DECATUR – Elephant and Piggie gave their 100th show at the Decatur Public Library on Tuesday as Alissa Henkel and Susan Bishop performed “READiculous.”
“We call it READiculous because we like to read a ridiculous amount of books,” Henkel announced at the beginning of the show.
The women performed their first READiculous on Nov, 18, 2011, at Dennis School and since then have acted out children's books in almost every elementary school in Decatur, plus shows at the library and at Macon Resources.
Henkel recently took over as head of adult services at the library, but formerly worked in the children's department, and Bishop still does. The most recent edition of Thrive magazine features them on the cover as their favorite characters, Elephant and Piggie.
The show included several Elephant and Piggie books, a series by Mo Willems, which is hugely popular among local kids. Usually Henkel is Piggie and Bishop is Elephant, familiarly known as Gerald after Willem's favorite singer Ella Fitzgerald, but for the last story of the evening, they switched roles. When they came out from behind the divider that serves as a dressing area, kids in the audience familiar with previous shows stared and finally Bishop said, “What's the matter?”
“You switched heads,” a few young voices said, and both women laughed. Bishop felt her neck and said, “That didn't hurt at all.”
“I liked when they switched hats,” said Haven Duckworth, 4, after the show, and her twin sister, Kennedy, said her favorite part of the show was “Once Upon a Motorcycle Dude,” by Kevin O'Malley.
“It had giants in it and ponies,” Kennedy said. Kennedy also noticed that the women switched shirts when they switched hats.
For the 100th show, four new books were introduced and old favorites revisited. One of the new books was “The Interrupting Chicken,” by David Ezra Stein, which Henkel said they've only been working on for a couple of weeks.
“We weren't sure how it would go,” she said. “We can see how it's developing, the more we do it.”
Then there was a brand-new Elephant and Piggie book, “Elephants Cannot Dance!” in which Piggie insists that Gerald should try to learn to dance, and Bishop's awkward movements as Gerald kept the audience laughing.