For all that it leaves to be desired, this new musical by David Rush and Errol Pearlman generates a surprising charm over the course of two acts. Built around Ashkenazic folktales about Chelm, a village populated entirely by fools, the Chicago Jewish Theatre production suffers greatly from director Kevin Heckman’s head-scratchingly inept attempts at visual storytelling. The occasional bright spots in Pearlman’s score are overpowered by monotonous presentation. And Rush’s lyrics can be cloying or clumsy, contributing to an overall sense that this is more a workshop than a premiere. But by connecting the Chelm stories to certain mystical Jewish traditions, Rush brings out hints of a deeper richness–and the hope that that richness will be fully realized in a future draft. Through 4/16: Thu and Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 and 7 PM, Red Hen Productions, Kenneth LeTraunik Theatre, 5123 N. Clark, 773-728-0599, $25.