In five months, Walt Disney Pictures plans to release a $100 million special-effects-laden version of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," C.S. Lewis's classic story about four children who are magically transported to Narnia, a parallel world full of talking animals and high adventure.

For those who can't wait to look through Professor Digory Kirke's wardrobe and into the snow-covered lands of the White Witch, the Kaleidoscope Theatre Company will present a 45-minute production of Le Clanche du Rand's stage version Saturday at the Woodrow Wilson Library.

Sure, the folks at the small Alexandria-based children's theater are working on a smaller budget (two actors perform all of the roles) than the Disney visual-effects wizards. But Narnia has been a living world in the imaginations of young readers for 55 years without a pixel of digital imagery to help render it. With "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" -- the first of Lewis's seven Chronicles of Narnia -- the story is the thing.

In the tale, the four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, discover that permanent winter (though never Christmas) has gripped the once-green land of Narnia. The deep freeze is the result of the evil magic of the White Witch, who rules with a cruel hand and turns all who defy her to stone.

The witch is worried by the news of the children's arrival; a prophecy of their coming predicts her own doom, and she sets out to destroy them. The children, meanwhile, are in search of Aslan, a godlike being (the book is at least a partial Christian allegory) in the form of a lion whose arrival in Narnia could lead to the salvation of all.

The Kaleidoscope Children's Theatre is in the midst of a summer tour of Fairfax County library branches. Performances are also scheduled for libraries in McLean, Annandale, Burke, Chantilly, Alexandria and Reston.


The Wilson library is at 6101 Knollwood Dr. in the Falls Church area. For more information, including a schedule of performances, visit The play is recommended for ages 4 and older. For information about the library, call 703-820-8774 or visit

Trip Lloyd and Jill Nienhiser in Kaleidoscope Theatre Company's production of the C.S. Lewis tale "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."