Recommended by Rich Smith
Everything about this musical adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle looks good. Hayao Miyazaki’s anime, which was based on Diana Wynne Jones’s novel, is a wondrous fairy tale about the perils of wondrous fairy tales, and it’s beloved by all—or at least by all who harbor no particular fondness for the Iraq war. Book-It’s all-star cast features Sara Porkalob, whose solo show, Dragon Lady, floored me in all of its iterations. Expect top-notch performances from Randall Scott Carpenter, Kate Jaeger, and Opal Peachey, too. Justin Huertas will compose the songs and write the lyrics. His widely acclaimed musical Lizard Boy debuted at Seattle Repertory Theatre a couple years back, he’s been a touring cellist with the Broadway show Spring Awakening, and he displayed solid comedic chops during Book-It’s production of Welcome to Braggsville. He’ll likely draw out as much humor as he can from the story while still maintaining the magic.