Little Engine Earns Whistle

Nova Jimenez (left) and Jenn Kelly will star in “The Little Engine That Could Earns Her Whistle” this Saturday at Pepperdine.
Nova Jimenez (left) and Jenn Kelly will star in “The Little Engine That Could Earns Her Whistle” this Saturday at Pepperdine.

“The Little Engine That Could Earns Her Whistle,” based on the classic children’s story, will be presented at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 2 at Pepperdine University’s Smothers Theatre. The show is recommended for ages 5 to 8 and families.

In this song-filled adventure, the Little Blue Engine—against all odds—finds a way to conquer her fears and demonstrate the extraordinary strength of “I think I can!”

At the Piney Vale Train Station, the overbearing Silver Engine keeps things running efficiently and always on time. Silver has no patience for the Little Blue, who—to everyone but dependable old Rusty—seems far too small to pull the Piney Vale Express. Little Blue, not to be discouraged, expresses her desire to see the exciting world outside the train yard in the song “All Aboard!”

When Silver forces Rusty to retire, however, Little Blue’s dreams start to look like they may never be realized. Even her erstwhile best friend Little Red, promoted to pull the Piney Vale Express in Rusty’s place, begins to question Little Blue’s resolve.

Little Red hurts her wheel and can’t pull the Piney Vale Express after all. Suddenly, everything depends on Little Blue. Rusty’s unflagging encouragement gives her even more confidence, and she tackles her challenging mission in “The Big Journey.” At the show’s conclusion, Little Blue completes the route successfully and can finally say, “I thought I could!”

“For many children, ‘The Little Engine That Could Earns Her Whistle’ may be the first stage production they ever see,” says executive producer Gary Blackman. “Our goal is not only to teach them valuable lessons about self-reliance, but also to instill in them a genuine love of theatre.”

Family Art Day will be held in the courtyard next to the theater from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will include special art projects and Weisman Museum tours. Family Art Day is free of admission charge and open to the public.

Tickets ($10-$15) are available at (310) 506-4522 or arts.pepperdine.edu.