KC Rep’s ‘Between the Lines’ is a whimsical, wonderful production

Fueled by great voices, terrific performances and the most sophisticated display of stage technology ever seen in Spencer Theatre, the new musical “Between the Lines” has all the makings of a major crowd pleaser.

Based on the best-selling novels by Jodi Picoult and her then-teenage daughter, Samantha van Leer, this show — it opens Kansas City Rep’s 53rd season — unfolds in two realities.

The first is your everyday high school where our heroine, Delilah (Arielle Jacobs), copes with bullies and mean girls. But at least at school Delilah doesn’t have to deal with her newly divorced, overworked and stressed-out mom, Grace (Shanna Jones).

Small wonder Delilah takes refuge in a book, a fairy tale about a faraway kingdom, a handsome prince, a dragon, and a man-dog. Problem is, the yarn’s hunky/charming Prince Oliver (Curt Hansen) starts stepping off the page and into Delilah’s reality.

With direction by Broadway veteran Jeff Calhoun, book by Timothy Allen McDonald and songs by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson, “Between the Lines” blends reality and fantasy through the escapist lens of literature (think “Neverending Story” or “The Princess Bride”).

This allows the show to delve into serious real-life issues (especially parent/child antagonisms), balancing them against the comic cleverness of the fairy tale world.

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