Staged as a non-stop, tour-de-force romp by Chicago-based director Rachel Rockwell, “Wimpy” stars Windy City phenom Ricky Falbo (center in red cap; photo by Tom Wallace) as the preteen title character Greg Heffley. Greg wants to stand out in middle school instead of simply being stuck in the middle. In his quest for status, he behaves badly, betraying his best friend and lying on a classmate, among other things, before eventually learning important lessons about himself and his friends.The hot-selling show, adapted from Jeff Kinney’s graphic novel series and the three movies his books spawned, will now close June 12 after selling out over 90 percent of its available seats.
In budgetary and other terms, "Wimpy" is perhaps the biggest, most complicated production in the theater’s 50-year history. It has over 50 scenes and a set that is in constant motion, giving the show the feel not just of a fluid Broadway-style spectacular, but also of a live-action film.
The show is backed by Broadway producer Kevin McCollum and Fox’s theatrical arm. In fact, a steady stream of New York and Hollywood muckety-mucks have been flying into the Twin Cities to check out the production, fueling speculation that “Wimpy” will land on Broadway.
But unlike the affably loquacious Greg Heffley, theater officials are mum. They're letting the ka-chinging at the box office do all the speaking.