‘Flowers Stink’ at The U.S. Botanical Garden

A middle school girl from the big city, named Liz, becomes frustrated when trying to write a poem about nature for school. But when she turns to technology to vent and tweets, “#natureisboring #flowersstink”, she finds herself visited by two plants, which have magically come to life in her room. The plants, Elmer and Acacia, help Liz wake up to the natural world around her and find the inspiration she needs to finish her assignment.

Sakile Lyles and Maggie Donnelly in 'Flowers Stink' at the U.S. Botanical Gardens. Photo by Teresa Wood.

Sakile Lyles and Maggie Donnelly in ‘Flowers Stink’ at the U.S. Botanical Gardens. Photo by Teresa Wood.

The production is called Flowers Stink and is a world premiere The Kennedy Center co-commission with the U.S. Botanic Garden. With original words and music by Debra Buonaccorsi and Stephen McWilliams and direction by Gregg Henry, the show is perfectly suited for kids of all ages, though adults would be missing out if they failed to partake in the experience. The music is quite lovely and the story is full of fascinating information about the different plants that live in the desert, near a volcano, and in a rain forest.

The cast was pflowersstink_art-sm-300x468erfectly engaging. Maggie Donnelly played Liz with all of the sass and naiveté of a middle school child. Jonathan Feuer was Elmer and Sakile Lyles was Acacia, the two marvelous living plants who come to Liz and change her perspective for the better. The trio proved to be a fantastic combination of talent and performed with great energy and voices that beautifully complimented each other.

I was able to experience Flowers Stink with my three children and all three of them claimed it was the best show they’ve seen so far. They raved about the incredibly creative costumes and loved the music. Hands down, we all agreed that the sloth was our favorite part, but you will just have to go see the show to understand.

Fast-paced and full of energy, Flowers Stink carries with it an important message, which everyone needs to remember: In the words of my oldest, Freddy, “Nature is a wonderful thing. You shouldn’t ignore it.”

Flowers Stink is a fun way to encourage kids to lay down their devices and take in and enjoy what nature has to offer, a lesson that many adults could stand to learn as well. Don’t miss out.

Running Time: 45 minutes, with no intermission.

Sakile Lyles and Maggie Donnell. Photo by Teresa Wood.

Sakile Lyles and Maggie Donnell. Photo by Teresa Wood.

Flowers Stink plays Saturdays from 11 am-12 pm through October 24, 2015 in the National Garden Ampitheater at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, DC – 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, in Washington, DC. Tickets are free and there is no pre-registration. Please note: Limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call (202) 225-8333, or go online.

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