What makes Jody Davidson's adaptation of this popular children's book so playful and fun is that she doesn't try to literally transcribe Laura Joffe Numeroff's witty, fast-paced story and Felicia Bond's marvelous illustrations. Instead she and Emerald City Theatre Company director Nick Saubers provide just the essentials: a silly mouse, an empty stage (representing a tidy house), and a handful of larger-than-life props, including the cookie that starts the story's cascade of comical catastrophes. Three energetic performers and a theater full of eager youngsters do the rest. My five-year-old was not alone in giving this 45-minute production her full attention start to finish, no potty breaks. Fri 2/17, 10:15 AM. Then through 4/2: See www.chicagoreader.com for complete schedule. Through 3/4: Sat-Sun 10:30 AM, Thu-Fri 10:15 AM, no show Fri 2/24 and Thu 3/2. Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln, 773-935-6100, $9-$12. + Also Sun 3/12, 2 PM, at the Evanston Public Library, community room, 1703 Orrington, Evanston, 847-866-0300. Free.