Laura and Stacey, the sole actors in Pork Chop Productions’ “Three Goats Gruff,” assured the children that it was really them behind the scary masks.
“When you see this,” Laura said, “it’s just me, don’t worry.”
Pork Chop Productions has been kicking-off the Charleston County Public Library’s summer reading program for six years now. Their appearance at the library is part of Piccolo Spoleto Festival’s children’s programming.
“They’re always well-received because they love audience participation,” said Charlotte Blasier, children’s librarian department manager. “The kids love being involved.”
For Tuesday’s performance, Pork Chop used masks and drums and a big copy of the Mona Lisa to enthrall the children. The first goat, Heidi, aspired to be a famous dancer but her friend, the Shepard, warned her that a big, mean troll lurked just beyond the bridge that Heidi needed to cross. Heidi didn’t listen to her friend and, sure enough, was scared away by the unseen troll’s growling threats.
“I will eat you for lunch,” the troll said.
“But it’s only ten in the morning!” Heidi responded, as she ran away.
“I loved the first goat,” 6-year-old Sam said. “She was the funniest.” Then Sam, a regular at the summer reading program, threw his hands up and did his own, very brief dance.
The other two goats were, respectively, Ringo the drummer and Vincent Van Goat, a painter.
Almost every seat was taken, which is how most performances go, according to Blasier. The audience ranged from children as young as two to grandparents. And Pork Chop didn’t leave the adults without their own amusement: the goats name-dropped Bob Dylan and Jan Brady, and the shepard mentioned his involvement with AARP. By the time the duo slipped into their best John Travolta impersonation with the Bee Gees playing behind them, the adults were smiling as much as the children.
Greg Cwik is a Goldring Arts Journalist from Syracuse University.