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Taken to the carpet

December 19, 2000

Danette Goulet

NEWPORT BEACH -- Children clutched the edges of their magic carpets at

Lincoln Elementary School on Monday and held on tight as they pretended

to travel into Aesop's fables.

Around them genies, witches, leopards and dwarfs swooped and soared.

Second-grade students each sat on their own personal carpets and

listened to stories acted out by a costume-changing trio of performers

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from Boston.

The program, "Carpet One Magic Carpet Time Tour," was designed to get

children excited about reading through interactive theater.

LoriAnn Freda plays a dreamer named Al who lets a genie, Bill Homan,

out of a lamp.

The two enthusiastically act out a few favorite fables, such as the

"Tortoise and the Hare," the "Leopard and the Fox," the "Sun and the

Wind" and, of course, "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."

Each of Aesop's fables is short, fun and contains a timeless message.

"I liked the 'Tortoise and the Hare' because of the race," said George

Kennedy, 7.

But it was after a singing rendition of a Shel Silverstein poem that

children really went wild. Next came a story that they recognized: "Snow

White and the Seven Dwarfs."

"It was cool, with all the stories and characters," said Kylee

Camargo, 8, of the show. "My favorite was Snow White because the queen

cried and the girl wore a wig."

Children were pulled up to play the parts of the dwarfs, the mirror,

the henchman and even Prince Charming, who balked at even blowing a kiss

at Snow White.

Funded by carpet company Carpet One, the group has been on tour since

October and plans to stay on the road until the end of the school year,

Homan said.

At the end of the performance, each child gets a book, a cassette of

the group's theme song, "Magic Carpet Ride," and a magic carpet.

At each stop on the tour, the company's local affiliate -- in this

case, Newport Floor Covering -- donates the carpets, which students take

back to class with them.

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