Petite Rouge – An Atlanta Theater Fans Review

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Petite Rouge at Atlanta's Synchronicity Theatre

Renita James as Petite Rouge. Photo courtesy of Synchronicity Theatre

Do you like fairy tales with a twist? A twist on an old classic is what your will get with Synchronicity Theatre’s family production of Petite Rouge by Joan Cushing. This musical, featuring Zydeco music, is a fun experience for the entire family.

A take on the classic “Little Red Riding Hood” story, Petite Rouge takes the audience on journey into the bayous of Louisiana. The duck Petite Rouge (Renita James) journeys to Grand Mere’s house with TeJean, a cat, played by Steven D Brun. In this story, the Big Bad Wolf takes on a role more specific to the locale: a gator.

Petite Rouge boasts a strong cast. James shines as Petite Rouge. An infectious smile and strong attitude carry her through the production and provides the foundation for the musical’s charm. Featuring a strong supporting cast, the musical showcases the talents of Taryn Janelle, Jessica De Maria, and Michael Stiggers. Stiggers shows that he possesses top-notch talent, and his dancing and singing ability command’s the audience’s attention.

One of the shows brightest stars isn’t part of the onstage talent. The costumes, designed by Abby Parker, are inventive and enthralling. Subtle, yet easily recognizable, the outfits complement the characters with distinct style. In particular, Claude’s glowing red sun glasses and tail become crowd favorites.

Director, Justin Anderson has crafted a well-polished show. Transitions happen seamlessly, and everything works together to create a visually pleasing presentation. With so much movement, the staging could become disjointed and disorienting, but his direction has kept everything balanced. Lori Werner’s choreography dazzles and adds to the overall polish of the production.

Jeffrey Martin’s scenic design works well with the musical and adds to the overall atmosphere. Draped with Spanish moss, the wooden structure with a loft transports the audience into the bayous of Louisiana. In addition, each of the characters have regional accents that add to the sense of realism with the help of dialect coach Kathleen McManus.

Light, humorous and creative, Petite Rouge provides a captivating escape for the whole family. Petite Rouge plays through March 25 at the 7 Stages Back Stage Theatre. For tickets and more information, please call 404-484-8636 or visit Synchronicity Theatre’s website. The show runs for 70 minutes with no intermission.