The Red Cape spins fairytale fun for kids at Keystone
Summit Daily News
Picture this: Girl meets cape. Girl dons said rose-colored cape and takes off into the woods bound for grandmother’s house. Girl runs into some problems along the way.
Sounds familiar, right?
The Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s The Red Cape, a summer rendition of the beloved children’s story Little Red Riding Hood, presented Fridays through July and August, turns the well-known fairy tale into a fast-paced musical comedy with wry humor and a modern twist.
Bridget, played by Melanie Beck, is our sparkly, cheerful Little Red, wrapped in a home-spun and highly coveted crimson cloak. Her grandmother has fallen victim to yet another fictional illness and her mother is too busy tweeting to accompany the young heroin across the big bad forest to visit Granny.
What’s a girl to do?
Bridget sets off on her own, leaving behind her a wake of familiar characters hell-bent on having her red cape.
Not entirely predictable fairy tale fiascos ensue as a three-man (well, actually one-man, Ben Whitemore and two-woman, Erin Edelle and Jacqueline Clydesdale) triple-threat chorus cast lights up the stage, singing, dancing and bemoaning their supporting roles and constant costume changes.
Between scenes featuring pigs preoccupied with cinematic references and a pack of princesses out for a “girl’s night,” director and co-writer Chris Alleman manages to work in a life lesson: be yourself.
“We think individuality is important,” Alleman said.
The show caters to the kids, with bright costumes, silly scenes and some audience interaction. Gender roles are comically reversed and actors juggle one, two and even three characters on stage at a time.
But The Red Cape doesn’t forget mom and dad are also in the audience, and follows in the footsteps of movies like Shrek, playing up irony based on traditional children’s story expectations and sliding in some grown-up humor where it works.
“Children’s theater can be aimed toward children only, but we always take into account the fact that usually over half the audience is adults,” Alleman said. “So we think it’s important to entertain them too.”
The stage is small – The Red Cape is performed at the tiny, riverside Quaking Aspen Amphitheater in Keystone’s River Run Village. The cast is small – just four actors managing a full cast of characters. And the time frame is small – the entire show lasts less than 40 minutes and, as the characters belt out in the opening number, there is no intermission. But Lake Dillon Theatre packs a lot of fun, laughter and music into the child-sized performance, and with its target audience, this one’s sure to be a hit.
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