Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Petite Rouge

photo: Stan Barouh

I don't see any reason why kids wouldn't be entertained and engaged by this clever, Cajun-flavored revision of Little Red Riding Hood, which transplants the fairy tale to the Louisiana bayou and reimagines Red as a duck and the Wolf as an alligator. Red sets off with a jar of gumbo in her basket now, and she's lured off the path to Grandmere's house by the promise of spicier hot sauce. Such changes are likely to tease the imaginations of pint-sized theatregoers, and young and old alike can easily enjoy the lively and flavorful musical numbers, all of which are soaked in the local color. I caught myself tapping my foot more than a few times. While it has to be said that the musical eliminates the darker subtext of the original tale, and that the story no longer has the neat tidiness of a life lesson learned, the show's desire to please and its witty revisions nonetheless make it pleasing bit of family entertainment.

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