Regional Reviews: Philadelphia
Red Riding Hood
This version starts with a young actor named Wolfgang preparing to tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood in his bedroom. Wolfgang is all set to skip the boring intro and head right to the gory good parts when a curious delivery person comes into his room and starts asking questions. Together, Wolfgang and the Delivery Person discuss the nature of storytelling, come up with their own version of Little Red's tale, and generally caper and cavort all over the intimate stage. The energy is fantastic and there are lots of funny moments everyone in the family can enjoy, but the simple story is stretched out for too long.
Jo Vito Ramirez brings a wonderfully zany energy to the role of pretentious but well meaning Wolfgang. Ciera Gardner is thoroughly charming as the daring and clever Delivery Person. I cannot wait to see what these actors do next. Rebecca Wright directs this farcical comedy with a frenetic energy that keeps all the young people in the audience engaged and entertained. Thoughtful set design is essential to any good farce and Andrew Cohen's set design is fabulous.
It's not perfect, but there is a lot of love in this fun and genuinely insightful production.
Red Riding Hood runs through June 9, 2023, at Arden Theatre Company, Arcadia Stage, 40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia PA. Tickets start at $25. For tickets and information, please visit www.ardentheatre.org, call 215-922-1122, or visit the box office in person.