The premise of the New Vic's latest is a simple one: When friends Nathan and Nadia set off for a picnic, their plans are thwarted when apples begin to drop, mysteriously, into the little pond close to where they're sitting. The loud “plop!” sound the apples make scares them (and their white rabbit pals, too), so they attempt to use a variety of methods and gadgets to “stop the terrible plop.” Parents shouldn't mistake simple for simplistic, though: Judging by the enthralled reactions of the toddlers  and preschoolers in the audience at a recent production, the plotline hits home. The show's set is intriguing as well: A unique pulley system allows everyone to see how the apples are made to fall, and a clear, round, lit-from-within tank serves as the body of water they plop into. The cast, part of the Australia’s Windmill Theatre, has pitch-perfect expression for little ones, and the rhymes—courtesy of the picture book The Terrible Plop—are sweetly lulling. The performance, at just 30 minutes total, feels a bit too short, but it’s lengthened thanks to a pre-show art project and a post-show open set, during which everyone is invited to pet the bunnies and put their hands into the colorful pond (towels provided). Ages 2 to 5.—Beth Greenfield


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