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 & Cameron 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.  We’re all lovable and worthy. Family is whomever you love and whoever loves you. No one is really alone. And despite all of that, there’s no sermonizing — just great songs, costumes, sets, choreography and performances, delightfully directed by Emily Ranii in just under two hours!  Through 5/12 with special matinees through this weekend!

Then head on up to Chelsea and Apollinaire Theatre Company for  THE 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.  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, romantic and true love, with much imbibing between the books and ballads. Songs and spirits are served up during intermission.  Who knew an academic conference could be this invigorating! A wholly original, rollicking good time. Through May 4.