In Orson Welles’s play, actors expecting to stage King Lear instead rehearse Moby Dick. This isn’t much of a play within a play, however: we get only a hint of Shakespeare and the performers’ backstage personalities before the ensemble dives into Ahab’s ill-fated quest. In Theatre-Hikes’ inexpert production, only Thomas Edson McElroy as the single-minded protagonist stands out. The rest of G.J. Cederquist’s cast usually fall out of character almost as soon as lines are delivered. Or, when they are in character for an entire scene, they seem determined to distract us from the action. Melville’s themes are lost in an unconvincing muddle, justifying the crying of bored children and making adults even less tolerant of the bugs. Through 7/23: Sat-Sun 1 PM, Sun 7/16, 4 PM only, Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Rte. 53, Lisle, 630-725-2066 (performance starts at Arbor Court, east side by visitor center), $15, $40 Sun 7/16 (includes postshow dinner. + Then Sat-Sun 7/29-7/30, 1 PM, Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, 9800 S. Willow Springs Rd., Willow Springs, 773-293-1358, $6-$10. See also listing for The Miracle Worker.