Big Bad Wolf gets to tell his side in ‘Three Little Pigs’
Nobody should be afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. The poor guy just got a bad rap because of a virus and a misunderstanding between him and the Three Little Pigs.
That’s the case that the big carnivore will plead to audiences during the next two weeks in the children’s play, “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.” The stage production — the second of the 41st season for Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater — tells the classic fairy tale with a clever twist from the Big Bad Wolf’s point of view, the director says. At the end, the audience gets to decide the verdict on the wolf’s guilt or innocence; then, one of three potential ending scenes will follow, based on the audience’s votes.
” ‘The True Story of the Three Little Pigs’ follows the story, but from the wolf’s perspective,” says Ernie Nolan, director of the play. “He’s trying to make it clear how misunderstood he is, and that he’s really not the bad guy the audience thinks he is.”
The audience often falls in love with Alexander T. Wolf, but the play’s endings still vary, Nolan says.
“They get to decide which ending is correct,” says Nolan, associate artistic director of Chicago-based Emerald City Theatre, which produces the play. “They have the power to clear the wolf’s name, after hearing all of the facts of the story. The audience could get a different ending every time they see the play.
“We wanted the audience to make their own conclusions,” Nolan says.
Characters in the play — which includes jazzy background music — include Little Red Riding Hood, who came over from her own fairy tale to serve as a criminologist specializing in wolf shenanigans. Random Adjective, a pig who works as a reporter, adds laughs while trying to figure out what happened when the wolf attacked the three little pigs. According to the wolf, an ill-timed sneeze, and bad instructions from his family, led to a horrible but innocent accident.
The play has a 1930s feel to it, Nolan says. Only three performers make up the cast, and puppets make up the rest. Kids and adults know the characters, and will love the show, he says.
“I think they like seeing a character that they’ve known in a new life,” Nolan says. “I think they like the surprise that happens in the show. I think they really love the detective-story nature.
“There are many different levels of humor, like many of the Disney films that are out there,” he says. “There’s really smart humor that adults … can really follow and chuckle themselves.”
‘The True Story of the Three Little Pigs’
When and where: 2 p.m. Sunday and 10:15 a.m. Monday at Byham Theater, Downtown
• 7 p.m. Wednesday at Gateway High School, Monroeville
• 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at Marshall Middle School, Marshall
• 7 p.m. Nov. 19 at Hopewell High School, Aliquippa, Beaver County
• 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Nov. 20 at Upper St. Clair High School
• 2 p.m. Nov. 21 at Seneca Valley Senior High School, Harmony, Butler County
Admission: $11; $9.50 in advance
Details: 412-456-6666 or website