Children's Theatre of Elgin's 'Big, Bad Wolf?' an 80s-style musical mashup of classic fairy tales
Children's Theatre of Elgin's newest production, "Big, Bad Wolf?," performed by a huge cast of local young people at The Hemmens Cultural Center, retells fairy tales with a somewhat modern-day view.
Set in the 1980s, this large ensemble jumps back in time to relive the great fashion, hairstyles and wonderful tunes popular in the 1980s.
Peformances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 12-13, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 14, at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. Tickets are $12 adults, $10 for students and seniors, and available at CTEelgin.com or (847) 214-7550.
The story centers around a little girl who stays with her grandmother while her mother is at work. Grandma shares a story from the 1980s as she retells the Big Bad Wolf story. Through some colorful scenes and familiar songs we meet Red ("Little Red Riding Hood"), Boy (the "Boy Who Cried Wolf"), "The Three Little Pigs," or rather, Javelinas, ("pigs" are very offensive to them), and Humpty and her Care Bear friends.
As the story develops, we soon discover that the folk tales shared throughout time may not tell the true story of what happened when these characters were younger.
Billie Jean, our "Big Bad Wolf," and Red seemed to have been civil with one another when they were kids. Now that they are both in their 20s they just can't seem to get along.
The show will feature more than 100 performers singing and dancing to some iconic 80s songs geared just for the show, including "Man Eater," "Wolf Shack," "Wolves Just Wanna have Fun" and "Ghostbusters."
Written by CTE alumna Allison Cherry, a second-grade teacher at Prairie View Grade School in Elgin, the show recalls the 1980s glory days of big hair, leg warmers and neon colors.
"The audience will also be able to connect with this show as the main character is being misunderstood and blamed for things just based on her outer appearance and what the world thinks 'her kind,'" Cherry said. "Talk about relevant for today's happenings."
"One of the things that makes this story so unique is the people involved with bringing the show to life," Cherry said. "For more than 18 years, CTE has had a wonderful costume designer in Fran Mitchell. She made so many of the costumes over the years and involved with many theater productions in the Fox Valley. Nearly every high school production in recent years has featured some of the costumes from the thousands she has made over the years."
After 68 productions, Mitchell approaches each show with a strategy of reusing and customizing costumes from the past as well as making new ones. For "Big, Bad Wolf?," Mitchell made 26 Care Bear costumes alongside costume committee volunteer Ginny Comings.
"Big, Bad Wolf?" will run about 90 minutes and includes a 15-minute intermission during which show-related treats and trinkets will be sold.
If you goWhat: Children's Theatre of Elgin's production of "Big, Bad Wolf?"
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 14
Where: Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin
Tickets: $12 adults/$10 students and seniors
Info: cteelgin.com; (847) 214-7152