Chester and the Unbearable Burden, Parts I and II Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through March 4 2012

This new comedy by Ben Fort spoofs The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter at one go. When a pair of hobbitlike humanoids show up at an enchanted boarding school bearing a powerful ring, it's up to boy wizard Chester J. Chester to save them from dark lord Molvak. Where J.K. Rowling has taught us to expect brains and pluck, Michael Blomquist's low-key Chester supplies a regular-dude haplessness that can be funny when it undercuts the story's magical elements. But Fort's script offers too much exposition and his staging for Six Hours Short Productions lacks imagination. One gag involving a spell that causes its target to fall instantly asleep is repeated at least two dozen times. —Zac Thompson

Price: $10-$15

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