Lewis's Lion | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Lewis's Lion

Despite a massive oeuvre that includes scholarly, theological, poetic, and fictional works, Jack Lewis will always be remembered for writing kids' books. If you haven't heard of Jack, that's because you didn't know the man personally. In the literary world, he went by the initials of his given name, Clive Staples Lewis.

For those of you who weren't aware you were being taught Christianity, C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia are an allegory for various biblical stories, with the lion Aslan representing Jesus, the White Witch being Satan, and so on. But whether or not you're a Bible believer, Lewis's works made for some great reading back in the day. Even for adults these books are an entertaining read, unlike most of the hopeless dreck that passes for kids' books today. That is why many parents may be more than happy to take their kids to the live-theater version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

The first Narnia book published (though the second chronologically in the series), The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe follows the adventures of four children -- Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy -- who arrive in the magical land of Narnia via the convenient method of hopping through the back of a wardrobe. The White Witch has all of Narnia in a permanent winter, and the kids must help Aslan defeat the witch and thus ensure the return of spring.

The production put on at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts is performed in kabuki style, telling the story while mixing in music, silk banners, and masks. The play is actually a condensed version of Narnia, the original stage adaptation, which was performed in New York City and London to high praise. This rendition has been designed for a young audience, and children ages four to ten should find it almost as enchanting as the original work.