Freshened-up fairy tales

This was in the November 23, 2011 print and online editions of the City Pulse.

Freshened-up fairy tales

by Nicole LaChance

The Three Little Pigs, Three Billy Goats Gruff and Goldilocks and the Three Bears: We know the stories so well we can recite them by heart. But what if these beloved fairy tales took a different turn? That’s a question Riverwalk Theatre explores in its holiday children’s show, “The Surprising Story of the Three Little Pigs.”

The play is about three trios of disgruntled fairytale characters who’ve grown tired of their stories. The pigs decide they don’t want to be chased by a wolf, the goats are fed up with the troll under the bridge and Papa Bear decides he is sick of Goldilocks breaking and entering into their peaceful cottage. What follows is a humorous look at what happens when fairytale characters unite and try to change their fates.

“It’s an interesting message that we don’t have to live life as the narrator tells us we have to,” said Tom Ferris, the play’s director. “We can strike out on our own and find our own possibilities.” He was drawn to the script because he believes it is both fun and instructional for all ages.

The theater hosted a free sneak preview featuring four scenes from the show after the Silver Bells parade to kick off their holiday season.

Ferris has been directing for Riverwalk for years, dating back to the time performances took place in the Okemos Barn. As a former teacher, it is very enjoyable to direct productions like “Pigs” which feature young actors, he said.

The play marks a slight change in the theater’s annual holiday show. Riverwalk usually chooses a musical for the season, but the script Ferris submitted, which was written by Linda Daugherty, was just too good to pass up, said Riverwalk manager Michael Siracuse. It also helped that the play will be directed by Ferris — whom Siracuse calls one of the theater’s best directors — and that is fits in with the season’s traditional kid-friendly theme, he added.

“We want to keep the kids involved: That’s our future actors out there,” Siracuse said.

He said in addition to theater regulars, many people who once brought their children to the shows are now bringing their grandchildren, so Riverwalk has no intention of messing with the holiday tradition.

´The Surprising Story of the Three Little Pigs´

Through Dec. 4

Riverwalk Theatre, 228 Museum Dr., Lansing

7 p.m. Fridays; 2 and 4:30 p.m. Satrudays; 2 p.m. Sundays

$7 adults, $5 under 16

(517) 482-5700


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