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John Kinzer
IU Department of Theatre and Drama

Last modified: Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Indiana Festival Theatre's 'True Story of 3 Little Pigs' offers families a rib-tickling good time

WHAT: "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs," adapted from the book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, with music by Paul Gilvary and William Rush, book and lyrics by Robert Kauzlaric.
WHEN: Opens June 23, with additional performances June 26 to 30 and July 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7. All performances begin at 11 a.m.
WHERE: All performances take place in the Studio Theatre in the Lee Norvelle Theatre & Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave. in Bloomington. No photography or recording of any kind is permitted during performances.
TICKETS: General admission is $8.
OTHER: Parking is available on the upper level of the Jordan Avenue parking lot. Families are encouraged to arrive early to make their very own snout. The craft table, outside the theater, will open at 10:30 a.m. before every performance. Additionally, audience members will have the opportunity to meet the cast after the show.

June 20, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana Festival Theatre will present the family musical "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs," with the opening performance at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 23.

Robert Kauzlaric, who wrote the script and lyrics, and the composing team of Paul Gilvary and William Rush have lovingly adapted one of the most popular children's books of recent times, Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith's best-selling "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs."

In this family-friendly musical, law and order meets Old McDonald charm in a Piggsylvania courtroom, where the Big Bad Wolf is tried for the murder of two-thirds of the title characters. The audience takes on the role of the jury and is guided through the trial by investigative reporter-pig Lillian Magill. Eager to land an exclusive from Alexander T. Wolf, Magill continuously seeks out a more complete and balanced portrayal of the events that make up the tale of the Three Little Pigs.

The audience will hear testimony from Dr. Billy Shears; Martha, an eye-witness of the tragedies; Maxwell, the only surviving pig in the victims' family; and finally, Alexander ("Al") T. Wolf himself. The show is packed with catchy pig-themed songs, delightful piggy puns and priceless, porcine baby-back-rib ticklers.

Scieszka and Smith's picture book, on which the musical is based, was first published in 1989. Since then it has sold more than 3 million copies and has been translated into 14 languages.

"It was one of my favorite books growing up," said Taylor Crousore, who plays Al Wolf in the Indiana Festival Theatre production. "Who wouldn't want to play the big, bad wolf?"

Crousore might be well-known to local theater audiences: He took the role of Professor Harold Hill in the Indiana Festival Theatre's production of "The Music Man" last year; played Jack Kerouac in the Bloomington Playwright Project's "Maggie Cassidy"; and currently is playing Smokey in the Indiana Festival Theatre's "Damn Yankees." Kids know him as the host of WTIU's award-winning children's show, "The Friday Zone."

"Both 'Damn Yankees' and 'The 3 Little Pigs' are two very high-energy, over-the-top, fun shows," he said. "It's gonna be a blast!"

Crousore is excited "The 3 Little Pigs" will be presented in the Indiana Festival Theatre's small, intimate, 60-seat Studio Theatre.

"I think it is a wonderful space," he said. "I love being so close with an audience, feeling their energy right there. You just feed off of it right away. I very much look forward to performing in there."

Other cast members include Chloe Williamson as Lillian Magill and Pig No. 3; Charnette Batey as Judge Prudence and Pig No. 1; Hana Slevin as Prosecutor Julia and Pig No. 2; and Matt Birdsong playing various other roles. Guest director is Chad Rabinovitz, artistic director of the Bloomington Playwrights Project; musical director is Jay Ivey; costume designer is Jason Orlenko; scenic designer is Fred M. Duer; and lighting designer is Lee Burckes.

"The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs" is highly interactive, and families are encouraged to arrive early to make their very own snout. The craft table will be outside the theater and opens at 10:30 a.m. before every performance.

The show opens June 23 and continues June 26 to 30 and July 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7. All performances begin at 11 a.m., and general admission is $8 per person.

Indiana Festival Theatre's series is a highlight of the university's second annual Summer Festival of the Arts, a 113-day celebration that features visual arts, music, cinema, dance and theater on the Bloomington campus.