Hello Elly! An Introduction to Theater

Today I took the children to their first play.  Actually, I have to qualify that it was their first professional performance.  Aidan reminded he was in a wonderful production of Scrooged this Christmas at Brookwood School.  Nevertheless, we went to the Esplanade Recital Studio to see Hello Elly!

Syd Had to Wear a "Tutu" to the Play

The play is inspired by a story called the The Elephant and the Tree written and illustrated by Singaporean author Jin Pyn Lee.  I was not familiar with the book but we purchased a copy at the production.  It is simple but nicely illustrated in black and lime green.  It tells the story of an elephant and a tree that grow up happily together, then watch their forest destroyed by man and finish their days in captivity recounting a better time when they were free.

The elephant has to work hard labor for humans and the tree becomes a wooden saddle strapped to his back.  Kind of an darker version of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstien from my youth.  .

Fortunately, the play was much lighter.  The actors sang songs about elephants and the production was based on Elly the Elephant and Tree’s quest to find words that begin with each letter of the alphabet.  The children sat on the floor instead of in chairs and there were many aspects that involve their participation.

Sydney Grabs a Colored Ball Representing a Rainbow

The program stated the show was for 2 to 4 year olds.  Aidan was on the older end of the audiance spectrum but he enjoyed it.   It distressed him though when the cast member described first as “the hunter” was looking for Elly and we were asked not to tell where the elephant was hiding nearby.  The two year olds of course kept yelling “He’s Over There!!!”  Aidan kept telling them to shut up so the elephant could be free.  Definitely a difference in developmental stages.

The "F"lower Plays the "G"uitar

Fortunately the “hunter” turned out to be a  park ranger and the deforestation of the trees could be undone by clapping and singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”  Aidan astutely asked if the buildings were gone where then do the people live.  Ugh, too many questions for a ABC play maybe that is why 4 is the upper age limit 🙂

At the end of the play Aidan said “That Rocked!!” so I took that as a big thumbs up.   In April they are staging a production of The Magic Seashore where you join the lead characters Ling and Peppy to learn the ups and downs of prepositions!?!  Only in education obsessed  Singapore are the preschoolers learning prepositions in America we are happy if our toddler say “up” and reach somewhat in the proper direction.

4 thoughts on “Hello Elly! An Introduction to Theater

  1. My childhood metaphor is the Disney “Bambi” story. Same theme! So glad your kids enjoyed the play…I will never forget my “Bambi story audio record” as I listened to it over and over again…I suspect your children learned a sub-conscious desire to protect the environment through this experience, as I did through my audio-recording! That is a great life lesson to learn early in life, as preservation of what we all depend on, and need to exist, should indeed be a universal story!

    P.S. Can I take Aiden squirral hunting next fall?

    • That comment is the worst non-sequitur I have ever read! You think I would trust my first born alone with you and a gun. You would be happy to know that someone in my apartment saw a large cockroach but unfortunately for you it was dead so it does not scare me back to work. 🙂

      • Alright….if not your first born, how about your second born? I would love to teach her how to skin a rabbit!

      • She is becoming quite the princess. She has a older brother that makes her tough. She might do it for a pretty fur coat to go with a tutu.

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