Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Children's Musical Theater at the Troy Civic Theater, A Plant's Life, June 27

Every summer the Troy Recreation Department sponsors several Children's Musical Theater plays.  This year the first play was "A Plant's Life."  The actors ranged in age from just having finished kindergarten to just having finished fifth grade.

The play moved fast and even though I was continually snapping photos I missed getting a photo of one of the highlights because I didn't expect it.  The play reminded me of the Fractured Fairy Tales that were on the Bullwinkle and Rocky cartoon show when my children were young.

The production opened with a rousing version of Rockin' Robin.  You can see the beaks and feathers on the performers.


Here is a closer look at two of the birds.


The play combined three folk tales...Stone Soup, Jack and the Bean Stalk, and The Princess and the Pea.
Ash and Birch trees talking together tied the three sections  together.

The trees were sad because they didn't think people appreciated them, their beauty or the fact that they breathed out oxygen for people to breathe in.  The trees made a long list of what plants give people that people don't thank them for.



The tale of Stone Soup began with four friends complaining because they were hungry and they had no money for food.   They sang, "We All Stand Together."


But then one of them had an idea.  They put a stone in their pot and started stewing it.  They told the food vendors, the Villagers, they could have some of the stew if they added something from their baskets of food.  The stew was wonderful.


The Ash and Birch trees were still not happy.  Their fruits and vegetables were being eaten and the people didn't say thank you to the plants who had provided their food.


The scene switched to Jack's mother telling him to sell their cow because they needed money for food.


Here's Jack with the cow who was very good at saying Moo whenever people were having conversations.


Jack sold his cow for a handful of beans but before the buyer could take the cow a prince came along and claimed the cow for himself.  What could poor Jack and the Bean Seller do except obey?  That's Merlin with the prince.  He's the one with the fancy hat and the wand.


Before long a Princess in disguise and her friend joined the group.  The Princess wanted to have an adventure.  She was tired of living in the palace and wearing fancy dresses.  She was with Jack and the Bean Seller when they told Jack's mother the sad story about the cow.


And you remember how Jack's mother threw away the beans and the enormous bean stalk grew.





Oops! Here, Merlin is setting out the Giant's treasure.  The stage crew who are the actors and actresses as well almost forgot to set it out.



The giant awoke and caught three of the fortune seekers but Jack got away.



Help was on the way.


Jack cut the bean stalk

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..and the COW knocked it down, killing the Giant in the process.  

I didn't foresee the Cow having such an important part and didn't get that photo.  I don't remember any other version of the story  mentioning how important the Cow was to the successful ending of the adventure. 

Of course, the Cow said, "Moo."

Afterward the Ash and Birch trees were a bit annoyed, too, that a COW had knocked down that bean stalk.

But, on to the final act of "A Plant's Life".

The king and queen wanted their son, the prince in the blue crown,  to have a wife, a real princess.


There were three possibilities.


The princesses spent several days as guests of the royal family and slept in a  high bed piled with mattresses at night, a special bed the prince's mother had chosen for them.

Only one princess passed the test.  She complained there was something hard under all the mattresses.
The Pea complained, too.  The Pea had been really uncomfortable with that heavy princess sleeping on it.

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The ash and birch trees decided that people did know  plants were important, especially, when there were difficult decisions to be made like who a prince should marry.



Everyone was happy again and gathered on stage in their bird costumes to sing "High Hopes".



1 comment:

Far Side of Fifty said...

What a fun production..who woulda thought the cow was that important! Happy July 4th! :)