Looking for a theatrical way to entertain the kiddies this summer? Below are several currently playing options that will delight both your youngins and yourself. (In addition, check out this article I wrote for CBS Chicago last year highlighting some of Chicago's best children's theatre options.)

Beauty and the Beast (through Aug. 7): You can't go wrong with this Disney favorite, which is finishing up its extended run at the Oriental theatre. While I had some reservations with the cheapness of this non-Equity tour, the kids in the audience seemed enraptured by every second of this "tale as old as time."
Tix and more info here >

Cirque du Soleil's Ovo (through Aug. 21): If it's thrills and chills you're after (mixed with the stunning theatrical beauty only Cirque can offer), head on down to the specially erected tent in the parking lot of the United Center. I really got a kick out of this show, which is a celebration of our insect neighbors, and the kids around me sat slack-jawed in awe (read: not bored and squirming).
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Cirque Shanghai -- Extreme (through Sept. 5): This perennial production is a summer favorite at Navy Pier's Pepsi Skyline Stage. I've yet to see this "extreme" edition (check back for my review in the next few days), but last year's production offered edge-of-your-seat chills by a group of super skilled contortionists, jugglers and a stunt motorcyclists. Also: tickets are really reasonable -- as cheap as $20 a person!
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Peter Pan (through Aug. 21): This production truly is a visual marvel. The 1,300 seat theatre-in-the-round tent venue is wonder of architecture. Exterior scaffolding keeps the tent structure aloft without interior poles, so you get an unencumbered view of the stage and 360-degree screen where high-definition projections envelope you as the Darling children take flight to Neverland with Peter Pan. And when they do take flight, it’s a dizzying, jaw-dropping piece of theatrical achievement. Warning: there is some brief violence with Captain Hook and his pirates, so consider that if bringing younger ones.
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Pinkalicious (through Sept. 3): I haven't seen this one yet, but it's produced by Emerald City -- one of Chicago's leading children's theatre groups -- so I have high hopes this will be a great option for your little ones. As described in press materials: "When Pinkalicious eats one too many pink cupcakes, she catches a case of Pinkititis and turns pink from head to toe! It'll take the wisdom of her broccoli-eating little brother to help her get out of this predicament."
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Pinocchio (through Aug. 28): Again, I've yet to see this production, which began performances July 13, but I plan on it -- and you should, too. Rachel Rockwell is one of Chicago's best musical theatre directors, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater's productions of family-friendly musicals are typically first-rate. From press materials: "The traditional Italian story of a wooden puppet yearning to be a real boy springs to life with inventive and awe-inspiring puppetry, transforming CST's Courtyard Theater into a larger-than-life, European marionette stage."
Tix and more info here >