T * "Tom Sawyer," Irvine Valley College Theatrefaire. Resplendent in rumpled linen and puffing a fat see-gar , Donald Formaheck's Mark Twain was the ideal traveling companion for this beautifully staged journey through the old South, the latest in Theatrefaire's string of consistently high-quality family shows.
* "Revenge of the Space Pandas," South Coast Repertory's Young Conservatory Players. Tie-dyed pandas and sight gags for the kids, a hint of David Mamet's acid humor for the grown-ups, no lessons, no morals, just lots of silliness, played up by Rhonda Winger Earick's comic-book costumes.
* "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," the Orange County Children's Theatre. Best suited to the sandbox set, "Pied Piper" featured a baker's dozen of the cutest rodents ever to raid a larder. Teen-ager Luis Eayes as the brooding piper offered a peek at the story's darker side in this outdoor staging.