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Theatre / Red: The Red Riding Hood Musical

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Red (subtitled "The Red Riding Hood Musical") is a stage musical based on the different versions of the classic Fairy Tale Little Red Riding Hood. More specifically, it is about a group of traveling gypsies who have stopped in the woods to camp for the night, and tell/reenact the story of their ancestor, the original Red, of Riding Hood fame, and her encounter with the Wolf. In the meantime, the gypsies may or may not be being stalked by a wolf of their own, which causes them no end of unease.

What makes this musical a unique take on the Fairy Tale, is that as the gypsies tell the story, the discuss and debate all of the different versions of the story that exist from the Lighter and Softer variants, to the Darker versions, to the ones where everyone ends up dead.

Oh, and because the play actually consists entirely of the gypsies re-enacting the story of Red and the Wolf, the cast only consists of five people.

Written by Paul Boyd and produced by An Griandan Theater Co., Red has been professionally staged only twice since it was originally written in 2000.

The official website is here:

Red Contains Examples Of

  • The Big Bad Wolf: As with the original fairy tale. This wolf's "politeness" however, comes off as more than a little bit creepy.
  • Cool Old Guy: Louis, the oldest, bravest, wisest of the Gypsies, and also the only one who doesn't participate in the mad-cap arguing over the endings. In fact, he ends up settling the argument in a way that satisfies everyone.
  • Cool Old Lady: Red's Grandma. Not only is she kind and caring to her granddaughter, she helps her overcome her ostracization from the other children (a major part of Act I is Red becoming more accepted and well liked by her peers). Also, there's her song in Act II "You Gotta Deal With Grandma".
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: Each of the Gypsies (except for Louis) has a favorite version of the story of Red, and they all try to make the reenactment end to match their version. At the end of "Back To The Scene Of The Crime" (basically the "what big eyes, etc." scene, with some extra gloating from the Wolf) when just as the Wolf is about to devour Red, they hear a knock on the door. This is revealed to be the hunter, Blue Boy, who has apparently shown up early. Or maybe not. Then Grandma bursts out of the closet, and has a song about how she's not scared of the Wolf, mirroring the hunter's song. Then Jacob (the Gypsy playing the wolf at the time) protests that he ate her (I mean the wolf ate you!). This all comes to a head with the song "The Endings," which basically amounts to each of the Gypsies rapidly and forcefully directing the others to reenact their preferred ending, while the others protest that the ending doesn't make sense. By the end of it, "all" of the characters (except Blue Boy) have been killed in one ending or another.
  • Framing Device: Five travelling gypsies stop in the woods for the night and tell the story of their ancestor Red as a bed-time story.
  • Little Dead Riding Hood: Referenced in the song "Back To The Scene Of The Crime" by the Wolf. It even provides the current page quote!
    You were too easy to spot with that hood on your head, why don't you just wear a target instead?
  • The Musical: of Little Red Riding Hood
  • Never Mess with Granny: Grandma gets a song about called "You Gotta Deal With Grandma", where she calls the wolf out on all his crap, explains that she's not scared of him, is tired of being ignored in the story, and joins with Blue Boy the hunter in telling the Wolf to get out of her house.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: We never actually see the wolf (or possibly wolves) that the Gypsies are so scared of. We know it's out there, because we hear it howl several times, and they find tracks. And of course, at the end of "When The Night Is Clear", the air becomes absolutely filled with the howls of various wolves. Heck, the song even points out that one of the scary things about the wolf is that even when he can easily see you, you'll never see him...
  • Savage Wolves: The Gypsies are in the woods, with at least one wolf, which may or may not be stalking them. The song "When The Night Is Clear" is all about how absolutely terrifying the Wolf is, and ends with the sounds of wolves howling, from all around the gypsies and audience.
  • Stay on the Path: It's Little Red Riding Hood, so of course she doesn't.