How to Eat Like a Child

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

Delia Ephron, John Forster, Judith Kahan

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

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)
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 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.

Cast Attributes
  • Ensemble cast
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Room for Extras
Performing Groups
  • Elementary School / Primary
  • Community Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Church / Religious Groups
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. 
  • Time Period Contemporary
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
  • Additional Features No intermission
  • Duration 60 minutes (1 hour)
  • Cautions
    • No Special Cautions


"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


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
  • Musical StyleClassic Broadway, Pop/Rock
  • Vocal DemandsEasy
  • Orchestra SizePiano Only
  • Chorus SizeMedium


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Delia Ephron

John Forster

John 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, BOTH B ...

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Judith Kahan


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