Once upon a TLT dream

Published 3:08 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Once upon a time in the magical hamlet of Tryon, strange and wonderful things seemed to happen on a certain stage each July

Suddenly, a young girl wearing a blue dress and white apron finds herself falling down a rabbit hole, of all things, at the Tryon Fine Arts Center! With no help whatsoever from the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, or the Red Queen, young Alice manages to make her way to a desert, where she meets an Aviator and a remarkable Little Prince who came from a planet way out in space to learn how best to care for his flower Rose.

Alice suggests the Little Price have a look in enchanted Narnia for an answer, and points him toward a gigantic wardrobe right in the middle of the stage. The Little Prince climbs inside, makes his way past the winter coats hanging there, and comes out the other side not in Narnia as expected, but in the Shire, of all places, where he is soon surrounded by furry-footed folk called Hobbits.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

How to care for your Rose? Is that your quest? asks Bilbo Baggins.

Yes, good sir, replies the Prince. She is most beloved by me even though shes very demanding. Do you happen to know any florists or perhaps farmers who could advise me?

Actually I do, answers Bilbo. See that barn over there? And the County Fair beyond? Well, just go ask those folks what to do. Farmers plant all sorts of things, and must have some ideas for roses. Good luck!

So the Little Prince makes his way to a handsome barn which seems to have a huge web hanging from the rafters. Within moments, he finds himself being welcomed by the friendliest pig he has ever met a happy piglet named Wilbur, and Wilburs best friend, a spider named Charlotte.

Hi, says Wilbur. So youve got a great looking rose, huh? Betcha could enter her at the County Fair and win a Blue Ribbon. Shed like that cause it proves how special she is!

Oh, but I left her back on my planet, says the Little Prince, overcome with concern. Maybe Wonderland or Narnia or the Shire or Charlotte can take me home in the blink of an eye to fetch her! And with that, the Little Prince falls backward and vanishes.

I hope he does well, ventures the always kind Charlotte. Come now, Wilbur, we have a busy July facing us on that Fine Arts Center stage.

And suddenly director Marianne Carruth wakes with a start! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my: all four of her past summer youth shows have just tumbled into one dream, blending their stories together in the oddest of ways, and delivering her on the doorstep of her 2010 play, Charlottes Web.

E. B. Whites beloved Charlottes Web will play the Tryon Fine Arts Center July 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. and July 31 through August 1 at 3 p.m. For tickets call 828-859-2466.