There is definitely a need for more truly family-friendly theatre in the Triangle, and that doesn’t just mean shows geared towards kids. No, it means shows that are short and manageable enough for the littlest of little ones to sit through, shows with big, colorful acting that kids can enjoy. Fortunately, Theatre Raleigh has found its place in that niche and offered up a picture-perfect family show in its presentation of The Wolf, written by Joe Calarco.
This particular show is a brief 50 minutes with no intermission, the perfect little snippet for young children. And, as an added bonus, the intimate Kennedy Theatre was transformed, for this performance, into a place with cozy, fun family seating. Thanks to open-space platforms, kids and parents could stretch out or prop up against fluffy pillows, a feature which nursing moms and tiny toddlers made excellent use of at Friday night’s performance.
And, adding to the fun, the cast of The Wolf is made up of talented young people, who serve as an inspiration to their even-younger viewers, and just a handful of adults, the perfect magic formula to entrance tiny theatre-goers.
Bright, colorful costumes from Allison White add to the fun, as does Lauren Kennedy’s balletic choreography and kid-friendly direction. She obviously has a knack for what kids love, and her enthusiasm for creating fun, family-oriented theatre shines through in the perfection and attention to detail attributed to this production.
The simple story, which combines elements from several beloved fairy tales- Peter and the Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, etc.- moves smoothly and quickly with especially spirited performances from young William Kalland as Peter and the spunky Chloe Calhoun as Scarlett. The show also features a super cute mouse (Kameron Draper) and cat (Riley Campbell), decked out in adorable costumes.
And, adding to the fun (and fear!) of viewers is adult performer Quincy Ellis. Ellis, who obviously has a dance background, offers up a slinky, scary version of the terrorizing wolf, but no worries for parents- this story has a thankfully happy ending.
The young crowd at Friday’s performance was truly in awe of The Wolf and all the other theatrical elements of this precious and precocious production, and it must be said that watching them was nearly as much fun as watching this delightful show, making it truly a must-see for families and a much needed introduction to smart, sassy theatre for the youngest of the young crowd.
Theatre Raleigh presents THE WOLF at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. March 17 and 18; and 12, 3, and 6 p.m. March 19 and 20 in the Sara Lynn and K.D. Kennedy, Jr. Theater in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, NC 27601.
TICKETS: $15 ($10 children 12 and under), except $5 per student for matinee performances for groups of 10 or more.
BOX OFFICE: 919-832-9997 or https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/953591.
GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.theatreraleigh.com/familyfestivities/group-tickets/.
SHOW: http://www.theatreraleigh.com/familyfestivities/ and http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/event/the-wolf-6200.
VIDEO PREVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyhoIJJ9GwE&feature=youtu.be.
“FAMILY FESTIVITIES” SERIES: http://www.theatreraleigh.com/familyfestivities/.
PRESENTER: http://www.theatreraleigh.com/, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Theatre-Raleigh/349124511834045, and https://twitter.com/TheatreRaleigh.
Joe Calarco (Washington, DC playwright): http://joecalarco.blogspot.com/ (his blog), https://www.playscripts.com/playwrights/bios/262 (Playscripts, Inc.), https://www.facebook.com/joecalarconyc (Facebook page), and https://www.twitter.com/joecalarconyc (Twitter page).
Andre Catrini (New York City composer): http://www.andrecatrini.com/ (official website), https://www.facebook.com/andre.catrini (Facebook page), and https://twitter.com/andrecatrini (Twitter page).
Lauren Kennedy (New York City director and choreographer and Theatre Raleigh artistic director): http://laurenkennedy.com/ (official website), http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=70340 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2757787/ (Internet Movie Database), https://www.facebook.com/slaurenkennedy (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/slaurenkennedy (Twitter page), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lauren_Kennedy (Wikipedia).