Thanks to an ad on Facebook, I just realized there is a Nashville Children's Theater. I looked it up to see what was playing, and was just in time to buy tickets to the opening night of Elephant and Piggie's We Are In A Play.

Elephant and Piggie are the title characters in an early reader series by Mo Willems that we hadn't explored, but we knew we were fans of Willems' Pigeon books, and his Knuffle Bunny trilogy, so we guessed we'd also enjoy Piggie and Elephant and their play.

It wasn't Hamish's first live theater performance (we saw the storyteller in Jonesborough), but she hasn't been to many. The Children's Theater offers booster seats, which is a great service, and she sat solemnly waiting for the show to start.

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The show is simple and is made up of the plots of several Elephant and Piggie books. The books feature a pig, Piggie, and an elephant, Gerald, who are best friends. They love each other and spend time doing things like wearing silly hats and playing games and dancing. A few other characters occasionally show up, but the interactions are simple.

In the play, my most immediate concern was that Piggie and Gerald wore only in suggestive costumes. Piggie wore a pink tutu and tights and had her hair in pigtails. Gerald wore a gray suit and hat with a long, gray scarf. I was worried that either she wouldn't get it, or she would object to the "fake" Gerald, especially, and demand a more realistic elephant. Of course I shouldn't have worried.

We enjoyed an hour or so of Piggie and Gerald learning to dance, sharing ice cream, and deciding what to wear to a fancy pool costume party. At the end, when Piggie and Gerald realized they were in a play, and there was an audience, we sang and waved our hands and clapped on demand.

It was a cute play, well-done and energetic. But the best part has come in the two weeks (so far) since. Of course we have checked out a whole stack of Elephant and Piggie books from the library, and Hamish has decided that she is Piggie and Kyle is Gerald.

Fauntleroy and I don't have specific roles in this drama. Hamish conceded that I could be Mama Piggie and Fauntleroy could be Chunka Monka, but those roles don't have much to do.

But Hamish and Kyle have played Piggie and Gerald every day since the play, acting out their own storylines.

"Daddy, I am Piggie and you are Gerald!" she'll tell Kyle. "Say, 'Piggie, do you want to eat breakfast?'" Kyle follows the script, of course.

She'll run through the house calling, "Gerald! Gerald, where are you?" And Kyle always calls back, "Piggie?!"

Even though Fauntleroy and I are only glorified audience members, it's a joy to watch.

"You are my best friend, Gerald."

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