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Critter Bugs 

Popular preschool tales slither into Playhouse Square.

Back for an encore, the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia sets up shop in Cleveland today for three kid-friendly performances of The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favorites. Each hourlong show features a larger-than-life caterpillar puppet munching his way through a garden of food before he turns into a butterfly. A friendly cloud then changes shapes before everybody's eyes, and during a trip to the zoo, the Mixed-Up Chameleon teaches the audience how to be true to themselves. The characters come from popular fables by Carle, who's sold 22 million copies of his 70 books, which have been translated into 30 languages. And the troupe's Cleveland trip piggybacks last year's sold-out show, Leo Lionni's Swimmy, Frederick & Inch by Inch. Caterpillar and crew take the stage at 11 a.m., 2, and 5 p.m. today at the Ohio Theatre, 1511 Euclid Avenue. Tickets are $10. Call 216-241-6000 or visit www.playhousesquare.org.
Sat., Jan. 19, 11 a.m., 2 & 5 p.m., 2008

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