Despereaux at the Berkeley Rep

When: Nov. 27-Jan. 5 2020

Ditch the usual annual holiday ventures in which hoards of mice fight toy soldiers (Nutcracker) or three ghosts haunt a miserly old dude (A Christmas Carol) for an upgrade: An unlikely loner mouse is the super-action hero in Pigpen Theatre Company’s lively musical adaptation of author Kate DiCamillo’s best-selling book. A humble needle is all Despereaux Tilling needs to restore happiness to the human kingdom — that, along with more than one folk tune, perhaps puppets, and the help of the community that bands with the big-eared rodent to rid the land of evildoers. In a story written for children but healing for adults to witness, herald a hopeful peacemaker with goodwill towards all. Isn’t that what we — during the holidays and every day — might need and aim to be?

Lou Fancher

Price: $40-100

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