GRUG began his life as the top of a Burrawang tree (Macrozamia communis) that looks more like a Grass tree (Xanthorrhoea). Resembling a small, striped haystack with a face, he is fascinated by the world around him and solves everyday problems creatively and without fuss. When dancing instructions are too difficult to understand, GRUG invents his own dance and calls it “The GRUG” — Wikipedia
This August, I will be torn-hearted in both celebrating 10 years living in New York City and saddened with the realization that I have not lived in my beautiful Sunburnt country of Australia for 10 years. It brings to the surface a lot of emotions, especially now being the Mother of a small child who technically is half Australian and has barely spent any of his time living there.
This is why, I was so very excited to hear that the production of the legendary Children’s character GRUG is showing at my favorite Children’s Theater in New York City – The New Victory Theater. The New Victory Theater is a place where storytellers reign alongside daredevils, puppets, rock stars, break dancers and—most of all—kids (quote *NVT).
My little 2.5 year old Son and I were there last week, with bells on, to watch the performance of GRUG and we Both LOVED it!! But I mean, what is not to love – for my Son it was colorful, fun, inviting, innocent and engaging. And, for me, well, I was just proud to reunite with a memory I revelled in growing up and thus sharing it with my Son. I love GRUG and the The New Victory Theater performance was nothing short of charming, magical, whimsical, cute, fun, joyful and most importantly simple!
To back up just a little bit – GRUG was created by legendary Australian Father of 3 and Icon Ted Prior who wrote the first tale of GRUG back in 1979! Since 1979 Ted has produced around 25 different episodes of GRUG, with each story teaching valuable lessons to our precious Little Ones; like the tales of “Grug learns to swim”, “Grug goes to School”, “Grug Learns to Dance” and “Grug at the beach”.
So how did GRUG even come about? Well rumor has it that Ted was living on a farm, in the Australian State of New South Wales, reading to 2 young children when it dawned on him that he would love to write stories himself about an imaginary animal who lived in the BUSH (Australian terminology for Forest). After drawing a few pictures, the lovable GRUG was born. Thanks Goodness for that!
**Fun Facts – Burrawang seeds are extremely poisonous but, because they contain starch, are also highly nutritious…. Figure that one out! Burrawang is also a town located in the State that Ted Prior lived in Australia, New South Wales, where he created GRUG!
GRUG is showing at the New Victory Theater in NYC until March the 17th. The duration of the show is 45 minutes without intermission, which includes an interactive element (at the end) where children can meet GRUG and experience the set. Tickets are $20, yes I know a bargain for such a wonderful vibe. If you cannot make GRUG this time around in NYC, there are plenty more wonderful shows coming up 2013 at The New Victory Theater. You can sign up for their mailing list to keep up on that HERE.
If you do not live in New York City, GRUG is moving across the USA through Memphis & Nashville TN, Des Moines IA, Washington DC, Palm Beach FL, Cleveland OH and Fayetteville AR. Not forgetting Canada with dates in Surrey, British Columbia and St Albert, Alberta. To find out more information about showing times and locations you can go HERE.
For those not familiar with the beautiful tale of GRUG I have included below an original animation that Ted Prior made with the Australian Film Commission many many years ago, it is a great little vibe and a wonderful introduction to the delightfulness of GRUG.
What do you think, would you take your family to watch GRUG if you had the chance?
Thanks for reading!
*NVT – New Victory Theater