The audience’s volume level began at just a dull roar. Then the animals came out.
Throughout Michael Rossi’s Wildlife Wonders show Tuesday morning at the Brunswick library, though, the crowd — made up mostly of young children and their parents, grandparents and other caregivers — exclaimed frequently in excitement, anticipation and occasionally shock.
Rossi brings his show to the local library every summer to show off reptiles of various shapes, colors and sizes.
“You all came here to see some animals … Well I brought all kinds for you here today,” he said at the start of the show, which attracted a crowd large enough to fill one of the biggest conference room spaces in the library.
Rossi began with a small snake named Bananaboo.
The animals grew in size as the show progressed. Noise levels in the room rose and fell with the reveal of each new reptilian creature. Rossi opened his various crates and brought out a gecko, several turtles and eventually snakes.
“Are you ready for some snakes?” he asked. The responding cries of approval reverberated off the library walls.
Rossi also sprinkled into his show a quick astronomy lesson, to fit with the library’s summer reading theme this year — “A Universe of Stories.”
“A long time ago, our ancestors played a game that we still play today, and that is called ‘Connect the dots,’” he joked, before giving everyone some constellation backstory.
The show wrapped up with two of Rossi’s most interesting creatures. He called up seven students to stand shoulder to should and hold out their arms to bear the weight of a Burmese python. The python was featured in last summer’s show too and has since grown from six feet to almost nine feet.
These snakes can grow up to 19 feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds, Rossi told the crowd.
After nearly an hour of letting the audience respond as loudly as they wished to the variety of animals showcased, Rossi had one request. Before he could bring out the baby alligator that would end the show, he needed everyone to be temporarily quiet.
“The quieter we are, the longer I can keep him out,” he explained.
The room calmed down for a few moments. But as soon as the baby alligator came out of its box, the audience went wild once again.
Rossi will return for a show at the St. Simons Library on July 25 at 10:30 a.m.