Fire on the Mountain 

Thanks largely to a talented and energetic cast, this evening of folk tunes illustrating the many sorrows and occasional joys of Appalachian coal miners is both entertaining and mildly enlightening. Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman have interspersed brief dramatic scenes among the songs, portraying archetypal moments among these oppressed people: long work hours, the dangers of mining, the often violent strikes, and the ways the poor are cheated by corporate interests. These scenes never coalesce into anything that could be called a story or an in-depth look. But the show still works as an overview of the facts of life in West Virginia and environs, enlivened by lots and lots of stomping good songs. --Jack Helbig a Through 6/17: Tue-Wed 7:30 PM, Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 3 and 8 PM, Sun 2:30 PM and 7 PM, Wed 5/30, 1 and 7:30 PM, Sun 5/27, 2:30 PM only, no show Tue 5/29, Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 847-673-6300, $34-$56.

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