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SCR Provides a Stage for Some 'Fairly Stupid Tales'


You think Pinocchio was a problem child? Wait until you get wind of the Stinky Cheese Man.

A pungent spoof of the Gingerbread Man of fairy-tale fame, the Stinky Cheese Man leaps from the pages of the colorful children's book "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales" this weekend on SCR's Second Stage. South Coast Repertory's Young Conservatory Players will present the world premiere of a stage adaptation by SCR's literary manager, John Glore.

The play's nine tales--also including "Little Red Running Shorts," "Jack's Bean Problem" and "The Really Ugly Duckling"--take their plots from well-known children's tales and throw in some absurd comic twists and some equally twisted characters reminiscent of Fractured Fairy Tales cartoons from the old "Rocky and Bullwinkle Show."

In the title story, a lonely couple who yearn for a child decide to manufacture their own from simple kitchen ingredients, only to have it bolt out the door. The problem is, instead of sweet gingerbread, the couple whip up a child of cheese, olives and bacon--an offspring so odoriferous that when he takes flight, not even his parents (let alone the local villagers) are inclined to chase him.

Director Craig Fleming, who recommends the show for 6-year-olds through adults, said his 17-member cast has taken the stories' lunacies and run with them.

"For example, the actor who plays the Stinky Cheese Man decided since the character is always running, he would do a kind of Forrest Gump impersonation," Fleming said. "[The actors] don't miss any of the absurdities, or the subtleties, of this play's humor."

* What: South Coast Repertory's Young Conservatory Players in "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales."

* When: Saturday and Sunday at 2 and 4 p.m. Also June 9 at 7:30 p.m., June 10 at 4 and 7:30 p.m., and June 11 at 2 and 4 p.m.

* Where: SCR Second Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.

* Whereabouts: From the San Diego (405) Freeway, exit at Bristol Street and drive north. Turn right on Town Center Drive.

* Wherewithal: $10 for adults; $8 for youths 17 and under. Parking is $6.

* Where to call: (714) 957-4033.

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