Lifeline Theatre: “Duck for President”

The voters have spoken, and “Duck for President” is a winner!

The new production from Lifeline Theatre mixes music, laughter and a mini lesson on democracy into an engaging show that is somewhat reminiscent of a “Schoolhouse Rock” video.

The play, adapted from Doreen Cronin’s best-selling picture book follows Duck as he hits the campaign trail to become leader of the farm, the state and eventually the country. Along the way, he learns, with the help of Pig, Cow and Hen, that governing is not as much fun as campaigning, especially when you make promises you can’t keep.

Nathaniel Niemi is terrific as happy-go-lucky Duck, a politician for the ages, who enthusiastically throws his hat into the ring in hopes of making the farm/state/country more fun. Heather Curry shines as Pig, Duck’s ambitious campaign manager while Amy Malcolm puts on a “mooving” performance as Duck’s earnest friend, Cow. Rounding out the cast is Amanda Link as Hen and Derek Czaplewski as Farmer Brown.

The performance is adapted for stage by Lifeline ensemble member James E. Grote with music by George Howe. It’s a family reunion of sorts as the Grote/Howe team, along with director Shole Milos was responsible for bringing several other Cronin books to the Lifeline stage including “Giggle, Giggle Quack,” and “Dooby Dooby Moo.”

If you’re looking for a fun outing to enjoy with your kids, my vote’s for Duck.

“Duck for President” runs through November 25 at the Lifeline Theatre, which is located at 6912 Glenwood Avenue in Chicago. For information about tickets and show times visit their website. Be sure to ask about their special “Stories come Alive” events, which feature interactive storytelling, games and more. 

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