Most children have probably heard the tale of "Little Red Riding Hood."
Linn-Benton Community College will present a much different take on it the next two Saturdays.
Its "Red Riding Hood" is a lighthearted musical featuring two children telling each other the story of the Big Bad Wolf, say director Rebecca Douglas.
The story also features doughnuts. More about those later.
The musical, which is LBCC's 43rd Annual Children's Show, has matinee performances Feb. 10 and 17 at the Russell Tripp Performance Center in Albany.
Douglas said this version, written for the stage by Mike Kenny with songs and lyrics by Julian Butler, is geared toward children. It isn't as dark as the original story.
"It's told from the perspective of two kids playing pretend and acting out the story, which kids do all of the time," she said.
The musical centers on Bridget and Stephen, a sister and brother, who are sleeping over at their grandmother's house. The two are very excited about the doughnuts their grandmother has bought.
"Stephen can't sleep, so he asks Bridget to tell him a story, and she decides to tell the tale of 'Little Red Riding Hood,'" Douglas said.
Because Bridget is telling the story, she decides that Stephen has to pretend to be Little Red Riding Hood. The two take turns playing all the different characters and raid their grandmother's wardrobe to use her red coat and fur cloak as costumes.
Bridget plays the Big Bad Wolf. Through the course of the musical, she sneaks downstairs and gets the doughnuts.
Pretending to be the Big Bad Wolf, Bridget proceeds to wolf down grandma. But instead of wolfing down grandma, she is eating a doughnuts, Douglas said. The two siblings continue to eat the doughnuts throughout the musical and must hide them when they think their grandmother is coming into the bedroom.
"So, the actors get to eat doughnuts on stage, which is hilarious to watch an actor shove an entire doughnut in their mouth," she said.
Benny's Donuts in Corvallis has generously provided the baked goods for the entire run of the show, Douglas said.
The roles of Bridget and Stephen are double-cast with LBCC students Phoebe May and Samantha Johnson playing Bridget, and Jacob Birchard and Jakob Holden playing Stephen. In addition to the two Saturday matinees, the cast will have four performances a week for mid-valley schools into March, Douglas said.
The musical includes nine songs, including a tune called "The Big, Bad Wolf," which Douglas said is a highlight of the show.
One song children may really enjoy is “Stick to the Path (Part Two).” Bridget and Stephen jump up and down on the bed during the entire song.
"I think we all love that one. But I think the actors will be glad when they don't have to jump up and down on the bed anymore at the same time, because it's a very difficult thing to do," Douglas said.
Douglas has been impressed with her cast members, who had about one month to rehearse for the musical in class.
"I think it's been about three years since LBCC has done a musical, so that is something exciting," she said.
Douglas was asked to fill in this year as director of the children's play for Dan Stone, LBCC theater director, who is on a one-year sabbatical. This is her first time directing at the college.
She is no stranger to directing and children's theater productions. Douglas has a long list of directorial credits at Albany Civic Theater, where she's done "The Jungle Book," "The Wizard of Oz," "At First Sight," as well as running the kid's summer camp performances of "On This Island Jr." and Roald Dahl's "Willy Wonka Jr." last year.
She will also direct the spring musical for a third year at Jefferson Elementary School in Corvallis.
With some of the darker moments in the original story stripped away, Douglas said the musical version on stage at the Tripp isn't particularly frightening.
"There are moments where Stephen might start to get afraid and he tells his sister that, and she reassures him that it's going to be OK," Douglas said.
She added, "I would not worry about taking my 6-year-old to see it at all, because I know it wouldn't be too scary for her."