By Michelle G. Lyerly
So many mysteries to solve and so little time.
With summer reading winding down to a close, young detectives everywhere were clueless about what Kannapolis Library’s Monday night program, Bright Star Theatre, would include.
“I think it’s going to be like a magic show,” said Haley Pullian, 6.
“I guess they’re going to do a Little Red Riding Hood play or something and maybe there will be some kind of treasure in the treasure chest or lemons or lemon seeds or something,” said Angel Hackworth, 10, noticing the reference to the Lemonseed Sisters.
Riley Zimmermann, 3, was uncertain about the set-up but nevertheless intrigued by what was in the treasure chest.
Thomas Zimmermann, 7, just kept reading his Harry Potter book, unaffected by the whole debate.
Even mom Terry Hackworth was confused about Monday’s program. “I just know it’s a theatre group of some sort. Looks interesting though,” Hackworth said.
“Ladies and gentleman, readers of all ages, please direct your attention to the world famous Lemonseed Sisters!” said Molly Lemonseed as she introduced her triplet sisters Dolly and Polly.
The only catch ó Polly was missing. Now the show could not go on.
But wait ó the kids in the audience could help the remaining Lemonseed sisters tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood.
With Jessi Hackworth, 8, Haley Pullian and Thomas Zimmermann playing trees in the forest, the “mystery of the missing story” was now solved. The rest of the audience had to keep their eyes out for the sneaky wolf.
In this unique Lemonseed version of the old familiar story, Little Red Riding Hood learned some important lessons along the way to Grandma’s house “just beside the Walgreen’s.”
“Maybe I should have gone the way my mother told me,” said Little Red Riding Hood after getting lost in the woods.
Little Red Riding Hood eventually arrived at her grandmother’s house and found out Grandma had been eaten by the Big Bad Wolf.
“There must be something I can do to get out of being eaten,” she told the wolf, as she vowed to stay out of the woods.
“Always be good,” the wolf said.
“I will, Mr. Wolf, I will indeed,” Little Red Riding Hood agreed.
That was the end of the story, but the whereabouts of Polly Lemonseed remained a mystery.
As it turned out, Polly Lemonseed had been in the library the whole time reading Harry Potter.
“Well, books are so magical,” Polly reasoned.
And the show that had been such a mystery turned out to be a favorite among the kids.
“Mommy, my favorite part was Grandma!” Kaitlyn Cabaniss, 4, said .
Her twin brother’s favorite character was the wolf, “because that’s my favorite,” Christian Cabaniss, 4, declared.Yusef Ahmed, 4, and little sister Mariam, 2, had mixed emotions about the wolf.
“I think he’s so funny,” said Yusef.
“I think the wolf is scary,” said Mariam.
Molly and DollyLemonseed were played by Lindy Flowers and GretchenFarris of Bright Star Theatre, a traveling company founded five years ago by Karri and DavidOstergaard of Hendersonville with the goal of bringing “high caliber professional theatre to young people.”
“They were great and really cute. This is geared for 4- to 8 -year-olds, so they pretty much fit the age range, for this show at least,” Gretchen Ostergaard said.Wendy Nowack, mom of Sarah, 3, was impressed by the high caliber of performance.
“It gives them (the children) an introduction to live performance as opposed to TV and movies cause that’s what they’re exposed to most of the time,” Nowack said.
“I thought it was really very good. They were very entertaining,” said children’s librarian Ginger Russell, also impressed by the quality and accessibility of the show.According to Russell, the official count was 35. This is the final week of summer reading.
Bright Star Theatre will return Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. for Stories under the Stars. The program then will be “The Lady of Bullyburg.”