The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood, running from November 23 through December 15, 2019, at TADA! Youth Theater, is a hilarious take on the Red Riding Hood story told from the wolf’s point of view. The book is by Robert Emmett, lyrics by Bob Merrill and music by Jule Styne. TADA! was the first company to perform this musical on stage. It was originally produced as a TV special in 1965 featuring Liza Minnelli, Cyril Richard and Vic Damone.
Manhattan children appearing in The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood include Harlem’s Hakiem Porter, 13, as Lancelot the wolf; AJ Walker, 15, as Lone T. Wolf; Truman Mindt, 13, as Woodsman; Yealie Ulaba-Samura, 15, as Sky; and Caleb Vaughn, 13, as Giraffe/Bear.
Hakiem Porter, a 13-year-old from Harlem, will be playing Lancelot in The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood. He explains, “Lancelot is a wolf. He doesn’t trust humans and doesn’t want to make friends with humans. I like stepping out of a human role to play something different, and I get to try something new.”
Hakiem continues, “Theater lets me escape my daily troubles. TADA! puts a smile on my face. I want to pursue theater as a potential career. Theater lets me speak up and have a voice. It teaches you how to respect yourself and how to gain confidence in yourself.” Hakiem is in the 8th grade at Harlem Prep Middle School in Manhattan.
The production will be directed by Janine Nina Trevens, TADA!’s Founder and Producing Artistic Director and choreographed by Joanna Greer, TADA!’s Associate Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer.
Since 1984, TADA!’s mission is to inspire young people from different backgrounds to be creative, learn, and think differently through high-quality musical theater productions and educational programs. A unique Drama Desk award-winning nonprofit youth theater, TADA! produces original musicals for children, teens, and family audiences. TADA! offers a free, year-round, pre-professional training and positive youth development program for its Resident Youth Ensemble (ages 8-18); musical theater classes/camps for the public; as well as musical theater residencies in NYC schools and community centers. Through high-quality work, young people’s self-confidence and creativity are enhanced. They also develop advanced skills in leadership, communication, responsibility, collaboration, and problem-solving– skills that help with growing up and are essential to their success both in school and in life.
Performances of The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood run November 23 and December 6, 13 at 7:00 PM; November 24, 30 and December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15 at 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM; December 4 at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. For tickets, please visit https://www.tadatheater.com/buy-tickets/.
Photo Caption: Hakiem Porter, 13. By TADA! Youth Theater