The Wind in the Willows | City Lit Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Wind in the Willows Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 3 2010

Douglas Post directs his own musical version of Kenneth Grahame's pastoral kids' tale, first staged here in 1985. There are some wincing moments early on in this production, and not all the voices seem up to the task at the hand. But I was won over in the end by the generally beguiling ensemble and eclectic score (calypso, punk, an almost-too-close-for-comfort echo of Sondheim's "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd"). Post doesn't shy away from the mysticism of the original--"The Song of the Piper" is enchanting and otherworldly--and he incorporates clever bits of stage business. Well-modulated performances, especially from Thomas Shea as automobile-crazed Toad and Jeremy Trager as waspish Rat, keep the characters from sliding into anthropomorphic cartoons. --Kerry Reid

Price: $18-$25


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