As animals are being endangered and decimated all over the planet, from whales to wolves, the play Me and the Animals takes a look at the dire situation in a farcical, SNL style, from the animals’ point of view, “straight from the horse’s mouth,” as it were. In a somewhat tongue-in-cheek, punny, musically interspersed performance, we hear from Mr. Bear, Mr. Owl, Sheepy, Wolfy, and Chicky, on how, “they, the animals” have the right, by the 1st and 4th amendments, to live safely and freely amidst the trees and natural habitat.
The mission of utmost importance on stage, is to save their dear friend Wolfy (Meyer Deleeuw) from danger. This main protagonist is a quite powerful symbol, as the wolf has been a prevalent character in many works, from page, stage and screen, such as Peter & The Wolf; Little Red Riding Hood; Wolverine; Dances with Wolves; and of course, Twilight, the most recent phenomenon and fascination with vampires and werewolves.
As Chicky (Julie Barry) beautifully chants the lyrics “Born Free,” animal lovers, friends, and activists can’t help but realize the angst and havoc upon the animal kingdom. If animals were indeed given a voice, this play is their platform to express the travesty placed upon them. As Noah, in all his glory, led the animals to the Ark, two by two, animals have their right to reclaim their vital place in the ecosystem. The Animals and Me, much like Aesop’s classic fables, brings a fairytale version of a catastrophic reality.
The play runs through December 12 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. at the Raven Playhouse, 5233 Lankershim in North Hollywood. For reservations, call (323) 960-7726.