I am constantly working with my kids on their manners, especially when we’re in public. It’s an ongoing thing that I try to be aware of, while at the same time not noticing that I myself might be lacking in the manners department. I recently attended a performance of Piggy Nation and though I was happy to see a show that can insipre kids to be more mindful of their behavior, I was also relieved to see that sometimes being rude and obnoxious is just, well, a part of our natural behavior.
Piggy Nation is about a little pig named Sammy who is on summer vacation and decides to accompany his father at his job as a cop on Piggy Patrol. Part of his job is to give tickets for piggy behavior. What’s piggy behavior? A rude attitude and thoughtless behavior. For example, cutting in line or talking loudly on your cell phone at a restaurant. Throughout the show Sammy and his dad meet various animals and give tickets to those who display piggy behavior. In the end (not to give away the ending, but there’s no real cliff-hanger here) they all admit they were piggies and apologize to one another.
Before the show, I had a chance to speak with Richard Rosser, who is the creative mind behind Piggy Nation – he wrote the book and lyrics. The idea for Piggy Nation started after he was watching someone cut off his mother-in-law at a parking lot. He created the concept of a “piggy ticket” and went on to write an award-winning children’s book called “Piggy Nation, A Day at Work with Dad”. Together with composer Alec Wells, they adapted the book into a musical. “We’re all piggies”, Rosser says. “We’re all flawed. The fun thing is to be able to laugh about our behavior and know we’ll be doing it later in the day”.
He has a point. Admitting it is being able to at least be aware of our behavior. And while the characters in the show were not aware of their piggy behavior, it was very obvious and crystal-clear to the young children watching it. While the show’s concept is very “educational”, the execution of it is hardly preachy; everything is tongue-in-cheek and amusing. The dialogue is clever and witty with some cute laugh-out-loud puns. The 8-person cast often runs up and down the isles which is fun and the music is an eclectic mix of rap, rock, blues, etc.
The show is suitable for kids ages 3 and up and is an hour and 15 minutes long.
Where: The Snapple Theater Center
210 West 50th Street (between Broadway & 8th Ave.)
New York, NY
When: Piggy Nation is performed Saturdays at 11am & 5pm; Sundays at noon.
How Much: $30-44 standard admission; $125 premium seating (plus fees)
To purchase tickets:
By phone: (212) 921-7862. You can order online here.
Box Office hours: M-Sat: 10am-6 or 8pm; Sun: 11am-7:30pm
All photos courtesy of Piggy Nation the Musical.
I was not compensated for this post. I received tickets to the show.