Perhaps Gantos and Rubel have a friend who offends. Or a kid who won't take a bath. Whatever their motivation for this unsubtle and unfunny production, it should go over with a thud. It starts with Alligator "step[ping] out of his slimy, smelly swamp" on two feet, and looking more like Tyrannosaurus Rex than a proper Alligator. In the mailbox, he finds a party invitation, promising a special treat. Between then and the party, he runs into a number of animals who refuse to get close to him because he stinks. Alligator refuses to understand their very direct remarks. The surprise--you'll have guessed--is a birthday bath, which Alligator resists at first but feels better after. Even the pictures are a washout.