The homegrown Bumberchute Players of the Los Angeles Children's Museum are putting on a show for holiday visitors guaranteed to bring a little light into their lives. The show, "Night light," is about a child's fear of the dark.
It's all a bit patchy, as if it needs more time to come together, but the cast delivers with such good cheer that much is forgiven.
Directed by Candace Barrett and written by Joe Landon, with music by Nyna Shannon Andersen, the action starts as Charlie (fourth-grader Rasheed Anthony) is going to bed for the night. He uses delaying tactics so Mom (Monica McMurtry) won't turn out the light. He has a night light, but the shadows scare him.
One comes to life and soon Shadow (Pablo Marz) and Charlie set out to stop bad guy Lightfoot (Steven Jehring), who is plotting to steal all the shadows because he, too, is afraid of the dark.
Accompanying them are Charlie's flower, Night Blooming Neptune (Joan Harrison), and Orel the Tortoise (Frank Pittarese).
Along the way, Charlie learns to see the dark as something natural, not fearsome.
Songs and choreography (by Lyn Hoge) need more time to gel, but Orel's rap number is a crowd-pleaser. Harrison's light voice isn't up to her torch-song delivery, though, and not all of the score's lyrics are smoothly put together.
Marz and Jehring's comic timing helps things considerably, however, while bright-eyed young Anthony, upon whose small shoulders the central role rests, handles it all with appealing enthusiasm and never misses a cue.
The audience, provided with tiny flashlights before the show, has a starring role: playing stars in the night sky, that is. Tuesday's audience was right on cue every time.
Brian Faul's lighting, essential to the plot, needed refining at Tuesday's show. Martin Paull's set does the job and and Kris Doiel's costumes are colorful, but Shadow could use some strategic drapery.
\o7 At 310 N. Main St. through Dec. 30, daily at noon and 2 p.m., except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Free with $4 museum admission. (213) 687-8800.