Oakland Braves to perform play about the rain forests

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Suffolk News Herald

With a start, the small, pudgy scientist awoke in his chair. He’d been asleep for half an hour, only to come eye-to-jar with a huge decrepit pot, one that had been mistakenly delivered to his office earlier in the day.

&uot;Who would want something so ugly?&uot; he wondered aloud. &uot;It looks really old too. Old as… molasses.&uot; Little did he know that it contained something neither old nor ugly.


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The doctor slumped back down in his chair, and let out a boisterous yawn. That’s when he received an uninvited visitor: the genie living inside the jar.

&uot;The name is Arabella,&uot; the apparition spurted to the surprised physician. &uot;Now listen; you get one wish, so make it fast! I was in the middle of my beauty sleep!&uot;

After regaining his composure, the doc could think of only one request: for someone to think of a way to save the world’s rain forests!

What happens from then on? Find out tonight at 6 in Oakland Elementary School, where a cast of little Braves will put on the play &uot;Goin’ Bananas,&uot; based on one of the world’s fastest-disappearing natural preserves. While there, patrons can grab a bit of pasta; the production is part of the school’s fifth annual dinner theater. The play was written by Paulette Rogerson, the mother of Oakland physical education teacher Anne McCoy.

For Noah Williams, who portrays the legendary rain forest pioneer Dr. X. Spearmint, physically getting into character was the toughest part; he had to dye his hair silver with oodles of white hair dye, hairspray and pomade.

&uot;It’s painful!&uot; he said. &uot;It feels like glue!&uot;

The genie’s wish takes Spearmint on a journey to the Irish island of Tooki Tooki, where egotisti-gal Truly Rich (whose name says it all and more) is determined to purchase the local rain forest, only to turn it all into &uot;shopping malls, more parking lots and more golf courses.

&uot;Oh the rain forest on this island is so small, no one will miss it!&uot; she declares to tiny tour guide Minnie Rhodes.

&uot;But protecting the rain forests is so important to our world’s natural environment!&uot; protests Rhodes. &uot;It’s everyone’s problem!&uot;

&uot;I like Truly, because she’s snotty and pretty,&uot; says portrayer Jolecia Blanchard. &uot;She acts crazy! I’m almost 100 percent like her, except I’m not mean.&uot;

Eventually, Spearmint arrives, and he and Rhodes (minus the disgruntled Rich) head into the jungle to find the true wise one, she with all the answers: the profound parrot Polly Dent!

&uot;Please tell us, Wise One,&uot; Rhodes implores. &uot;How can the rain forest be saved?&uot;

Well, that’s a secret. But the cast members themselves have a few ideas. &uot;It’s important to help save the natural environment, because if people don’t save it, it won’t be here,&uot; says Taylor Sanders (Rhodes). &uot;I think people should plant more trees and not pollute.&uot;

When he gets older, says Noah, &uot;I want to get my doctorate in architecture and animals! This part came easy to me, because we all have to work together to save the rain forests. One person can’t do everything, but a lot of people can.&uot;