PTP’s Big Bad Musical is a hoot and a howl

The 20-member cast, shown here, of The Big Bad Musical ranged in age from 7 years to 15 years.

WINNSBORO – The Big Bad Musical was a howling good time with a twist on the old fairy tales that gave us paws, uh…pause.  The ladies and gentlemen of the jury—the audience—had to decide if the Big Bad Wolf was guilty of blowing down the houses of the 3 Little Pigs, eating sheep, and devouring Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother.

With a cast ranging in age from 7 to 15, Director Nysha Smith pulled off a fast-paced sophisticated yet playful musical comedy as the children rose to the challenge of playing wild and barnyard animals along with other fairy tale characters.

After a hard week of real news, it was refreshing to listen to the breathless young reporter (Madeline Rambo) who could stand in for any anchorwoman known today with her live on-the-scene reports. The defendant, The Big Bad Wolf (Hezekiah Childers) exuded an almost existential despair with his sad eyes and hangdog look.

The defense attorney was the Evil Stepmother, (Micaela Woodman) sulky and savvy, dressed in black. Across the courtroom was her adversary, the Fairy Godmother (Emma Grace Pope) who glowed with cool outrage in her pink sequined jacket, wings and crown as she passionately presented victim after victim. 

The defendant howled and delivered a rap song in his defense, while the rest of the play highlighted blues, rock, country, and bluegrass, clever lyrics, and something for everyone as various members of the cast gave their testimony.

There were 20 children onstage at once dancing and singing often very fast legalese that was well-rehearsed. The judge (Roman Hawkins) had a dimpled grin and a sideways look that stole the show and the hearts of the audience. 

Nysha Smith has co-directed shows at PTP before, but this was her first time as director, and she laughed describing the difficulties of working with 20 children, “There are seven 5-year-olds, so it was difficult in the beginning,” she said. However, with the help of adults and parents, her vision for the play was a success, and when the tiny Wolfettes were dancing out of sync, everything was going so well that it was difficult to discern whether or not that was on purpose. 

I won’t tell you what the verdict was. You must go sit in judgement, yourself, after you learn the backstory of the wolf, with a surprising twist.  The story and the actors will touch your heart, and make you laugh, and we all need a good laugh. 

Lasting just under an hour gives you time to fit in dinner downtown and get younger audience members home in time for a bedtime story.  The show continues next weekend September 17-19, with Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and a Sunday matinee at 3 to finish up this adorable production.

Will the Big Bad Wolf get away with it? You will have to be the judge.