Like a classic Twilight Zone episode, Ray Bradbury’s dramatization of his famed novel melds whimsy, suspense, nostalgia, supernatural elements, and poetic rumination on the impermanence of life and the power of memory. Set in the summer of 1928 in a town inspired by Waukegan–Bradbury’s boyhood home–it depicts an encounter between 12-year-old Doug Spaulding and a mysterious stranger who may or may not be the grown-up Doug, traveling through time to rediscover his roots. The Chicago Children’s Theatre’s beautifully designed production speaks hauntingly to adults as well as kids. Director Eric Rosen has compressed Bradbury’s script into 90 intermissionless minutes and augmented the action with Tim Decker’s remarkable animation and a lovely folkish score by Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman. The excellent 15-member ensemble features high schooler Michael Viruet as Doug, eighth-grader Bubba Weiler as Doug’s brother, and Sean Cooper as the enigmatic visitor. a Through 11/26: Fri 4:30 PM, Sat-Sun 3:30 PM. Then through 12/31: see chicagoreader.com for complete schedule. Steppenwolf Theatre Company, upstairs theater, 1650 N. Halsted, 312-335-1650, $15 children, $30 adults.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael Brosilow.