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February 12-March 7, 2025

Best enjoyed by Grades K-8

Student Matinees


On a crowded subway, Milo passes the time imagining the lives of the other passengers. See his illustrations brought to spirited life in this world-premiere musical, featuring dynamic new songs ranging from hip hop and pop to country. Ride along with Milo from stop to stop as he begins to understand that first impressions aren’t always accuratethat his older sister Adrienne isn’t always annoying, and that real life can sometimes be even more incredible than an imaginary one. 

A Children’s Theatre World Premiere Production 

Book by Terry Guest 
Lyrics and Music by Christian Albright and Christian Magby  
Based on the book by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson 
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers 
Directed by Mikael Burke 

A joint commission by The Rose Theater (Omaha, Nebraska), Chicago Children’s Theatre (Chicago, Illinois), and Children’s Theatre Company (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

  • Run time

    1 hour 45 minutes including intermission

  • Best enjoyed by

    Grades K-8

  • Stage

    UnitedHealth Group Stage

  • Educator Guide coming soon!

About the Show

  • Milo Imagines the World is performed by a cast of both adults and student actors. It is based on the picture book by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson.
  • This production takes place on our UnitedHealth Group Stage which seats up to 745 people per performance.
  • We know that teachers are the best judge to determine the right fit for their unique group of students. We recommend Milo Imagines the World for students in grades K–8 due to the length and some heightened thematic elements.

Content Advisories

Language: 1 out of 5 stars
The word “crap” is used several times.

Themes and Situations: 1 out of 5 stars
Milo and his sister are on their way to visit their mom who is in prison. This is revealed towards the end of the story. Their mom is very kind and loving, and we learn the siblings visit her in prison every Sunday.

Violence & Scariness: 1 out of 5 stars
There are several moments of cartoon-hand-drawn violence between creatures in Milo’s imagination (for example a cartoon dinosaur eats a pet cat). A character’s pet bird dies. The subway that Milo and Adrienne ride goes through the “Scary tunnel,” which is dark and has strange sounds.

Sensory Advisories: 1 out of 5 stars
Musical numbers can be loud and some sound effects are jarring. Milo’s imagination and feelings are portrayed through stage magic. Lighting moves quickly from dark to bright and some stage effects such as fog, dry ice, and haze may be used. We will update this section as we learn more about production elements.

Potentially Anxious Moments: 2 out of 5 stars
Milo’s mom is in prison. Milo’s big sister Adrienne can sometimes get frustrated and impatient with him, but they always make up. At one point, Milo gets so frustrated with Adrienne that he runs away into the city and is by himself in the train station; Adrienne finds him.

Full Plot Description

This is a complete description of the play, so it is full of spoilers.

Lights up on Plainsville, the plainest ville in the nation! While the citizens sing about their boring and mundane lives, hand-drawn-looking creatures suddenly attack the city. As they wait to be saved, we realize that it is all being created by Milo, drawing in his bedroom. His big sister ReRe urges him to get ready for the day. It is Sunday which is a very special day for the siblings each week as they have somewhere important to be. They rush through the hustle and bustle of the city and make it to the subway train just in time.

They sit next to a passenger who is crying. While ReRe pays attention to her phone, Milo works on sketching his newest character, Superwoman, and can’t contain his excitement about the drawing, much to his big sister’s dismay. Milo turns his attention to the “Debbie Downer” that they are seated next to, and imagines why they are so sad. Debbie Downer sings about how they have lost their pet bird. Superwoman appears and with the help of Milo’s drawing, gives Debbie a cat as a new pet. As Milo tries to thank Superwoman for helping, she disappears and he returns to reality on the subway. Debbie Downer gets off the subway.

At this train stop, a “Super Cool Guy” sits next to ReRe and begins to flirt with her. Milo quickly interrupts the moment by showing the guy a drawing of him being eaten by a Hippo, and the super cool guy leaves. ReRe sings about how much Milo annoys her and how hard it is to be in charge of him sometimes. While they chase each other around the train car, it makes another stop, and a boy the same age as Milo gets on.

Milo thinks the boy looks very fancy and imagines that he must have a “big, fun, fabulous” life. Before he can continue, a group of breakdancers perform an awesome performance about following their dreams on the subway. Milo envisions the breakdancer auditioning to be “a real dancer,” but is made fun of by the drill-sergeant-like ballet instructor. Before the ballet instructor can tell the breakdancer to leave, Superwoman appears and changes everyone’s attitude to dance together.

The dance party is interrupted as we shift back to reality, going into a scary tunnel of the subway system. The subway stops momentarily and Milo remembers the things his mom taught him when things get scary: to focus on other things like his super cool hat and wait for the moment to pass. Milo sees the boy from before, Kevin, and envisions his life as a King with a horse-drawn carriage, castle, and servants. King Kevin’s pet crocodile Kyle has a toothache, before Superwoman can help, one of the king’s servants pulls his tooth. Milo is pulled back to reality and reflects on his own life, how he sees himself, and how others see him.

Milo is so deep in thought that he and ReRe miss their next subway connection. In her frustration and stress, ReRe accidentally damages Milo’s drawing for their mom. Feelings hurt, Milo runs away into the crowded city streets. ReRe races through the city to find Milo, who is by himself in the train station. ReRe appears, apologizes to Milo, and they make up before getting on the next train. While discussing the drawing, Milo reveals that the Superwoman character is their mom, “Supermom.”

The siblings finally get off the train at their destination, a visiting room at a prison. Milo sees Kevin, the same little boy he thought was a king, in the visiting room. Milo realizes that maybe the way people look on the outside is not always completely true and that everyone has unique stories. The different characters from before reveal their truths, Debbie Downer has allergies, the Breakdancer is a Broadway star, and Kevin is also visiting a parent in prison.

Supermom, now just as their mom, greets her kids dressed in an orange jumpsuit. The family hugs each other and discusses their past week since seeing one another. Milo shows them the drawing he made. It is not of Supermom or any attacking creatures, but instead, the three of them eating ice cream on a Sunday afternoon. The family mimes eating ice cream cones, laughs, and then says goodbye. They promise to keep visiting until Mom is back home, and the siblings get back on the train home.

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More Information

Milo Imagines the World Student Matinee

February 12-March 7, 2025


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Mar 7


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