It’s the heart-warming tale of a friendship between a male pig and a female spider that grows and grows even as death nears them both.

TheatreWorks USA will present “Charlotte’s Web” at Queens Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 1 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. (The second show will be a sensory relaxed performance with American Sign Language interpretation.)

Adapted from the 1952 novel by E.B. White, this 60-minute play follows Wilbur, a livestock hog, and Charlotte, a little gray spider. They live happily in a barnyard with a large cast of other endearing farm animals, led by a rat named “Templeton,” that get into all kinds of hijinks and horseplay.

However, Wilbur has a bleak future, as his farmer owner, Homer L. Zuckerman, can’t wait until he gets plump enough to sell at a high price to a butcher. Oh, the pork chops and bacon!

Luckily, Charlotte is a great writer — and a prolific silk producer. She weaves webs with messages such as “Some Pig,” “Terrific,” and “Radiant” around the barnyard. The resulting hysteria convinces Zuckerman that Wilbur is worth more alive than dead due to his celebrity status. After all, he and his web messages have become quite a tourism attraction.

There’s still trouble on the horizon, though, as Charlotte has to face her own mortality as summer passes into fall, when barn spiders tend to die. After a county fair, she knows her days are numbered and she lets Wilbur take her egg sac back to the barnyard so her children will hatch in her old doorway hangout next spring.

Founded in Manhattan in 1961, TheatreWorks USA is the country’s largest nonprofit troupe that targets young audiences. It has a long-running relationship with Queens Theatre, and it’s been presenting “Charlotte’s Web” around the United States since 1993.

TheatreWorks USA alums include Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who is currently starring at Mitchell Pritchett in the ABC television series “Modern Family,” and Henry Winkler, who played Arthur Fonzarelli (better known as “The Fonz”) on ABC’s hit sitcom “Happy Days” in the 1970s and 1980s.

Tickets cost $14, but seniors can attend for $12 each. Queens Theatre is located at 14 United Nations Ave. S. in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. A public parking lot is nearby, and free shuttle bus service is available from the 7 train’s Willets Point/Citi Field station to the venue.

Image: Queens Theatre


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