“We are naked! Naked mole rats!” This song has been stuck in my head since we saw this play. Twice.
The current production at Oregon Children’s Theater is based on a book by the same name- Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. Only theirs is a “rock experience.” There were many things we enjoyed about this play…. the music, the band being on stage, the lighting, the sets, and socks magically falling from the sky. It moved quickly and had a nice message- it’s ok to be yourself and do what you want as long as you aren’t hurting anyone else.
The story follows Wilbur, a naked mole rat who loves fashion and a good accessory. The other mole rats aren’t sure what to make of him, and some are openly against. They eventually seek guidance from the great Grandpa, who decides, “why not?” when it comes to getting dressed.
The script was funny- although some of the humor was a bit forced at times. There were several jokes aimed at the grownups in the audience, which was nice and a bit different from most of the plays there. There were jokes about the Gap, H&M, ‘fake news,’ and other topics not necessarily familiar to the younger audience members. There is a dance party at the end, which always makes for a good time. The word naked is used A LOT, and bottoms are scratched and shaken, making it a hit with the little boys in the audience.
Chicken, Nugget, and I saw it over the weekend, and I got to go again during the week with Nugget’s Kindergarten class. I heard Chicken laugh several times, but after it was over she indicated it was not her favorite. Nugget loved it and has been singing songs from the show ever since. He’s even been wearing his hooded sweatshirts backwards to try and mimic the shape of the mole rat costumes.
The first time we saw it, the show lost its audience a little over half way through. Kids got squirrly and the noise level increased. When we saw it on the field trip, the kids were very into it. Lots of laughs, comments being shouted out to the characters, and lots of cheers.
Our reviews? Chicken- “I didn’t like it” (but I saw her smiling and laughing). Nugget- “Can we go see it again when it comes back to town?” (after seeing it twice).
What it is: a cute show with a good message, well produced, high energy, a fun book tie-in, catchy music
What it’s not: our favorite show ever
Would we recommend it? If it’s going to be the one and only play you take your kids to, we might suggest another. If you are looking for a fun afternoon with your children and not looking for a defining theatrical moment, it’s a great time!
The show is running through February 17th, and tickets can be purchased at: