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With added music, ‘Tollbooth’ banishes Doldrums

By Terry Byrne
Globe Correspondent / October 26, 2011

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The charm of Norton Juster’s book, “The Phantom Tollbooth,’’ lies in the author’s ability to take abstract concepts and attach them to arresting visual images, making them enormously accessible and entertaining for both children and adults. The musical adaptation captures the same delightful tone, and the production now playing at the Wheelock Family Theatre gathers a terrific ensemble to bring to life the Watch Dog, the Whether Man, the Demon of Insincerity, and all the other colorful denizens of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis.

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THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH Musical based on the book by Norton Juster.

Music by Arnold Black, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, book by Juster and Harnick.

Directed by Jane Staab. Musical director, Robert L. Rucinski.

Sets, Matthew T. Lazure. Lights, Franklin Meissner Jr. Costumes, Lisa Simpson. Choreography, Laurel Conrad.

At the Wheelock Family Theatre through Nov. 20. Tickets: $20-$30. 617-879-2300, www.wheelockfamily