Put together some silly puns, catchy songs, ingenious costumes and liberties with the plot and you have StoryBook Theater's version of the classic tale of The Three Little Pigs.
In 3 Pigs, the pigs are all ladies – Sweet Pea, Calla Lilly and Petunia Blossom. "You can tell which one is the smart one because she wears glasses," my friend Logan astutely pointed out. The hungry one is only interested in food, and the one wearing big purple beads is interested in curling her tail and staying beautiful. She's the "Pig of the Litter."
Once they figure out that the humans are fattening them up to eat them, the girls hit the road, head to the City Dump and take over the resident wolf's house as their own. They reinforce it first with giant drinking straws (because beauty pig doesn't listen and picks up straws instead of straw) and then with stickers (hungry pig isn't listening when smart pig says to gather sticks) and then with bricks. The endearingly slinky and not-too-bright wolf tries to get his house back and find something to eat by the usual huffing and puffing.
In the question-and-answer period at the end of the show, some of the kids were wondering why the wolf was trying to blow down the house. Hint to parents: Go over the classic story right before going to the show so that the adaptation makes sense and the kids get the jokes.
Logan, who has just turned 8, thought the show was a bit babyish for him. He's right: This is best for kids ages 3 to 6, the predominant ones in the audience. Logan found the opening numbers – three songs in a row from the lady pigs – boring, but he was much more engaged once the wolf came out. Children in the audience laughed at his antics, and especially liked the parts where he chased the pigs up and down the theater aisles. Three volunteer children were invited on stage to help construct the wall of bricks on the house.
StoryBook Theater uses a giant foam board "book" as the backdrop to its plays; the actors flip the pages to change the scenes. It's a nice device, tying the plot to literature. Costumes are always a strong part of the theater group's productions. In the question-and-answer time, Logan asked what made the pink pig costumes so lumpy and bumpy. (I won't tell you; try to guess.) The wolf's costume was a wonderful conglomeration of patchwork fabric, fur and plastic. Kids can meet the characters and touch the costumes after the performances.
StoryBook Theater is a labor of love, headed by Lani Brockman, who directed this show, and Susan Bardsley, who created the music, played the keyboard and talked with the audience. Their love for children and their desire to introduce them to the joys of live theater shine through in this production.