The classic Three Little Pigs gets a fun, jazzy, musical
reenactment when Emerald City brings it to the Apollo Theater
During its American premiere Saturday morning, small children
giggled and cheered for the pigs as they worked together to build
their homes before the hipster wolf could get to them. The one
thing few of them did (with the exception of my two admittedly
wimpy children)? Cry.
Yes. Wolves are scary, and to bring them front and center to a
children's show is a brave task. But this was done so well that
even the most timid of audience members will be drawn into the
wolf's sly musical numbers - so much so, that they may even forget
to be scared.
The original musical, directed by Ernie Nolan, starts with
the mama pig, played by Rachel Pallante, explaining to her three
piglets (Cameron Benoit, Micah Kronlokken and Mary-Margaret
Roberts) - that it's time to move away from their pigsty. They'd
each have to build their own home.
With a clever discussion about the pros and cons and
environmental effects of hay, sticks and bricks, the pigs get to
And then - SPOILER ALERT - the wolf arrives.
This is where the show - had it not already been good -- gets
really, really good. This production has really catchy, original
songs. It has a strong plot, good actors and it sticks to the
age-appropriate plot without going off on tangents.
But the wolf, belted out by James Nedrud, takes The Three Little
Pigs to a whole new level. Nedrud could have made the wolf into a
traditional scary, bad-guy character. Instead, he became the Elvis
of the wolves. He's a fun, mysterious, slightly flirty, jazzy twist
of the bad guy. And when he was rocking out to his first song about
how he was simply misunderstood, my 5-year-old whispered, "I don't
think so. I think he's simply trying to fool us." And he was.
Nedrud makes the audience love him - a wolf - so much, that
we're slightly disappointed when he falls into the pot of boiling
stew at the end.
It's a play that very subtly teaches about the construction of
homes, about teamwork and about sharing - and it does it all
The show is 45 minutes without an intermission, which is just
enough to keep even the smallest audience members captivated.
A limited number of tickets will be available for $10 for each
performance. The rest will start at $16 for children and adults.
The show runs until May 17. 2540 N Lincoln Ave.,
Danielle Braff lives with her two daughters and husband in downtown Chicago.
See more of Danielle's stories here.
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