L.A. Weekly Review Con't.

. . .that he knows what he's doing. And on this first day of the clan's getaway, it starts pouring with rain. Priscilla likes to draw with crayons and, lo and behold, she finds crayons with magical properties -- to transport herself, along with Billy and Roscoe, to a land of her imagining, a bucolic utopia depicted in Chris Winfield and Monica Martin's mural of portable panels. When Billy gets hungry, Priscilla simply draws Billy's favorite pancakes, and they materialize. This could be described as a family musical about the Possibilites of Art (book by Diana Martin, songs by Richard Levinson, who accompanies the actors on a spinet), but that's probably not in the minds of the kiddies packed into the theater on Saturday mornings, who really respond to the musical's arbitrary but effective element of danger, the Loch Ness Lobster. (For no apparent reason, bright red claws appear intermittently from the wings, like in a parody of Jaws.) There's also an odd local denizen named Mr. Berrymore (Brian Wallis) and a Clam Chorus (Sarah Coker, Ben Freiberger, Kaylena Mann and Martin). The Clams sing/plead for their lives before a clam-bake. Levinson's songs stick around after the closing curtain - particularly "Pancakes for Roscoe" that gets reprised in a curtain-call sing-a-long. A bit slow going at the outset, the musical finds its stride under Jeremy Aldridge's staging, thanks largely to the delightful and accomplished performances, and the magical qualities of those crayons, which enhance the familiar almost generic family with a streak of wonder. Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood; Sat., 11 a.m.; thru July 17. (818) 700-4878. Produced in association with Catawba Club Productions. (Steven Leigh Morris)

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Priscilla's Perfect Day