The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Mountain at Mt. Vernon Place United Methodist Church

Remaining Performances:
Thursday, July 23 @ 8 p.m.

They say: “Four adventurers step through a wardrobe door and into Narnia, a frozen land enslaved by the White Witch. When almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change and sacrifice.”

Hilary’s take: I haven’t the patience for children’s productions.

Looking at the Fringe guide, I wondered how C.S. Lewis’ best known work could be condensed into 42 minutes. Well, the production was actually 30 minutes. And it felt long. But I’m about 15 years older than the target audience and I left my stunt children at home. With no ability to gauge the play’s success on my own, I inferred from the sporadic giggles behind me that the Adventure Theater production had achieved its goal: to entertain the kiddies.

All that said, the performance was technically perfect. Peter and Lucy, firmly in the present, recount the siblings’ past discovery of Narnia, subsequent revolutionary crowning, and 30-year reign. Staging is minimal—just a small wardrobe on wheels and three wintry tapestries speckled with firs, glitter, and Christmas lights—and so is the cast. Kristen Egermeier and Danny Pushkin field the ten or so characters—Susan, the White Witch, and various stone statues and Edmond, Mr. Tumnus, and Aslan, respectively. Egermeier and Pushkin hop around the stage and ramble like authentic children with admirable abandon, taking the antics offstage to whip up some more giggles from the pint-sized patrons. I guess Pushkin sensed the parents and I needed a jolt of enthusiasm, and high-fiving Aslan’s giant plush paw—that which had just slain the wicked witch—was the highlight of my experience.

See it if: You have kids and/or have already seen The Pirates of Penzance.

Skip it if: You don’t have kids.