Harold and the Purple Crayon Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 18 2012

Is it unfair to expect more? Chicago Children's Theatre has staged a perfectly lovely production of a perfectly pleasant musical based on Crockett Johnson's classic 1955 kids' book. Aided by affable narrators Bethany Thomas and Alex Goodrich, Nate Lewellyn's apple-cheeked Harold ambles around in jammies, singing light tunes by Auston James and Robert Burgess and wielding an oversized crayon to make his thoughts turn real. Eminent Chicago auteur Sean Graney has built a career by creating playgrounds out of heavy works. So, dealing with material that's actually about imagination, why does he seem to hold back? Save for some giggle-inducing costumes by Alison Siple, much of this show is wrapped up in the projections. I wouldn't have minded seeing more of it truly come to life. —Dan Jakes Also at the Beverly Arts Center, 2401 W. 111th, 11/7-11/11, and the North Shore Centre for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie, Skokie, 11/14-11/18.

Price: $20-$36

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