The Column Best in DFW Theater 2016






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Book & Lyrics by Robert Kauzlaric

Dallas Children's Theater

Directed by Cheryl Denson
Musical Direction by S-Ankh Rasa
Music by Paul Gilvary and William Rush
Original Music composed and arranged by S-Ankh Rasa
Adapted from the book by John Scieszka & Lane Smith
Choreography by Jeremy Dumont
Scenic Design by Laurie Land
Lighting Design by Linda Blase
Sound Design by Marco Salinas
Properties Design by Jen Spillane
Stage Managed by Douglass Burks


JUDGE PRUDENCE - Deborah Brown
JULIA - Catherine Carpenter Cox

Reviewed Performance 1/21/2011

Reviewed by Sten-Erik Armitage, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

We all know the story of the Three Little Pigs, right? Or do we? Thank goodness someone has finally taken the time to find out the truth behind this quaint little fairy tale! In THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS, we finally get to the bottom of this sordid little story.

In this delightful and engaging production, Dallas Children's Theatre causes us to see the Big Bad Wolf (he'd rather be called "Al") in a whole new light. Cheryl Denson brings her unique experience in directing children's theatre to aid in the delivery of this story. What my 9-year-old daughter and I saw on the night of January 21st was children's theatre done the way children's theatre needs to be done. It was light, fun, fast-paced, full of puns for the grown-ups, and silliness for the kids. Denson hit a home run with her work on this show.

Along with that, the sets were brilliant! Laurie Land set the standard for creating a world that fit the script perfectly. Off-kilter, cartoonish, and creative, our actors had a whimsical world in which to spin their tale (and to spin their tails during the dance numbers).

The music was engaging, and memorable. The theme song is impossible to get out of your head. That is the sign of an excellent composer. S-Ankh Rasa created a score just for this DCT production that will have you humming all the way home. We have some incredible talent here in the Dallas area, as this evening evidenced.

The cast did a wonderful job capturing the hearts and attention of their young audience. They were truly a bunch of hams. Bob Hess as the wolf redefined this iconic fairy tale figure with style and humor. He was a delight to watch. His facial expressions and body language made sure he got the desired result from his fans out in the crowd.

Another powerhouse performance came from Catherine Carpenter Cox
playing the role of Julia, the prosecuting attorney. I could have spent the evening listening to nothing but her voice. Silky smooth, emotive and beautiful, she captured the audience every time she opened her mouth to speak or sing.

Lee Jamison and Deborah Brown also captured the hearts of the kids with their performances. Jamison played the part of the earnest young reporter driven to bring out the true story of the big bad wolf. She had the most audience involvement, and the kids loved her! Brown played the every so slightly prejudiced judge, and you can tell she had a blast with her part. A talented actress with an amazing voice, she was a delight. That said, during the ensemble numbers, her voice did not blend well with the other actors. This was all the more noticeable due to the fact she was singing a harmony part that overrode the melody at times.

Finally, we had BJ Clevend. Wow ? BJ did it all. He played the law enforcement, bailiff, and every witness to hit the stand. He was the hit of the night. Through this chain of intentionally over-the-top performances from Cleveland, the audience couldn't wipe the smile off of their faces. They were all brilliant performances from BJ Cleveland and the highlight of the night.

My recommendation? Remember this is children's theatre. My 9-year-old daughter loved every moment of the show. So, grab your favorite young person, and take them to Dallas Children's Theatre. Support the arts, and help get a whole new generation passionate about theatre, allowing their imagination to go wild!

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
Dallas Children's Theatre
5938 Skillman, Dallas TX 75231

Running Saturdays and Sundays through February 27 with showtimes at 1:30pm and 4:30pm. BOX OFFICE: 214-740-0051