Lyle the Crocodile books, by Bernard Waber, had not been the first choice for bedtime reading in our house. My boys always wanted to hear more adventures of Captain Underpants, and my daughter always asked to hear what Pinkalicious was up to next. We have all the Lyle books though, and we did read them – Lyle can always be counted on to teach a good life lesson. However, this production of Lyle the Crocodile at Imagination Stage, adapted for the stage by Kevin Kling, music by Richard Gray and directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer, is so entertaining, we would definitely it take off the shelf every single night.
Lyle surprises the Primms when they find him living in their new house on 88th Street in New York City. Of course, the Primms are doubtful that they can share their new home with a crocodile, but when they realize how special Lyle is, he quickly becomes part of the family. Not all of their neighbors, however, are as happy to have Lyle living on their street. Mr. Grumps, played by the perfectly cantankerous Michael John Casey, is the hardest neighbor to charm, and things really start looking grim when Mr. Grumps has Lyle sent to the zoo! Will all the neighbors on 88th Street pull together and free Lyle? Will Mr. Grumps learn to appreciate Lyle’s talents and live harmoniously on 88th Street? It’s most certainly worth spending the 60 minutes to find out!