If asked, I have no doubt that The Big Bad Wolf would wholeheartedly agree with Frank Harte’s statement that “Those in power write history, while those who suffer write the songs.” Condemned by the history books of being guilty of property destruction by the Three Little Pigs and of attempted homicide by Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf uses song to tell his tale of suffering in the Puppet Co. Theatre’s production of Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs.
The show opens with the Wolf rapping and dancing. He wins over his audience immediately. I have never been to a children’s show where the room erupted in laughter within seconds of the performance start but that is exactly what happened here.
In the first half-hour of the show the Big Bad Wolf tells the story of how he is unfairly portrayed in the Three Little Pigs’ version of what happened to their houses. We learn that we have not yet heard his side of the story because the Three Little Pigs are the ones who wrote the book about the unfortunate incidents that led to two of their homes being destroyed. We learn, mostly through rap, that the wind was in fact to blame for the straw and stick houses falling over, and not the Wolf’s huffing and puffing as we have been led to believe all these years. Along the way, the Three Little Pigs, and the children in the audience, are taught lessons about the importance of recycling, cleaning up and respecting the environment.
Little Red Riding Hood is seen wandering the forest with a basketful of cookies as the Pigs are building their houses. In the second half of the show, the Wolf redeems himself of the crime of attempting to eat Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandmother by convincing us that he was only out to look at, smell, and eat the delicious cookies that Little Red Riding Hood’s Grandmother had baked for her to sell. While this portion of the show is not as long as long as the part focusing on the Three Little Pigs, it is long enough for the Wolf to get his side of the story out to the masses and convince us that there loving cookies is not a crime.
The Wolf was the clear favorite among children during the performance I attended. Children literally squealed with delight every time the Wolf appeared on stage. Children from two through ten were in attendance at the performance I attended and all appeared to enjoy the show equally. Of the way home from the show I was treated to a rendition of the Wolf’s signature chorus “That’s Wolfin’!” and my assured me that the Wolf isn’t so bad after all.
If you go, The Puppet Co. Playhouse is located in Glen Echo, MD. Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs plays on Thursdays and Fridays at 10:00 and 11:30 and Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 and 1:00. The show runs approximately 40 minutes, making it manageable for families that include young children. Tickets are $12.00 for everyone two and up. There are discounts for group sales and a trip to the Puppet Co. makes a great outing for a playgroup. Tickets can be purchased by online with no ticketing fees at https://www.thepuppetco.org, by calling (301) 634-5380, or at the box office. For procrastinators, be aware that online ticket sales end one hour and fifteen minutes before show time.
There is plenty of free parking at Glen Echo, but be sure to allot five to ten minutes to walk from the parking lot to the theatre. The path from the parking lot to the theater is completely flat and stroller-friendly. There is a designated place to leave strollers just outside the theatre door. Doors open fifteen minutes before the show begins. Seating is general admission with seating for children available on the floor and some benches available for adults in the back. There is limited space available for caregivers to sit with children on the floor so if you want to sit with your child you should plan on arriving early to be among the first admitted to the theatre.
There is a live circuit TV in the lobby so you will not miss any of the show if you need to step out with your child for a moment. The Wolf, and his puppeteer, greet patrons as they exit the theatre and are available for photos. If you happen to see a performance on a nice day be sure to take advantage of Glen Echo’s playground before or after the show.
Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs runs through May 12th, 2018.
Give the Wolf a chance to show he’s not so bad and listen to him tell his side of the story!
All images are copyright The Puppet Co.