REVIEW: ‘The Three Little Pigs’ is Great Family-Friendly Fun

Perfect for kids and kids at heart, the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance’s latest production, The Three Little Pigs, A Very Curly Musical Tale is pure joy to watch.

Under the direction of Lynnae Lehfeldt, with musical direction by Jamie Reed, and choreography by Rachel Constantino, the talented cast brings the music by George Stiles and book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe (Mary Poppins and HONK!) delightfully to life.

The Three Little Pigs is a story we all know well, but this production puts a fresh spin on the classic tale, which I found highly enjoyable. Of course, there is Mother Pig played endearingly by Kelsi Fay and her three little pigs: Cha (Josh Frink), Siu (Emily Fishman), and Bao (Meghan Andzrejewski). Each piggy has a personality of his or her own. Cha is the brawn, Siu is bubbly, and Bao is the brains. Early on Mother Pig says, ‘family sticks together,’ which is the overall theme of the play. In addition to sticking together, it also emphasizes the importance of helping each other out and how everyone has something to offer with their different talents. All of these are not only important lessons for kids, but also excellent reminders for adults as well. The story would not be complete without the Big Bad Wolf played with impish charm by Tony Sharpé. Birds Twit (Annika Andersson) and Twoo (Haley Spencer) and a few merchants (all played by Dryden Zurawski) round out the cast.

L-R Emily Fishman as ‘Siu,’ Josh Fink as ‘Cha,’ and Meghan Andzrejewski as ‘Bao.”
Photo credit: JLBoone Photography

There are lots of fun play on words. Like when Mother Pig tell her kids their father was a boar (they think she means a bore) and when the Big Bad Wolf comments on his ‘killer smile.’ And the songs are so catchy. Particularly fun is the Big Bad Wolf’s “I’m just a bit misunderstood.” Honestly, if this were a Disney movie, I’d be buying the soundtrack and any merchandise that went along with it. There were at least 50 toddler-aged children at the 10:00 a.m. show I attended and it was impressive how captivated they were the entire time. At various points during the shows the actors come off stage to interact with the kids, which thrilled them even more. And I had to chuckle when the Big Bad Wolf asked for help finding the three little piggies because most of the kids told him to go in the opposite direction. Oh, and did I mention pajamas are acceptable attire for the May 18 and June 8, 7:00 p.m. shows? Once the production is finished, the show will hit the road and entertain audiences at various schools in the area. Not only will this be great experience for the actors, but it also solidifies how Oakland University and the School of Music, Theatre and Dance plays an important role in our community. Speaking of the actors, they are to be commended for treating this children’s musical with just as much professionalism as they brought to their more serious roles this season in The School for Scandal (Dryden Zurawski) and Hands on a Hardbody (Kelsi Fay and Tony Sharpé).

The play runs approximately 45 minutes without intermission in the Varner Recital Hall, not the Varner Studio Theatre. Grab your little piggies and take them to one of the remaining performances. And make sure you stick around after the show for a chance to meet the cast.

Friday, May 18, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.*
Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
Friday, June 8, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. *+

Tickets are $10 general, $6 students, and children two and under free.

*Pajamas encouraged

+Shadow-signed for the Deaf by Synergy on Stage

About Sarah Hovis

Word manipulator, arts appreciator, sports spectator, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at sarah@rochestermedia.com.

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