Who knew three little pigs and one big, bad wolf could create such drama? Most of us know the classic fable The Three Little Pigs, but it is not often we are treated to its musical variant. Today, the first grade classes came together onstage in the Johnson Theater to perform the comedic opera version of the tale, appropriately titled The Three Piggy Opera, for their parents.
All of the students had a role in the musical play, ranging from speaking, singing, dancing, or some combination of the three.
Becky Peterson, Lower School music teacher, worked diligently with the children over the past few weeks to prepare them for the display of musical prowess. Always quick to praise others, Mrs. Peterson credited the first grade teachers and Mr. Elbert Watson, Norfolk Academy’s Dance Master, for the time and effort they contributed in preparing the students. While this was the eighth year the first graders put on the show, it was the first time they all appeared in the same dance.
“Mr. Watson was able to arrange his schedule so he could meet with all of the first graders to practice the choreography,” said Mrs. Peterson. “It is fantastic for the students to have a male role model in the arts. He really just makes them makes them shine.”
Yesterday, the first graders held a performance for their senior buddies. The actors marched onto the stage giddy with excitement and murmurs of approval rippled through the audience of 12th graders whenever their buddy was performing. Roars of laughter echoed around the theater whenever the Big Bad Wolf, brilliantly portrayed by Shaan Thakkar ’29, made his way across the stage, shouting, “I want a BIG, HUMONGOUS pig to eat!”
Various peddlers attempted to sell their wares to the three pigs, as they searched for a material to use in order to build a house. A song and dance followed each pig’s purchase: “Cotton-Eye Joe” accompanied the house made of straw; Liberace’s version of “Chopsticks” played during the building of the house made of sticks; popular sports anthem “We Will Rock You” – paired with a catchy hand clap – rang out when assembling the house made of rocks (an off-script addition from the original tale); and The Commodores’ “Brick House” helped build up the house of bricks.
The performance culminated with a disco-dancing session between the students onstage and the audience, before the Senior-First grade buddies met for some post-performance socializing.
Senior Josh Gould ’18 was clearly excited for his first grade buddy, Mitchell Wight ’29. “He had a solo at the end and I was really proud of him,” he said.
Juliette Benedetto ’18 and Noa Greenspan ’18 enjoyed watching the first graders get all dressed up. “There were so many voices that sounded like one big voice,” they said. Their buddy, Sumner Hester ’29, thought the addition of the peddlers in the story was a fun part of the show. She was not hesitant to voice her thoughts on the part of the performance that gave her the biggest challenge, saying, “I thought the dances were pretty tricky.”