Check out these productions onstage NOW, beginning with Keith Hamilton Cobb’s solo show AMERICAN MOOR back in town at the Paramount! If one picture is worth a thousand words, then my video review below should convince you to get there before it ends this weekend 4/21:

Then grab the kids and go see JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH a musical based on Roald Dahl’s children’s book, here enacted by a fabulous cast (Aimee Doherty, Jared Troilo, Cheryl D. Singleton, Russell Garrett) in a lively and touching production at Wheelock Family Theatre! This tale of the orphaned James (Brendan O’Brien &┬áCameron Levesque, alternatively) who ditches his nasty aunts Spiker and Sponge (the hilarious Amy Barker and June Baboian) and hits the road and to find a real family, is sweet, funny, and acerbic at the same time.

Oscar winners Pasek and Paul wrote this clever score in support of a book by Timothy Allen McDonald. As James sets out, he finds a peach of a family among the least cuddly of nature’s creatures: a spider, an earthworm, a grasshopper, a lady bug and a centipede. The moral of the story? So many. Expand your boundaries. Don’t judge a book (or an insect) by its cover. Respect life in all its forms. We’re all alike under the skin.┬á We’re all lovable and worthy. Family is whomever you love and whoever loves you.┬áNo one is really alone. And despite all of that, there’s no┬ásermonizing — just great songs, costumes, sets, choreography and performances, delightfully directed by Emily Ranii in just under two hours!┬á Through 5/12 with special matinees through this weekend!

Then head on up to Chelsea and Apollinaire Theatre Company for┬á┬áTHE STRANGE UNDOING OF PRUDENCIA HART! First presented by the National Theatre of Scotland in a bar in Glasgow, David Grieg’s play is a wild, original, supernatural whale of a tale about a high strung intellectual named Prudencia Hart (the consistently engaging Becca A. Lewis) an expert on Scottish ballads in the traditional mode. She sets off for the Scottish borders to attend a conference where she wrangles with arch academic nemesis and all around jackass, Colin Syme (a cocky Brooks Reeves) who may have the hots for the ever-prudent Pru.

When a snowstorm descends, they end up in a Scottish pub and all hell breaks loose.┬á Danielle Fauteux Jacques sets this tricky script– delivered staccato in rhymed couplets–careening but on course. It’s a devil of a time, writhing on the borders of dreams and reality,┬áromantic and true love, with much imbibing between the books and ballads. Songs and spirits are served up during intermission.┬á Who knew an academic conference could be this invigorating! A wholly original, rollicking good time. Through May 4.