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‘True Story' tells 2 sides of 3 pigs
Who: Dallas Children’s Theater and Imagination Celebration
When: 7 p.m. Monday
Where: Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave.
Tickets: $9-$17; 520-7469, pikespeakcenter.com
Something else: Arrive one hour early in pajamas or favorite character attire for hands-on projects, surprise guests and activity stations. Each child will receive a free keepsake Imagination Celebration PlayBook. Stay after the show for treats and autographs.
Dallas Children’s Theater has the skinny on what really went down at the three little pigs’ house.
In a follow-up to the classic children’s fairy tale about those pigs and the Big Bad Wolf, we catch up with said predator, Alexander T. Wolf. He’s now on trial in Pigsylvania for the murder of two of the three pigs. The Honorable Prudence Pig presides over his case, but she can be sweet-talked with a wee bit of musical theater. Seemingly on Wolf’s side is Lillian Magill, pig reporter. She wants the whole piggy truth and won’t rest until she gets it.
Did the wolf do it or not?
Kids ages 4 to 10 can appreciate the 55-minute musical, which gently reminds us there are always two sides to every story, director K. Doug Miller says.
“We should always listen to both sides before making a decision,” Miller says. “You’re never too young to learn that message. And don’t judge a book by its cover. Learn what that really means.”
“The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” opens at Pikes Peak Center on Monday courtesy of the Imagination Celebration.
Time Magazine called the nonprofit Dallas Children’s Theater, which was founded in 1984, one of the Top 5 theaters in the nation performing for youth. American Theatre magazine recognized the group, and it has gained support from National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, the Hearst Foundations and Kresge Foundation. The theater offers a season of 11 productions, a national touring company, theater academy and arts-in-education programs for Dallas schools.
Miller believes there are several reasons the nonprofit’s work — specifically the touring productions — is so well received. Not only are the sets professional looking and the acting high caliber, but, “We take kids by the hand, but never talk down to any ages.”
This is the third national tour he has directed for the company, though he’s also no stranger to being on the stage. He played the prince in a tour of “Cinderella, or Everybody Needs a Fairy Godmother” and Jack in “Jack and the Giant Beanstalk.”
“The kids who came, especially the school shows, it’s their first time experiencing live theater,” he says. “It’s magical for them. You do a meet and greet afterwards in the lobby and just to see the kids light up. It’s amazing.”
This particular production comes equipped with two endings. The audience gets to vote and decide the fate of Mr. Wolf. Miller can remember only one time the wolf was found guilty. He’s a likeable character and his story makes sense, he says. The kids can see he doesn’t receive the fairest treatment in the porcine courtroom.
“They’re learning about the judicial system, also,” he says.
After the shows, kids often get to talk with the actors and occasionally offer their own advice. Miller remembers one little boy who sympathized with the mighty sneeze that blew a pig’s house down.
“Mr. Wolf, I take allergy medicine, and I can share with you,” the boy told the actor.
But mostly, Miller says, they want to know about acting.
“They want to talk about what it’s like to be on stage. They’re intrigued with actors,” he says. “They ask if the actors get nervous, and they want to know how hard it is to memorize all those words.”
Jennifer Mulson may be reached at 636-0270.