Big, the Musical | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Big, the Musical 

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Composer David Shire, lyricist Richard Maltby Jr., and book writer John Weidman based their 1996 show on the popular 1988 Tom Hanks movie about a boy who wants to be grown-up, magically turns into an adult, and later finds work at a toy company and meets a girl. Reshaped after it flopped on Broadway, the musical version is lightly pleasing even though the material feels dated, especially the kids' lingo. Still, a winsome cast--especially the troupe of about a dozen shiny youngsters--makes this forgettable theater candy go down easy. In Eileen Boevers's staging the performers sing and dance pleasantly to Marla Lampert's sweet choreography, Zach Ford is winningly puppyish as the kid who grows up too soon, and Zach Gray is both wise and vulnerable as his young best friend. Through 1/9: Wed-Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 5 and 8:30 PM, Sun 3 and 7 PM. Sun 1/9, 3 PM only. + Special Christmas schedule 12/22-12/26: Wed 2 and 7:30 PM, Thu 7:30 PM, no show Fri-Sat, Sun 3 and 7 PM. Special New Year's schedule 12/29-1/2: Wed 7:30 PM, no show Thu, Fri 6 and 9:30 PM, no show Sat, Sun 3 and 7 PM. Apple Tree Theatre, 595 Elm Pl., Highland Park, 847-432-4335. $27-$38; $50 Fri 12/31 (includes buffet and party).

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