The names of the monsters are pretty gruesome -- FleshbumpEater, MeatDripper, BloodBottler, GizzardGulper, ManSlugger, ChildChewer, BoneCrusher and KneeNibbler. And they're pretty ferocious, too.
But then there's BFG or "The Big Friendly Giant." BFG doesn't eat "human beans." He's a vegetarian, who loves to eat giant snozzcucumbers and drink something called "frobscottle," which causes major flatulence called "whizzpoppers."
Such is going to be the life today when "The Big Friendly Giant" opens at the Springer Opera House.
The story is about a little girl named Sophie, who wakes up one night to see something -- or someone -- outside her window. It turns out it's BFG, who takes her on an adventure.
Sophie learns that BFG tries to catch children's nightmares to kill the nightmares, which often star those bad giants.
This story by Roald Dahl, who also wrote "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "James and the Giant Peach," is the most popular show that the Springer Opera House Children's Theatre does, said director Ron Anderson. He's also the director of the Springer's Theater Academy.
It will be the Springer's third time presenting the show and the daytime performances are sold out with a waiting list of more than 500 children.
The production of "James and the Giant Peach" is almost as popular, Anderson said.
As soon as the season was announced last year, teachers were calling to be put on the list to get a slot to bring their children, he said.
This year's ensemble is as good as any professional acting company, Anderson said.
"They are fearless, confident and engaging," Anderson said. Some of them are in their first show, while others have done several. He likes to blend both young actors with more veteran ones because they always end up "learning from each other."
Having Adam Archer back as BFG is "a dream." Archer, a Columbus State University theater graduate, is now working regularly in Chicago.
He's played the giant all three times.
"This group has been very playful," Archer said. "They are willing to try new things."
Anderson loves to highlight what he calls
"the heroic child" in the plays he picks for the Children's Theatre productions.
This one features Sophie, who ends up saving the world from the bad giants.
Even though they have the scary names, Anderson promises that they are not really scary. It's a good play for young children.
Annabelle Wolford, who plays KneeNibbler, is a vegetarian in real life, so she claims she's not really that scary.
The young actors are all big fans of Archer's.
The Columbus Ballet's spring production is "Divertimento," or something that can amuse people, said Columbus Ballet's artistic director Maria Hirsch.
Hirsh is hoping people will be amused during this show. She split the show into three segments.
The first features excerpts from the first act of the ballet, "Cinderella." She's hoping to present the full-length ballet in the future, but she first has to raise the money to present it, she said. Right now, she's writing grants to fund the ballet.
The second segment is a ballet choreographed to jazz, played by a live jazz band on stage.
This, she said, is totally out of her element, but she's having fun with it.
Laura Johnson choreographed a group of dancers for "In the Mood." Hirsch choreographed "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "Sing, Sing, Sing."
The jazz ballet choreography is not done en pointe.
"It's relaxed and the girls are having fun," Hirsch said.
The third segment features solos, pas de deux and pas de trois from standard ballet repertoire including "Sleeping Beauty," "Le Corsair," "Coppelia," "Don Quixote" and "La Bayadere."
The spring show, unlike "The Nutcracker," features the girls in the higher levels of the Columbus Ballet. There are about 20 dancers.
"The girls are working really hard," Hirsch said.
The end-of-the-year production for the CSU Ballet Conservatory is May 8 in University Hall. It's free.
The Ballet Intensive or ballet camp will be June 1-7.
Rhapsody in Blue
The St. Luke United Methodist Church has had an orchestra of community members for 15 years. The 32-piece ensemble will perform around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday. Dinner will be served around 5:30 p.m. Dinner will cost $7 and must be reserved, but the concert is free.
The St. Luke Orchestra will present George Gershwin's masterpiece, "Rhapsody in Blue" Wednesday night along with the "All-American music of John Williams and Henry Mancini."
Jim Evans, the orchestra's conductor, hired Yien Wang, the collaborative pianist at Columbus State University, to play the piano for "Rhapsody in Blue."
Steve Scott, the percussionist for the orchestra, said, "I've heard a lot of pianists in my time, but Yien Wang is remarkable. We (the orchestra) look forward to all of them (concerts), but this one especially because of Yien Wang."
The Williams segment is called "The Young Person's Guide to John Williams," and features music from movies, including "Hook," "Hedwig's Theme" from the "Harry Potter" movies, "E.T." and "Raiders of the Lost Ark." The Mancini segment features marches from old movies and television shows like "The Great Race" and "Mr. Lucky."
Scott's classmate at Auburn University, Johnnie Vinson, wrote the arrangement for the Mancini segment. Vinson was the band director at Auburn.