One of America’s most popular children’s book characters will be brought to life in a brand-new way when the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse stages the area premiere of the family comedy JUNIE B. JONES IS NOT A CROOK. Running selected days through May 18, this charming, hilarious treat based on Barbara Park’s beloved literary series is filled with wit, heart and loads of laughs and boasts a sensational cast!

Circa ’21 will present show-only performances of JUNIE B. JONES IS NOT A CROOK on scheduled Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings and afternoons through May 18. Morning productions, with the doors opening at 9:30 a.m. and the shows beginning at 10 a.m., will take place on May 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, and 18. Afternoon productions, with 12:30 p.m. doors and 1 p.m. show times, are scheduled for May 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18.

Tickets are $9.50 per person. To reserve, contact the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse at 1828 Third Ave., Rock Island or by calling 309-786-7733, ext. 2.  Tickets can also be reserved online by going to www.circa21.com.

This continuation of the popular book and stage series showcasing Junie B. Jones – a young girl with a friendly, funny, curious and occasionally trouble-making personality – opens with its heroine enduring a terrible day at school, as someone has apparently stolen her favorite furry mittens. So when Junie B. finds a wonderful pen of many colors, she believes she should be allowed to keep it because, as Junie says, “Finders keepers, losers weepers!” Junie’s day gets even better when a handsome new boy shows up in her kindergarten class.

Unfortunately, Junie’s classmates Grace and Lucille both want him to be their boyfriend. But maybe he will love Junie B. instead when he sees her wonderful new pen? After all, it’s okay to keep it, because Junie B. Jones is not a crook … or is she? What follows in JUNIE B. JONES IS NOT A CROOK is a riotous, touching tale that delivers, in a hugely entertaining way, valuable lessons about taking what doesn’t belong to you and the best ways to make friends. As the Maryland Theater Guide stated, the show is “almost too much fun to be as heartfelt as it is.”

Directing JUNIE B. JONES IS NOT A CROOK is longtime Circa ’21 favorite Kimberly Kurtenbach, whose additional directing credits for the venue have included the family musicals “A Year with Frog & Toad” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Kurtenbach also directed three previous Barbara Park adaptations for the Rock Island dinner theatre “Junie B. Jones: The Musical,” “Junie B. Jones & A Little Monkey Business” and “Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells.”

Portraying the show’s titular kindergartner is Helene DeVine, who played Junie in St. Ambrose University’s 2015 production of “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells” and the show’s ensemble is completed by area stage performer Sydney Dexter and five additional Circa ’21 veterans: Derrick Bertram “Newsies,” Jake Daley “Grumpy Old Men: The Musical;” Brad Hauskins “Pinocchio;” Joanna Mills “Madagascar: A Musical Adventure” and Kirsten Sindelar “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical.”

Circa ’21 is thrilled to gather this group of tremendous talents for such a delightful, debuting stage adventure and encourages audiences to make reservations quickly at 309-786-7733 ext. 2 for the dazzling delight of JUNIE B. JONES IS NOT A CROOK.

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.