Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Vpstart Crow Red vs. The Wolf and Shakespeare’s Clowns

By • May 9th, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Vpstart Crow’s production of Red vs. The Wolf and Shakespeare’s Clowns [MP3 4:13 1.9MB].

Red vs. The Wolf and Shakespeare’s Clowns
Vpstart Crow
Cramer Center, Manassas, VA
$12/$6 Student/$30 Family
Through May 18th

Laura: This is the ShowBizRadioReview of Red vs. The Wolf and Shakespeare’s Clowns, performed by Vpstart Crow in Manassas, Virginia. We saw the preview performance on Thursday, May 8, 2008.

Mike: Red Vs. The Wolf is a play by Judy Wolfman. It retells the story of Little Red Ridinghood, but from the wolf’s point of view. Shakespeare’s Clowns is a play aimed at youth. Many of Shakespeare’s comedies feature clownish characters. Shakespeare’s Clowns takes a tour of the Rude Mechanicals, Dogberry and his constables, and other well known comic figures.

Laura: I enjoyed Red Vs. The Wolf. I thought they did a good job. When the show opens on Friday and there are a few more people other than the parents of the kids, I think the actors can draw on some more energy. Then I think they will interact and come alive. I think they all did a good job. Megan Graves as Red did a good job with her overacting and big sweeping gestures. I liked the expression on her face especially when she was telling all the forest creatures to get the heck out, that she was having to go to Grandma’s house. I thought she played that really well.

Shakespeare’s Clowns I enjoyed, but I’m not sure it would appeal to a young audience. Sword fighting is a crowd pleaser at any age, but I think some of the dialog got lost on the younger kids.

Mike: Red vs. The Wolf is definitely aimed at the younger children. It was a cute retelling. I liked the wolf. He could maybe have been a little more fierce in the first telling of the story of the stereo type that he’s fighting. The Wolf was played by Ray Bracken. I liked his costume. The costumes for the animals could maybe have been done a little differently. For example the Wolf could have had a black nose with whiskers drawn on and maybe some fangs to make him more fierce for the first telling of the story. Then in the retelling of the story from his point of view make him more different from the original character. Yes he was more kind and got back at the stage manger, but I did not feel there was a big enough difference between the two different versions of the Wolf.

Shakespeare’s Clowns did not work at all for this show or Red vs. The Wolf. I think it was a poor decision to do a kid’s show, such as Red vs. The Wolf which is aimed at youngsters under seven or eight and then Shakespeare’s Clowns which is aimed at youth. I would say middle to high schoolers would get it. It is an introduction to Shakespeare, but putting the two together did not work for me at all.

It seemed that Shakespeare’s Clowns was trying to educate the audience on parts of Shakespeare, but there were still a lot of things that they did that were a part of Shakespeare, but were not explained. I got confused a couple times with some of the action happening. The kids that were there for Red Vs. The Wolf were totally bored. There were some sword fights and things during Shakespere’s Clowns, but it wasn’t enough to keep their attention for the whole 36 minutes of that show. So I question the decision of using these two shows together. I think individually they would have been fine for a different audience. Shakespeare’s Clowns I can see being done at a school with a captive audience. Red vs. The Wolf would be a perfect Summer production for midmorning (such as 11 o’clock and then a one o’clock show). It was 37 minutes as well. I just question the decision of doing these two shows to kick off the VpStart Crow season.

Laura: Red vs. The Wolf and Shakespeare’s Clowns are playing through Sunday, May 18. Fridays at 7. Saturdays at 3 pm and 7 pm and Sundays at 3 and 7 at the Cramer Center in Manassas, Virginia.

Mike: Both shows together with an intermission ran about an hour and forty minutes.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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