The Highest Tide

I won’t lie: I’m not a fan of "Books on Tape." Being read to hasn’t appealed since puberty, so I came to Book-It’s trademark style of three-dimensional literary narration with a smidgen of skepticism. But under their aquamarine lighting, the Book-It cast animated Northwest author Jim Lynch’s The Highest Tide with hilarity and gusto (and live music, too). Miles O’Malley, a scrap of an amateur marine biologist (played by local eighth-grader Kellan Larson, who looks as though he were cast according to Lynch’s 4-foot-8 character description), relentlessly divulges the secrets of the mudflats off the Olympic peninsula with a booming, Poseidon-like voice and a quirky, endearing stage presence. Along with his muckmate Kenny (Hunter Larsen), they puzzle over man’s greatest mysteries: the cosmic pull of the tides, the elusive giant squid, the G-Spot. Between wooing his former babysitter (Sylvie Davidson) by recounting the mating practices of invertebrates and coaxing prophecies from "the old witch" (Leticia Jaramillo) on the beach, our plucky little hero kindles a nostalgia for the inquisitiveness of youth and a keen regret for the betrayed beauty of the natural world. JENNA NAND 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends May 10.

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: April 18. Continues through May 10, 2008

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