What could possibly wrong?

By Marilyn Delk

April 3, 2014

Parents plan wonderful activities for their children – entertaining, enlightening experiences that will result in fun as well as growth in some important area of the child’s development. And then reality intervenes with those plans, chaos sometimes ensues, and what happens happens – often resulting in a good story as well as a lesson learned. Author Eileen Christelow wittily depicts such stories in a series of popular books relating adventures of five little monkeys who humorously yet accurately depict the mayhem that can ensue when what can go wrong does go wrong in the daily lives of most families. Darke County Center for the Arts will present Adventure Theatre MTC’s production of Five Little Monkeys, bringing the books to life onstage at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall on Sunday at 2 p.m.

This final production of DCCA’s Family Theatre Series season will delight adults with its relatable comedy even as it thrills very young children with its creative energy. The five little monkeys have their own distinctive characteristics that will probably remind parents of the traits found in their offspring. Do you have a curious troublemaker or a bookish rule-follower in your family? You’ll probably see them accurately represented here, as well as the baby who desperately wants to be included in all the action.

The monkeys decide to bake a surprise birthday cake for their mother – what could possibly go wrong? They all go on an outing to the park – what could possibly go wrong? Mother takes the monkeys shopping for new clothes – what could possibly go wrong? The tales of all that ensues when five little monkeys bake a cake, go shopping, have a picnic, climb a tree and – of course – jump on beds (and in the process fluster and frustrate their patient, loving mother) ring true to life, but are fun and funny when not happening to your family. Sometimes utilizing complicated choreography to replicate action you might expect to see only in a cartoon, the show hilariously depicts scenes that will seem familiar even to those few families who have never read the books.

Coping with what happens when whatever could go wrong does go wrong provides life lessons that benefit humans of all ages; earning those benefits by watching a show where monkeys do the coping can be fun as well as beneficial. Like the books, the play helps children learn the joy of counting and rhyming while teaching that when rules are broken, consequences result. The lessons are an inherent part of the story, so preachy moralizing is totally unnecessary as the salient points are reached quickly and painlessly - for the audience if not for the monkeys.

Tickets for DCCA’s Family Theatre shows are an incredibly economical $5; this low, low price is made possible through the support of sponsors who understand the value of offering local families the opportunity to grow together through the arts. Tickets to Five Little Monkeys can be purchased online at www.centerforarts.net, and are available at Readmore’s Hallmark in downtown Greenville and Worch Memorial Public Library in Versailles. Tickets will also be sold at the door one hour prior to the performance. Although few sure things exist, I’m pretty sure that when you take your family to see Five Little Monkeys, nothing could possibly go wrong, and a good time will be had by all.

Marilyn Delk is a Director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at marilynd@bright.net. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.