When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 20 2008
This story-theater cantata, composed in a folk-rock vein by guitarist Michael Smith, retells Hans Christian Andersen's 1845 fairy tale about a Danish girl's journey to the arctic to rescue a boy bewitched by an enchantress. Director Frank Galati's prettily designed production barely scratches the surface of the complex narrative, but Andersen's moral about innocence conquering evil and devotion melting an icy heart comes through clearly with the aid of Blair Thomas and Meredith Miller's puppetry. Since its debut in 2006, Victory Gardens Theater's Christmas perennial has acquired a slick kiddie-show quality that's at odds with the appealing quirkiness of Smith's score, but it's still an offbeat alternative to more traditional holiday fare, and the vocalists--especially Barbara Barrow--are terrific. --Albert Williams Special holiday schedule 12/23-12/28: Tue 7:30 PM, Wed 3 PM, no show Thu, Fri-Sat 3 and 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM.