How to Eat Like a Child

by  Delia Ephron, John Forster, Judith Kahan

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  30boy(s) or girl(s)

This musical romp through the joys and sorrows of being a child is hilarious.

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    30boy(s) or girl(s)
  • Duration


    60 minutes (1 hour)
  • SubGenre


    Theatre for Young Audiences
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Children (Age 6 - 10)
    • Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13)

Additional Info

This musical romp through the joys and sorrows of being a child is hilarious. Children give twenty-three lessons in such subjects as how to beg for a dog, how to torture your sister, how to act after being sent to your room, and how to laugh hysterically. The pace is fast, the tone subversive, and the recognition instant.
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"Applause, applause, applause!" - Steve Allen

"Delightfully clever." - Hollywood Reporter

"Razzle dazzle staging, Broadway style songs and an imaginative script." - TV Guide

"A musical revue for children that can also be enjoyed by the parents...A charming and witty score." - Backstage

"A winner...should become a classic." - The Seattle Times




Performing Groups

  • Elementary School / Primary
  • Community Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Church / Religious Groups


  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.



  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: 60 minutes (1 hour)
  • Setting: HOW TO EAT can be performed in almost any space using a very simple set. The open stage should suggest a child's environment with 10 or 12 lightweight cubes (2 feet on a side) that can be arranged into chairs, beds, playgrounds, kitchens, minivans, etc.
  • Additional Features: No intermission
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway, Pop/Rock
  • Vocal Demands: Easy
  • Orchestra Size: Piano Only
  • Chorus Size: Medium

Song Samples

Like a Child
I Feel Sick
The Jolly Buccaneer
Say Yes
Means No
Why Should a Kid Have to Walk?
Waiting, Waiting
How to Torture Your Sister
The Birthday Song
We Refuse to Fall Asleep


30boy(s) or girl(s)
GEORGE - the leader; a rock-and-roller; has to have a strong voice.
BILLY - George's sidekick. 
COREY - the comedian; does not need to sing well.
RACHEL - bossy; dramatic; strong singer.
ANDY - a very good singer. 
REBECCA - the role does not require much singing.
ARLENE - sings "I FEEL SICK;" older sister to Kimberly and Paula.
KIMBERLY - sings "I FEEL SICK;" middle sister to Arlene and Paula.
PAULA - sings "I FEEL SICK;" younger sister to Kimberly and Arlene.
BRANDON - the youngest cast member. 
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Room for Extras

Casting Notes

"How To Eat Like A Child" is designed for a cast of typical school kids aged 5-15. It works especially well when the group includes a spectrum of ages. For instance, "I Feel Sick" features three sister - big, mediume and little. "We Refuse To Fall Asleep" is started by the older "ringleaders" and ends with one kindergartner as the last one awake. The character names listed here are the actual names of the children in the Original production. So, in each specific production, characters should be referred to by their own names.


Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

2 Piano/Vocal Scores

30 vocal/chorus books

Samphony Available! Rehearsal Tool and Performance Tracks (Additional Fee)

Available Services

SF Tracks

SF Tracks

In today's busy world, scheduling sufficient time to rehearse music with your cast is tough. With Show|Ready, you can virtually send your music …

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Delia Ephron

Delia Ephron

John Forster

John Forster is an award-winning songwriter, playwright, humorist, and music producer whose work encompasses the worlds of singer-songwriting, musical theater and children’s entertainment. As a writer and producer of bright, sassy music for children, Mr. Forster has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, most recen ...

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Judith Kahan

Judith Kahan

HOW TO EAT LIKE A CHILD is based on the Viking book of the same name by Delia Ephron. The musical version began its life as an NBC prime time special starring Dick Van Dyke (the chimney sweep in MARY POPPINS). It was an immediate hit in schools, camps and community centers everywhere and has enjoyed thousands of productions all over the the US, Canada and many other countries where kids smuggle their least favorite vegetables to the garbage instead of eating them.

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