As a hip-hop rendition of "Big Bad Wolf" thumped in the community room at Providence Elementary School, 80 eager second-graders crowded the stage in anticipation of show time.
Friends and family jockeyed for position, angling cameras and camcorders to capture their children performing "The Three Piggy Opera."
The story was familiar, the classic tale of a hungry wolf, whose appetite puts him on the trail of three little pigs, who are forced on the run in fear of being eaten. But Providence's portrayal sparkled with youthful authenticity, as four second-grade classes commanded every aspect of the production, from the narrators, the actors, the singers, right down to set and prop designers.
"The kids had a lot to say about how they wanted it to look," second-grade teacher Kris Heinsberg said.
When the curtain was pulled back, a cluster of papier-mâché clouds floated over homemade trees.
"Oink, oink, diggidy dear, the three-piggy opera you're now going to hear," the ensemble chorus exclaimed.