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The Phantom Tollbooth

This fall, Deer Isle-Stonington students in grades 3-8 are building and exploring the fantastical world of The Phantom Tollbooth. Originally a much-loved children’s novel, The Phantom Tollbooth is now a musical, adapted by the book’s original author, Norton Juster, with music and lyrics by Arnold Black and Sheldon Harnick.

Though the curtain opens on what appears to be “another boring afternoon,” the mysterious arrival of a phantom tollbooth soon plops the apathetic protagonist, Milo, into the Land of Wisdom, where words and numbers battle for primacy, and Rhyme and Reason (embodied by two very fair-minded princesses) have been banished, exiled, treated as traitors!

Accompanied by Tock, the watchdog, Milo ultimately finds himself attempting to negotiate a peace between embittered sibling rivals Duke Azaz (the unabridged) of Dictionopolis, and the Mathemagician of Digitopolis. If inter-opolis diplomacy wasn’t enough, he must do this all while fighting off the demons of ignorance- the Terrible Trivium, the Senses Taker, and Insincerity.

Will Milo bother to save the day? To bring Rhyme and Reason back into the Land of Wisdom from their Cellblock… ahem… Castle in the Air? Can one balance literacy and numeracy? Is there ever an end to the cleverness of this show?

The answers- along with a admirable sufficiency of laughs- can be found on the Reach Performing Arts Center Stage, Friday and Saturday, November 18th, 19th, at 7pm, and again on Sunday, November 20th at 2pm.

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