From the very start, the idea behind Mary Norton’s 1952 children’s novel “The Borrowers” has captivated audiences young and old. The idea of a family of mini-people carrying on their lives beneath the floorboards of our houses holds a kind of irresistible universal appeal, and as fodder for a story it provides plenty of potential conflict and drama. That is no doubt why Norton’s tiny characters have had such long lives both in literature and on the screen.

Last year’s “The Secret World of Arrietty,” an adaptation of the story by a Japanese movie studio, proved popular. And the Borrowers have also appeared in a 1997 film and several television movies and series. And now, Theatre of Youth is bringing Norton’s story to life with an adaptation of the book by Charles Way opening Friday.

The show, directed by TOY Artistic Director Meg Quinn, stars Arin Lee Dandes as the young protagonist Arrietty Clock, whose desire to connect with humans is always getting her into trouble. She’s joined on the Allendale Theatre stage by Marc-Jon Filippone, Lee Becker, Loraine O’Donnell, Annette Daniels Taylor, Jacob Kahn and Adam Rath. In association with the production, Talking Leaves Books (3158 Main St.) will host a book club event, complete with games and activities, at 10:30 a.m. March 23. – Colin Dabkowski


“The Borrowers” – When: 7:00 p.m. Friday through March 24. Where: Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St. Tickets: $24 to $26. Info: 884-4400,