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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Stage Review

This ‘Hobbit’ is an adventure for all ages

Matthew T. Lazure’s creative costumes and elegant, two-tiered set stand out as the stars of the Wheelock Family Theatre’s charming production of “The Hobbit,” which runs through Nov. 24. Lazure doesn’t need the film’s elaborate computer-generated animation, because he includes just the right elements to spark the imagination and create the right mood for Bilbo Baggins’s unexpected adventure.

Patricia Gray’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy opens with a narrator asking the audience, “Are you ready for a story?” to which the eager children at the performance I attended responded with a resounding “yes!” This device of direct address allows Lazure and director Shelley Bolman to build the world of Middle-earth incrementally, starting with the simplest costume pieces (fur on shoes to suggest the hairy Hobbit feet), all the way to the fearsome dragon Smaug, complete with shimmering red scaly skin and glittering yellow eyes in an oversize head.

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