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Partying with pigs, hanging around with Keith Harris

by Mark Burger

The veritable and venerable Children’s Theatre of Winston-Salem will be closing out its 2007-’08 season this week with a party. Notjust any party, but with the Tarradiddle Players (of Charlotte) andtheir special presentation of If You Give a Pig a Party, which will bepresented Thursday and Friday in the friendly confines of the ArtsCouncil Theatre (610 Coliseum Drive). As remarkable as it mayseem, the Children’s Theatre has been around for 68 years – next yearmarking its 69th birthday. Simply put, the Children’s Theatre is aninstitution – in the city, in the region, in the state and, yes, in theentire nation. Whole generations of young children have beenentertained and inspired there, and over the years they’ve broughttheir children, and their children’s children. According to thepopular series of children’s stories by Laura Joffe Numeroff, if yougive a pig a party, she’s bound to want it all: balloons, ice cream, apillow fight… and then she’ll want to clean up. But she’s not donepartying, and since the next room over is clean and pristine, justwaiting for a party to happen…. Well, you get the idea. Butamidst the revelry, this little piggy comes to realize that it’s not aparty without friends, so she decides to make her party everybody’sparty! (Now there’s a concept that anyone of any age can get behind!) AuthorNumeroff is renowned for such children’s books as If You Give a Mouse aCookie, If You Give a Moose a Muffin and If You Take a Mouse to theMovies, so there’s clearly a popular theme going on here! Showtimesare 10 a.m. and noon Thursday, 10 a.m. Friday – but be aware, the 10a.m. Thursday show is already sold out. No kidding, the Children’sTheatre is (and remains) one of the hottest tickets in the PiedmontTriad, never mind Winston-Salem. These shows pack ’em in, folks, likenobody’s business. General admission is $8, reserved seats are $12. Ifyou don’t get ’em now, you may not. For more information about the Children’s Theatre, call 336.725.4531 or see childrenstheatrews.org. •••• Ifyou’re a regular reader of this column (I know I am), then the name R.Keith Harris ought to be familiar. He’s one of the most prolific andpopular actors in the Triad (think Junebug or the upcoming Wesley orFall Down Dead). Currently, he can be seen in the remake of AprilFool’s Day (now on DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), whichwas filmed in Charlotte. It’s not a large role, unfortunately, but it’snice to see him. And if there’s a sequel (Yikes!), he can come back. Laterthis month, Harris can also be seen on UNC-TV’s "NC Visions," whichpresents films made by North Carolina filmmakers. Harris’ award-winningshort film, "Harvest," will be broadcast as part of the series. It’sscheduled to be shown during Episode 4, 11 p.m. on Saturday, May 24.And, for a double treat, the award-winning NCSA student film "KilroyWas Here," directed by Charles Boyles, and which was shown at theRiverRun International Film Festival a couple of years ago, will alsobe broadcast that night. One guess who the leading man in that filmis… although, most of the time, he’s just hanging around. As amatter of fact, the entire "NC Visions" series (which runs through June21, eight installments in all), is a terrific primer for thoseinterested in the talented filmmakers right here in the region. Thismarks the series’ 13th anniversary, and judging by some of the otherfilms being showcased in the coming weeks – including Nicole Triche’s"Metacarpus," Brett Haley’s "Sprinkler" (featuring one of the favoriteperformances of my late, great friend George Lee), Eyeborgs veteranScott Kyger’s "They’re Coming," NCSA alumni Karrie Crouse’s "TheTragedy of Glady," Patrick Horne’s "Harrison Bergeron," etc. – it oughtto be a lucky 13. At the very least, TiVo this stuff, would you? Youwon’t be sorry! For more information about the NC Visions series, checkout unctv.org/ncvisions/thisseason.html.

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