Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Based on the novel by Richard and Florence Atwater
For licensing & perusal script, contact Robert here.

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Script by Robert Kauzlaric
Music & Lyrics by George Howe

GENRE: Family musical comedy
LENGTH: 60 minutes
CAST: 1 females, 1 male, 2 either (4-18 actors possible)
SET: Flexible set

Money is tight and times are tough in the town of Stillwater. With no houses to paint till next spring, Mr. Popper is stuck at home daydreaming of adventures in far-off lands, while Mrs. Popper must scrimp and save just to put beans on the table. But with the unexpected arrival of a spirited penguin named Captain Cook, a new horizon opens before them. As a quiet partnership expands into a boisterous flock, the Poppers learn that there’s no problem that can’t be solved with steady determination, lots of love, and a dash of unconventionality. Join this offbeat family on an unforgettable adventure in a new musical based on the 1938 classic by Richard and Florence Atwater.

“Richard and Florence Atwater’s 1938 children’s tale — adapted for the stage by playwright Robert Kauzlaric and songwriter George Howe — is the endearing and enduring tale of a housepainter whose fascination with faraway places leads him to write a fan letter to an antarctic explorer, who responds by sending Popper a penguin from the South Pole… This charming and funny hour-long family show, which uses life-size puppets to represent the birds, emphasizes the loving partnership of Mr. Popper and his improbably patient and supportive wife, whose participation in the action has been expanded from the original book… Kauzlaric’s witty script and Howe’s bouncy score is well delivered.” —Chicago Reader

“With a musical score that recalls the best of the golden age of American theatre during the 20th century, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is brought to life with imagination and wit… The show’s book by Robert Kauzlaric [is] amusing and smart, leading audiences through the story with a graceful ease – no wonder Mr. Popper and his penguins are so beloved.” —Broadway World Nashville

“With clever storytelling and plenty of stage magic, Mr. Popper’s Penguins offers fun for the entire family… It’s a sweet story, to be sure — touching on themes of resilience, loyalty and optimism. But one of the things that really sets Mr. Popper’s Penguins apart is the catchy score, which reflects the tale’s 1930s setting with a bouncy nod to those goofy movie musicals of the era.” —Nashville Tennessean

“Reigns as one of the cutest shows The Coterie has produced in the past few years. Just by watching the audience while listening to the dialogue and music, it’s easy to see and hear why and how this children’s show captivates a wide age range…” —KC Applauds

“If you want to smile, laugh, and be thoroughly entertained then pop on over to Mr. Popper’s Penguins… The musical brings to life the beloved children’s book of the same name by Richard and Florence Atwater with a script by Robert Kauzlaric and music and lyrics by George Howe… This is a show you don’t want to miss, it’s hilarious, fabulously staged, and the songs will turn the grumpiest mood to happy.” —Broadway World Kansas City

“Penguins have arrived in Netcong from the South Pole and they are charming audiences at The Growing Stage… This delightful production is sure to captivate children and adults alike… Fun and entertaining, this is a valuable tale of love, purpose, and respect.” —Broadway World New Jersey

Premiered October 2015, Lifeline Theatre, Chicago, IL

Regional Tours:
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte (Southeast USA: 2017-18)

Produced by:
The Coterie (Kansas City, MO)
The Growing Stage (Netcong, NJ)
The Magik Theatre (San Antonio, TX)
Nashville Children’s Theatre (Nashville, TN)
South Carolina Children’s Theatre (Greenville, SC)
South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, CA)
Virginia Repertory Theatre (Richmond, VA)

Production photo by Suzanne Plunkett

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