When J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy tale “The Hobbit” was first published in 1937, it became an instant classic whose popularity compelled the author to write “The Lord of the Rings” as a sequel. And while the “Rings” trilogy is much darker than “The Hobbit,” the latter is still primarily considered a children’s work that’s been adapted for the stage, radio, audiocassette, CD, and as video and computer games. Lest you think that a convincing live performance could only be delivered by a theater with a budget sufficient to create the many and varied creatures found in “The Hobbit,” think again – because the minuscule Maverick Theater and sister company Improv Shmimprov have just opened a credible, often impressive live stage production based on Patricia Gray’s 1968 adaptation. More..