How to Eat Like a Child

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

Based on the book by Delia Ephron / Book by Delia Ephron, John Forster and Judith Kahan / Music and Lyrics by John Forster

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

  • 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)
Licence details
  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.



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.


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 primetime special starring Dick Van Dyke. 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.

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. 

Casting Note: 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 sisters - big, medium 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. In each specific production, characters should be referred to by their own names.

  • Time Period Contemporary
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
  • Additional Features No intermission
  • Duration 60 minutes (1 hour)
  • Cautions
    • No Special Cautions


“Delightfully clever.” – Hollywood Reporter

“A musical revue for children that can also be enjoyed by the parents... A charming and witty score.” – Backstage

“Razzle dazzle staging, Broadway style songs and an imaginative script.” – TV Guide

“A winner... should become a classic.” – The Seattle Times


How to Eat Like a Child: A Musical Romp Through Childhood
by Cara Kramer
September 22, 2015


  • How To Eat Like A Child - TADA! Rehearsal

  • How To Eat Like A Child - Venice Theatre Promo


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
0. Prologue – Orchestra
1. “Like a Child” – Company
1a. Playoff – Orchestra
2. “I Feel Sick” – Arlene, Kimberly, Paula
3. “The Jolly Buccaneers” – John
4. “Say Yes” – George, Billy
5. “Means ‘No’” – Company
5a. Playoff – Orchestra
6. “Why Should a Kid Have to Walk?” – Sunshine
7. “Waiting Waiting” – George
7a. Playoff – Orchestra
8. “How to Torture Your Sister” – Company
9. “The Birthday Song” – Paula
9a. Playoff – Orchestra
10. “Sayonara” – Rachel
11. “We Refuse to Fall Asleep – Company
12. “Like a Child” (Reprise) – George
13. Bows – Orchestra
14. “The Brag Rag” (Supplemental) – Ricky, John
  • Musical StyleClassic Broadway, Pop/Rock
  • Vocal DemandsEasy
  • Orchestra SizePiano Only
  • Chorus SizeMedium


Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!

1 Piano Vocal Score
30 Vocal Chorus Books

Performance Tracks Available (Additional Fee)


Take a look below at how you can enhance your show!



Delia Ephron

John Forster

John Forster wrote the music and lyrics for How To Eat Like A Child, one of the most performed shows in the country. He founded the long-running revue The Proposition as an undergraduate at Harvard, where he also wrote for the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. His satirical revue Bo ...

View full profile

Judith Kahan


Now Playing

Community Experiences