Cornerstone puts on 'Big Bad Musical'

| 24 Apr 2012 | 01:17

SUSSEX — Anyone who has ever wondered whether the Big Bad Wolf is innocent or guilty will find Cornerstone’s production of “The Big Bad Musical” the perfect opportunity to weigh in on the wolf's future. Loosely based on the classic children’s fairy tales “Little Red Riding Hood” “The 3 Little Pigs” and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” this show is a rollicking musical courtroom drama.

And the Cornerstone production brings to the stage a vast cast of local actors.

The action revolves around a class action suit brought on by the plaintiffs Little Red Riding Hood (Madison McIntyre of West Milford), Grandma Hood (Sophia Giralt of Sparta), the woodcutter (Evan Blake of Lafayette), the Three Little Pigs (Jenna Blandina and Catelyn Mulvaney of Sparta and Aylssa Acevedo of Hamburg), the boy who cried wolf (Andrew Wire of Branchville and Karthik Selvaraj of Sparta) and the shepherd (Kyle Penney of Newton). They are all suing the wolf for monetary compensation (L’il Red wants grandma to have a condo with a pool) since the wolf’s criminal trial ended in a hung jury when the courthouse was crushed by a Giant falling out of the sky (now who could that be?)

The plaintiffs are represented by The Fairy Godmother (Grace Brizek of Sparta) who is a crackerjack attorney ready to represent all that is good...or is it?

The wolf (Sarah Blake of Lafayette), who proclaims he is innocent, a vegan and a product of his environment is represented by the successful attorney The Evil Stepmother, (Alice Sungurov of Sparta) who is doing this case pro bono. The evil stepmother also brings in an expert witness, Little Miss Muffet, (Julia Feldman of Wantage) who cannot sit in the courtroom since no one has a tuffet. The wolf has groupies called the wolfettes, (Emily Holowach of Sussex, Polina Novzhilova and Julia Dykstra of Sparta) who provide the wolf with love and compassion.

In the courtroom is also the wise judge (Mia Lennon of Ogdensburg) who presides over the proceedings and gives out words of wit and wisdom, Sydney Grimm (Audrey Leibig of West Milford) who is the local reporter for EFN (Enchanted Forest News), three men in a tub (Nick Holowach and Justin Fransen of Sussex and Eden Hamer of Wantage), Pinocchio (Sara Holowach of Sussex), Little Bo Peep (Danielle Penney of Newton) and two mice (Isha Yanamanda and Ally Karanikas of Sparta).

Fun show for kids Artistic Director Scott Mason chose this show because of the classic fairy tale characters portrayed in the production.

“Characters like these are easy for kids to relate to so it makes their acting job so much easier and fun for the actor,” Mason says. “We use our junior productions as training grounds for kids to learn about acting, singing and dancing. In typical family productions there may be one or two larger roles for a child, but in a junior production all roles are filled by kids.”

In addition to acting roles, Mason also has two assistant student directors, Alli Pierson of Hampton and Zachary McIntyre of West Milford. As assistant directors they run and stage scenes, teach choreography and music and help the young performers with their characters.

While this show is an ideal opportunity to introduce younger audiences to the world of musical theater — there are toe tapping production numbers from country western to rap — there's another side, too. One of the unique opportunities of this production is the audience becomes the jury and votes on the wolf’s guilt or innocence. The performers have three endings prepared, depending on the verdict: innocent, guilty or “can’t decide.”