As the musical states, “We live in a tunnel of rock, so we rock” and the cast of “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed” did just that! Adapted from the book of the same name by renowned and beloved children’s author Mo Willems with music by composer Deborah Wicks La Puma this musical delights children and adults and begs the question, “Why Not?”.

The musical is Seattle Children’s Theatre’s (SCT) newest production and was the main event for their annual Places! Gala on March 24th at the Charlotte Martin Theatre nestled below the Space Needle at the Seattle Center. In attendance were community members, students and teachers from SCT, local celebrities and Mo’s friend and fellow author Tom Warburton (of “Codename: Kids Next Door” fame). Two hundred and forty adults and 105 children donned their best ‘rocker chic’ attire from The Stones to unicorn horns to rock out with Mo Willems (Honorary Chair/author) and the cast to support the Seattle Children’s Theatre whose mission is to ‘provide children of all ages access to professional theat, with a focus on new works, and theatre education”.

Seattle Children’s Theatre’s production, “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed” opened on March 22nd and runs through May 13th, 2018. The musical stars 4 naked mole rats: Tall, Grande, Venti, and Wilbur. Wilbur likes to wear clothes to the disgust and dismay of his fellow tunnel dwelling naked mole rats. Wearing clothes allows Wilbur to explore different personalities and challenge the status quo. The colony’s patriarch, Grand-Pah, realizes that Wilbur’s innate desire to wear clothes goes against the norm, but asks the colony, “Why not?”  The message of the musical shows children and adults that “If it hurts someone, don’t do it! If it’s fun, get to it!” Artistic Director, Courtney Sale, mentioned in her introduction that this theme is especially important in this time when “young people are leading the way with passion, with empathy, with collaboration”.

The Seattle Children’s Theatre has provided more than 4 million youth of the Puget Sound Region with access to productions, drama school, and outreach programs for over 40 years. Events like this gala support the efforts of SCT to continue to inspire and educate. Attendees were able to purchase different packages to the event as well donating via text using a code on the back of their VIP passes to “Raise the Curtain”. Packages for the event included complimentary valet, pre-show drinks and nibbles, entrance to the musical, dinner at the Chihuly Garden and Glass for the adults, and activities for the children (who attended for free).

Post-show the adults exited the theatre to the booming and vibrant beats of the Blue Thunder drumline who generally entertain Seahawks fans before, during, and after games. On this day, their high energy rhythms led the attendees (and curious onlookers) toward Chihuly Garden and Glass where the adults were treated to a delicious meal of roasted chicken breast and sundried tomato goat cheese ravioli provided by the chefs of Chihuly Garden and Glass.

During the meal, attendees heard stories from the community who have benefited from SCT’s outreach efforts, including Danise Heisey, a 1st grade teacher from Northwest School for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, who spoke about how SCT has been able to include her classrooms over the years by synching their cochlear implants with the theatre sound system. Stories like these exemplify how important the arts and the theatre are to the Puget Sound region and how the Seattle Children’s Theatre is doing all it can to accommodate and make theatre available for all children!

The Seattle Children’s Theatre’s next production will be, “The Lamp is the Moon” from April 12- May 20, 2018.

Visit: SCT.org

 

Mo Willems (author and playwright) and Deborah Wicks La Puma (composer). Photo Cred: Eva Blanchard

Mo Willems (author and playwright) and Deborah Wicks La Puma (composer). Photo Cred: Eva Blanchard