Mrs. Mallard and her aquatic kin from Robert McCloskey’s classic children’s book will come to life on the stage for the first time when “Make Way for Ducklings, the Musical” comes to Boston University’s Wheelock Family Theatre for performances from Feb. 17 through March 12.
The stage’s Ducklings will trek through some of Boston’s most celebrated landmarks, including the Public Garden, the State House, Louisburg Square on Beacon Hill, the Longfellow Bridge, and the Charles River. The Ducklings then make their way down Mt. Vernon Street, Charles Street, and Beacon Street before heading back home to the Public Garden during a journey filled with song and dance.
Emily Ranii, the play’s director and artistic director of Wheelock Family Theatre, describes the musical as a “tour of the city we call ‘home’” and added that the “songs are one bop after another, and Boston audiences will particularly get a kick out of all of the local references.”
Ranii said in a press release: “As we were all increasingly at home during the pandemic, the question of ‘what makes a home’ took on new meanings. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard’s quest for a forever home and the community that surrounds it resonated all the more.”
Michael J. Bobbitt, the musical’s co-writer and co-creator, said in a press release: “Even though this work started before I moved to the Boston area, so much of the play has been enhanced by my immersion into the Boston Community.”
Added Bobbitt: “The story builds on the tropes of classic and golden age musical comedy but touches on themes that everyone can relate to. My little secret when writing children’s plays is that I truly try to entertain the adults as much, if not more than the kids. I think it’s a toe tapping, sing-along, laugh out loud, hug your children kinda show.”
The production will feature some familiar faces from WFT@BU, like Jared Troilo and Ricardo Holguin, as well as newcomers and a talented youth ensemble.
“Make Way for Ducklings, the Musical” was co-commissioned by Wheelock Family Theatre and Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo, Maryland and adapted for the stage by Bobbitt, Sandra Eskin, and William Yanesh. The production is directed by Ranii, and its music is directed by Jon Goldberg and choreographed by Joy Clark.
Single ticket prices range from $24-48 and can be purchased by calling 617-353-3001 or visiting wheelockfamilytheatre.org. Tickets can also be purchased at the Wheelock Theatre box office at 180 Riverway in Boston.