permission. I received tickets to the performance. As always, my opinions are my own. I was not compensated in any manner.

Orkin Mosquito Summer {Scientist Giveaway} #LearnWithOrkin

Orkin Mosquito Summer Scientist Giveaway

Summer is almost here! That means picnics, baseball games, barbecues and all the fun of enjoying the great outdoors with your family. There’s one thing no one likes about being outdoors, though: mosquitoes! They not only are a nuisance, but they also pose potentially serious health risks. Fortunately, the experts at Orkin study the science of mosquitoes and other pests closely in order to better tailor plans that help keep them out of your home this summer.

We have a HUGE issue with pesky mosquitoes out my front and back door. We live right next to a very wooded area, across the street are a creek that runs for miles and miles and two retention ponds. We are a haven for mosquitoes. They also happen to love, love , love my youngest daughter for some particular reason. I myself think she is quite delicious - so naturally, mosquitoes do as well!

To help you better prepare ourselves this summer and your family as well,  to fight the bite, Orkin presents the “Buzzer Beater” app, which features its deep scientific knowledge of mosquitoes.

Test your knowledge by taking the Buzzer Beater quiz(see right below here)! 

I have ONE (1) Orkin Summer Scientist Bug Catching Kit to giveaway!

Orkin Summer Scientist Bug Catching Kit

The Orkin Summer Scientist Bug Catching Kits are fun for the whole family! Each pack includes:

Bug Catcher Craft Kits: These awesome DIY bug catcher kits will let your family’s personality shine through while also learning about nature and the world around us. The kits include a variety of foam ladybugs, dragonflies and more!

Bug Nets: Explore the great outdoors with these fun mesh insect nets. They can be used to collect and study butterflies, ladybugs, caterpillars and many other backyard creatures.

See-Through Bug Jars: Reveal the wonders of your backyard with these clear bug jars. Each transparent plastic box has a magnifying lid for better insect viewing. Young explorers love discovering worms, butterflies, ants and insects. These containers allow them to make homes for their new discoveries.

Magic Color Scratch Little Garden Critters: Scratch faces, designs and more on these Magic Color Scratch Little Garden Critters! A perfect kids' activity for critter lovers, simply scratch away the black coating to reveal vibrant rainbow colors. Includes butterflies, frogs, turtles and more.

Glow-in-the-Dark Creepy Crawlers: Turn off the lights and let them glow! These vinyl glow-in-the-dark bugs are lots of fun for all ages

Each household is only eligible to win (1) Orkin Mosquito Summer Scientist Kit chosen at random via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway and only open to USA residents. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Are you prepared for mosquito season this year?

This is why you will LOVE Orkin’s “Buzzer Beater” blog app:

• Download Orkin’s yearly “Mosquito Cities” list and find out if your city made it!

• Are you prepared for mosquito season this year? Take the quiz to see if you’re ready to earn your badge in Mosquito Season Prep.

• Watch the “How to Deal With Mosquitoes” & “Do Mosquitoes Prefer Adults over Children” videos, as well as the rest of Orkin’s How-To video series, to get the most up-to-date knowledge on dealing with pesky home invaders.

Do Mosquitoes prefer Adults over Children? In my house, they prefer red heads!!

At Orkin, they use the latest technology and unparalleled training to develop an effective treatment that's right for all families needs. To learn more about their pest control based in science or to schedule an inspection, visit or call 1-800-800-ORKIN.

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Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions . No monitory compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review. Your experience may differ. The opinions I have expressed are my own I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising.