Kelly Trom

A piece of many childhoods is coming to the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center (PAC) in the form of a musical performance of Scholastic’s Clifford the Big Red Dog LIVE! It will be presented Wednesday at 6 p.m. as an alternative to the typical Halloween evening.

“Our aim in this is to give parents and families an alternative to the typical go out and trick or treat in the neighborhood for small kids,” director of Cal Poly Arts Steve Lerian said.

Children are encouraged to dress up in costume. The doors will open one hour early, at 5 p.m., for children to take pictures with Clifford and the cast. After the performance, there will be trick or treating in the PAC lobby.

This performance celebrates the 50th anniversary of Clifford. Norman Bridwell wrote more than 40 books about the adventures of the house-sized dog and his owner Emily Elizabeth on Birdwell Island. The books helped to establish Scholastic Books as a respected publishing company. Today there are over 126 million books in print, two PBS television series, one movie, six video games and now one musical all inspired by the lovable dog.

Clifford’s BE BIG! ideas such as “Share, Play Fair and Have Respect” will form the basis of the performance, as well as appearances by the beloved characters Cleo, T-Bone, Charley, Jetta and Mac.

“A lot of what we do (in this) program is not only for the campus community, but for the greater San Luis Obispo County community,” Lerian said.

While the performance of Clifford the Big Red Dog LIVE! may not be targeted toward Cal Poly students, many Mustangs have fond memories of Clifford.

“When I was little, on weekend mornings my brothers and I used to watch Clifford,” English sophomore Katie Taylor said. “It was a good bonding time and we learned a lot from Clifford at that age.”

Not only has Clifford inspired books and television series, but also a lot of fun merchandise.

“My sister and I got a giant Clifford stuffed animal for Christmas once,” sociology junior Lauren Woollard said. “We had him for years and we used to climb all over him and sleep on top of him.”

If students are looking for a trip down memory lane, or are interested in taking a younger family member, tickets are $24 for adults and $12 for children and Cal Poly students, and can be purchased in advance at the PAC ticket office or at the door.

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