If a children’s show happens at eight o’clock at night but no children are around to see it, should the show go on? Sadly, no—and while Premiere Theatre & Performance/The Moving Dock Theatre Company’s rather saccharine adaptation of “The Quiltmaker’s Gift” has admirable intentions at providing family-friendly entertainment, it really misses its target audience, painfully straining to appeal to “children of all ages.” The company’s movement-based storytelling techniques are inspired enough, and the ensemble has energy to spare, but this production has no place in prime time, and suffers from its own overreaching (and under realized) expectations. Less would certainly be more here—the proscenium set-up and scenery seem pointless efforts at legitimizing this as a “real play,” serving only to hinder the key element that could otherwise shine—simple, good, old-fashioned storytelling. Sure, this could be a warm and fuzzy afternoon outing for parents and young children (stick to the matinee)—but the story, and the obvious efforts of this ensemble, would be better served by leaving the proscenium stage behind, packing only the few necessary props in a suitcase, and heading out on a grade-school/library tour. (Valerie Jean Johnson)
At the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, (312)902-1500. This production is now closed.