Captain Virtue and the Champions of Justice, Emerald City Theatre Company, at the Apollo Theater. A trio of comic book characters defeats the evil Madame Medusa and her two bumbling henchmen with the help of a boy named Nicholas in this charming musical, directed with healthy self-awareness by Peter Hobert. Captain Virtue (Michael Reilly) and his bold cohorts Athena (Katie Jeep) and Mimic (Angela Donovan) spend as much time projecting strength and confidence through action-figure poses as they do fighting slapstick battles with the bad guys. But not to worry: when Medusa (the enthusiastically evil Danielle Treuberg) and her thugs gain the upper hand, Nicholas (the credibly childlike Kevin Douglas) steps in to save the day.

Alyn Cardarelli’s book and lyrics (the music is by Charles Silliman) offer moral instruction (“Listen to Your Mother” explains the source of Captain Virtue’s superpowers). But the messages and educational tidbits are so entertainingly packaged that young audiences are unlikely to complain. Kids will probably also overlook Elisa Carlson’s dull choreography and the uninspiring song “Imagine You’re a Hero.” They’ll be giggling at Brian Koester and Richard Pierrelouis, who give vibrant life to the dumb-crook stereotype, and enjoying the bright world created in part by Michelle Lynette Bush’s imaginative costumes. Committed to conveying the fantastic world of comic book heroes and villains, Emerald City’s high-spirited cast make this an enjoyable adventure for kids and adults alike.

–Jenn Goddu