No matter the context, being called a "pig" is seldom considered a compliment. Suggestive of being any combination of unkempt, greedy, gluttonous, and malicious, "pig" has become an unflattering label for a vast range of targets, including male chauvinists, abusive authority figures, and ethically depraved corporate swindlers. But with such widespread negativity ascribed to one animal's name, isn't it possible that the pig hasn't been given a fair chance? Could it be that that the pig, a seemingly benign creature, could in actuality possess attributes entirely at odds with the derogatory associations of its name? Such questions might be worth considering when viewing the Children's Theatre Company's new production of Babe, The Sheep-Pig. Based on British author Dick King-Smith's novel, The Sheep-Pig (and the popular 1995 movie treatment Babe), this stage adaption by David Wood hews closely to the original story, using the tale of a courageous and kindhearted pig to challenge social definitions. Awarded to a sheep farmer as a novelty prize, Babe faces the daunting task of proving that his worth goes beyond being the main course on the dinner table. Thankfully, the pig's innate goodness—coupled with some guidance from Fly, the farmer's sympathetic canine—leads Babe to improbable success as a first rate sheep-dog. Helmed by Peter C. Brosius, the CTC's artistic director, and boasting an impressively selected cast consisting of CTC regulars (including Dean Holt and Reed Signumd) and Twin Cities favorites (like Mo Perry), Babe promises wittily engaging entertainment for all ages. By the end of the show, the word "pig" might just have a new and thoroughly improved meaning.
Tue., Jan. 18, 7 p.m.; Wednesdays, Thursdays, 7 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m.; Sundays, 5 p.m. Starts: Jan. 18. Continues through Feb. 27, 2011