I have to agree with my twins’ enthusiastic response to watching the Dallas Children’s Theater’s production of “The Pied Piper’s Magic.” DCT brings award winning author and illustrator Steven Kellogg’s book to life with a host of colorful characters and delivers a message of compassion, love and generosity. Lead character Peterkin, played wonderfully by Brian Hathaway, takes us on a journey filled with whimsical imagery and enlightening experiences. The show provides a fun interactive experience for the audience by extending the performance stage and bringing parts of the performance into the audience via the theater aisles.
Unlike the traditional “dark” Pied Piper, Kellogg’s Peterkin is a gentle soul intent on spreading good wishes and helping people. Peterkin takes a journey and the first person he encounters is Elbavol, a sad, grumpy old woman (and former witch!) who lives in the woods with her cat. Elbavol’s cottage is run down so Peterkin decides to fix it up for her with a little assistance from his helpers.
Elbavol gives Peterkin a special, magical pipe to thank him. Peterkin soon discovers that the secret of the pipe is that it brings words to life!
Peterkin plays the magical pipe to create words such as DEER and BUTTERFLIES and through the use of visuals, these animals appear all around him. Peterkin also discovers that he can change what he conjures by rearranging the letters; a big help later on when he rids a town of rats by turning the word RATS into STARS which then rise into the night sky, leaving the town free of its infestation.
I periodically looked over to see how my children were enjoying the show and was pleased to see how intently they watched and how their faces lit up as the story unfolded. As for myself, I really enjoyed watching the large cast of young actors perform. It was neat to see the effort they put into their roles and how comfortable they seemed to be on stage. I found out later that some of the children attend theater classes at DCT. (If you’re interested in enrolling your child in a theater camp, check out the DCT Academy and Teen Conservatory page for their theater camp info.)
The performance we attended was during opening weekend so we had the privilege of meeting Steven Kellogg at a book signing session scheduled before the show. He was so welcoming and patiently signed every book with an extra special autograph. Mr. Kellogg also took time to pose for photos with all the children—what a treat for everyone! (FYI—you can buy a copy of the book at the show.)
Here’s an up close image of his special autograph in my children’s book.
“The Pied Piper’s Magic” is a rare opportunity for your kids to see one of Steven Kellogg’s books adapted into a theater production because, as I understand it, he works exclusively with Dallas Children’s Theater to bring his books to the big stage. This is the last show of the current season and is playing through July 17th, 2011 so get your tickets today and don’t miss out on this wonderfully uplifting family show. While you’re there, you might think about getting season tickets for the 2011-2012 season so you don’t miss out on all of the great shows that DCT has planned!
Disclosure: The Dallas Children’s Theater invited my family to watch this performance of The Pied Piper. The above represents my personal opinion of this production.
Image Credit: Images 2 and 3 above were taken by Karen Almond.