Elementary, I Fear

A great production of a not-so-great thriller creates mysteries of its own


Sherlockis not the only game afoot at the playhouse. Younger playgoers and their families might want to head upstairs to the company's balcony theater, where a new musical for children, Miss Nelson Is Missing, continues its world-premiere run. Miss Nelson, written by Joan Cushing and based on a popular book by Harry Allard and James Marshall, is the winner of the playhouse's National Call to Competition for musicals aimed at young audiences and headlines the company's National Children's Theatre Festival. The production is crisply staged by AP Children's Theatre director Earl Maulding and features a cast of professional actors. Miss Nelson centers on a classroom of unruly elementary school students who don't mind their kindly teacher, Miss Nelson. But when she suddenly disappears and is replaced by a tyrannical substitute teacher, they go on a quest to bring Miss Nelson back.

Details

Sherlock's Last Case by Charles Marowitz, directed by David Arisco. Starring Ken Clement, Heath Kelts, Lisa Morgan, Bob Rogerson, and Claire Tyler. Through February 9. Call 305-444-9293. Miss Nelson is Missing by Joan Cushing, adapted from the book by Harry Allard and James Marshall, directed by Earl Maulding. Saturdays through February 8 at the Actors' Playhouse Musical Theatre for Young Audiences, Miracle Theatre.
The Actors' Playhouse at Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables

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The festival kicked off with a Family Festival Fun Day, which featured two performances of Miss Nelson plus dance, puppetry, and storytelling performances; classes in acting and makeup; a free breakfast; and all sorts of kid-friendly activities. For ten dollars, the well-produced event was easily one of the best entertainment bargains of the year.

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