Arnie in Chicago

Brandon Paul Eels as Arnie the Doughnut at Chicago's Lifeline TheatreArnie the Doughnut premiered at Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre in the spring of 2011. Lifeline is known for creating dynamic new stage plays based on works of literature, ranging from period classics, to edgy contemporary titles, to family programming. Lifeline commissioned the writing of Arnie the Doughnut from Frances Limoncelli and George Howe, who have written many Lifeline shows for both kids and adults.

Arnie the Doughnut received a nomination for Best Children’s Show by in the 1st Annual Chicago Beat Awards. The Beat Awards provide an opportunity for Chicago’s critics to give recognition to outstanding achievements in Chicago’s theatre community and the artists involved.

Lifeline TheatreArnie was a riotous success with our audiences, young and old. We are proud that it was developed at our theater. Go Arnie!”  -Lifeline Theatre Artistic Director Dorothy Milne

Production Team: Lifeline Theatre ensemble members Elise Kauzlaric (Director) and Frances Limoncelli (Adaptor); with guest artists Jennifer Aparicio (Stage Manager), Joe Court (Sound Designer), Kat Doebler (Costume Designer), Katherine Greenleaf (Puppets & Properties Designer), George Howe (Composer/Lyricist), Sarah Hughey (Lighting Designer), and Melania Lancy (Scenic Designer).

Cast: Guest artists Brandon Paul Eells (Arnie), Audrey Flegel (Powdered Doughnut, Sheila), Anthony Kayer (Mr. Bing), Julia Merchant (Jelly Doughnut, Mrs. Plute), and Abby E. Sammons (French Cruller, Ronnie), with understudies Timothy Cahill and Jasmine Ryan.

Visit our For the Press page for links to press releases from the Chicago production.

 Praise for Arnie the Doughnut’s 2011 premiere production at Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre:

Chicago Tribune “…It all comes with a side of George Howe’s delightfully catchy numbers (somebody should commission this guy to compose an adult show) and Frances Limoncelli’s clear and lively adaptation of the much-loved children’s book by Laurie Keller. There’s plenty of amusement for adults in Elise Kauzlaric’s great little production, but the show is never snarky nor overly self-aware.”  -Chris Jones

 Chicacgo Reader Recommends“Frances Limoncelli’s adaptation retain the absurdist zing of the 2003 children’s book by Laurie Keller while freely adding complementary ingredients, including zippy songs by George Howe and a Kafkaesque subplot involving a totalitarian condo-board president…The show is a delight—delicious and substantial, even without the kids tagging along.”  -Dan Weissmann

 Chicago Parent Lifeline Theatre’s production of Arnie the Doughnut is a playful, funny musical with a subject dear to our hearts. Yeah…I know you’re thinking doughnuts. But what I was really referring to goes deeper than holey fried dough. Arnie the Doughnut is a fight against petty tyrants. The residents of The Cozy Confines Condos are confined indeed, under the thumb of the rules obsessed board president. It takes Arnie, a colorful, nonconformist, to shake the residents out of their fears and get them to unite and overthrow the dictator of a president. Amid hilarious songs with creative lyrics (…I’ll never get to play Othello), the residents learn how to use the letter of the law to defeat the dictator who had bullied them all into voting her way. Of course for all the kids at children’s theatre productions, there are adults who brought them there, and this play will speak to the grownups as much as the littles. We recommend Arnie the Doughnut as a playful romp with a deeper purpose…Once again, Lifeline raises the bar on family theatre.”  -Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

 The Savvy Source“The hilarious and heartwarming story, written by Laurie Keller and adapted by Frances Limoncelli, is brought to colorful and entertaining life using funny songs with clever lyrics by George Howe. The show is for kids, but adults will appreciate both the humor and the message.”