Review: Holes 

3 stars

Indiana Repertory Theatre; directed by David Bradley. Based on a Newberry Award-winning children's novel, Holes seems to satisfy IRTs goal of building multigenerational audiences. Opening night was populated largely by parents, grandparents and children, many likely who have read Louis Sachar's book or seen the 2003 movie. The play, also written by Sachar, re-introduces us to Huck Finn-like hero Stanley Yelnats (Nick Abeel), who whines about the family bad luck that, at the story's outset, has landed him in a camp for wayward boys. At the misnamed Camp Green Lake, building character means digging holes in the desert and hardening young hearts. Stanley's family history from Latvia to Texas is interwoven nicely, with gun-toting criminals barreling across the crater-filled camp set, but the action is a weak writer's idea of a child's fantasy, with dull-witted parents, cartoon villains and an unexciting treasure hunt. Still, the child actors shine. Among five solid performers are Matthew Joseph Lindblom as the crazed Zigzag, Jaron Cook as thieving Magnet, and Mauricio Suarez as Zero, the forbearing runt of the litter who teaches Stanley that even when life is unfair, you can work to make it better for yourself and others. Through Nov. 6; 635-5252;

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