Shipwrecked! An Entertainment

Those of us with the fleeting apprehension that our lives and times add up to a collection of conflicting stories also recognize the need for that story's central protagonist to be a hero (otherwise, why bother?). Probably few understood this better than Louis de Rougemont, a 19th-century fabulist who published a supposedly autobiographical tale of his adventures (including a giant octopus, riding sea turtles, and living as a family man among island Aborigines) that was later revealed to be almost entirely the product of his imagination. This Jungle production starring Michael Booth is rife with easy charm, sound effects, puppets, and projections, all in the service of celebrating the very notion of storytelling. The supporting cast is uniformly strong (Stephen Cartmell's Bruno the bulldog steals an inordinate share of scenes), and the 90 minutes pass with assurance and a sense of playfulness that runs from start to finish. And when de Rougemont ends up broken and busted, we don't feel too sorry for him—he had a good run, and we're still talking about him today. Mission accomplished, it seems.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Tuesdays-Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: May 22. Continues through June 28, 2009

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