‘Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs’ at The Puppet Co.

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The Puppet Co. presents Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs, a melding of two beloved childhood stories told through the viewpoint of their shared villain—The Big Bad Wolf.  The full brunt of this production is shouldered by its two performers, Allan Stevens (Director and Set Designer, as well as Creation and Costume Design) and Christopher Piper (Playwright, Puppet Master, and Puppet Designer).

Photo courtesy of The Puppet Co.
Photo courtesy of The Puppet Co.

The set shows a dual-leveled forest, as well as sceneries that are able to unravel when needed, like each of the 3 pig’s houses and Red Riding Hood’s grandmother’s cottage. Background music is played for the character’s songs, the most memorable being the rhythmic beats that accompany the wolf’s rap segments. The puppets used in this production are rod puppets, and, like all of The Puppet Co. shows, they are the real “wow” factor; detailed, colorful, and maneuvered with a whimsical grace by the puppeteers.

The show begins with the Big Bad Wolf, who, he assures the crowd, is simply misunderstood.  Through a playful rap that delights the young audience, the Wolf shares his passion for preserving the environment (hard to do when a trio of pigs are destroying natural resources to build their homes) and his love of homemade cookies (guess what was in Riding Hood’s basket?). After that, three pig sibling appear, the eldest (Michael) arguing with his brothers, David and Gregory. Michael is anxious to get started on building his home so that he may be safe from predators, but the other two pigs are content to wait, lazing about while singing about the luxurious, lazy life of a pig and looking for their next snack….

This brings him to Red Riding Hood, who all the while has been walking through the forest selling cookies so that she may buy red boots to match her hood. In a cute moment, Riding Hood scares the Wolf away and slowly lures him towards her with a cookie. Turns out, the Wolf has quite the sweet tooth, and follows Red to her grandmother’s house with hopes of more treats…but instead just gets more confusion, mix-ups, and accusations. Can the Wolf save his reputation?

Taking a common character from two different stories and melding them together is an interesting venture—though it did feel a bit unbalanced. The Three Little Pigs plot seemed much more developed to me than that of Little Red Riding Hood, and much more time was spent on their story.  However, the show was very enjoyable, and the puppets are always thrilling to watch.

For a fun afternoon out with the kids, take in a showing of Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs at The Puppet Company, and then take a spin on Glen Echo Park’s famous carousel afterwards!

Running Time: 45 minutes without an intermission.

Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs runs through August 31, 2014 at The Puppet Co.—7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, MD. For tickets, call (301) 634-5380, or purchase them online.