Travels With Lewis and Clark–Part One: The Principal Stream, Theatre-Hikes. Theater is usually a sedentary experience–but not the way the folks at Theatre-Hikes do it. For three hours last Sunday we walked around the Morton Arboretum, punctuating the treks from spot to spot with short breaks, during which performers reenacted scenes from Lewis and Clark’s travels 200 years ago. Our hike would have lasted 30 to 45 minutes longer, but a tornado warning sent us back to the base camp early, where the cast performed the remaining scenes of Dori Robinson’s play.

The hike itself was a bit grueling–I went through three bottles of water. But its challenges gave us a taste of what Lewis and Clark and company endured. And the scenes are compelling in the way that well-researched historical exhibits are. Director Nicolas Minas clearly has a great eye for gorgeous outdoor settings, and nature, blooming and buzzing in its high-summer glory, fully cooperated.

The performances range from pretty good to great. Graham Moriarty and Aaron Manby are especially convincing as the two driven visionaries trying to discover a water route to the Pacific. The hoped-for connection between the Missouri and Columbia rivers was pure fantasy–but they did find a continent far wider and richer than anyone had dreamed possible.