"How to Eat Like a Child
and Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-up"
Delia Ephron, John Forster and Judith Kahan
Music and Lyrics by John Forster; Based on the Book by Delia Ephron
Tom Pedas, Director
Welcome to the Cranford Repertory Theatre's production of "How to Eat Like a Child" - a musical guide to the art of being a child as told by children strictly from their point of view.
This is a crash course on the essential skills of childhood. Here are 23 easy lessons in such important skills as how to beg for a dog, how to torture your sister and parents, how to act after being sent to your room, and how to laugh hysterically.
Based on Delia Ephron's bestselling humor book, the show is a comical series of "lessons" taught through songs and skits. Lessons include "How To Watch More Television" and "How to Stay Home From School".
I particularly like the musical because it gives many students an opportunity to perform - it has group numbers, solo songs and speaking parts for those who prefer lines.
The first musical version of How to Eat Like a Child was produced for television as an NBC Project Peacock special, starring Dick Van Dyke, in 1981. Then using songs from the television show, it was adapted for the stage as a musical revue to be performed exclusively by children. The first production, in New York City in 1984, wwas by TADA! (the Theater and Dance Alliance).
This musical comedy is based on the book How to Eat Like a Child And Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-up written by Delia Ephron, John Forster, and Judith Kahan with music and lyrics by John Forster. The collection of songs and sketches are divided into "lessons" which are announced by a cast member. The one act revue includes the following songs:
How to Laugh Hysterically
How to Practice the Violin
How to Express an Opinion
How to Beg for a Dog
How to Play
How to Understand your parents
How to Hang up the Telephone
How to Wait
How to Look forward to your Birthday
How to Watch More Television
How to go to Bed
We've got quite a lot to tell.
Stuff we're not supposed to do,
Suff we should, but don't
'Cause it's too gross to do...
Everyone hates turnips
Even if you've grown up
"I Feel Sick"
Too sick to do, Arithmetic.
It's a cold in my head. I belong in my bed
What I need is a dose of Saint Joseph's Aspirin.
And though I hate to miss that test,
What I really need is rest..."
"Why Should a Kid Have to Walk"
Have to beg for a ride to the store?
Which by car is just minutes away
But on foot could take half of the day.
And why can a grown-up zoom off in the car
In this land we have
Is a very fine art.
F'Rinstance, right off the bat.
You should tell her she's fat.
That's a good place to start.
When she calls up her best friend,
Butt right into their chat..."
I hate them, I hate them, I hate them.
Okay, I cut my brother's hair...
For that they throw me into solitary...
With nothing up here but my private ster-e-o media center
To keep me distracted.
Well, I think they over-reacted.
Where is justice?
Dear parents, I won't see you anymore.
James Kocur - Guitar
Fran Engleman - piano
Cindy Smith - Choreographer
Cranford Dramatic Club
Mark Reiley - lighting design
Cranford Board of Education
All the parents that helped out
Cindy Smith for use of the dance studio
New Providence United Methodist Church
Orange Avenue School Staff and Administration
In addition to "How to Eat Like a Child" Tom Pedas has served as Music Director for Cranford Repertory Theater's productions of The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, Anything Goes and Oliver!.
The Cranford Repertory Theatre is a non-profit organization which not only provides top rate Broadway-quality shows but also makes an artistic and philanthropic contribution to the community.
Tom Pedas, The Celebration Singers and Children's Chorus