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REVIEW

Pigs' tale gets a fun rewrite

May 29, 2003|Lynne Heffley | Times Staff Writer

"Once upon a time, there were three little pigs ..."

There the similarity to a certain ubiquitous fairy tale ends as the "3 Little Pigs" at the Falcon Theatre rewrite their history. In Carole Unter's new children's comedy, even the Big Bad Wolf gets a makeover.

Although it needs some polishing and tightening to live up to its premise, the fun shines through, thanks in large part to the three accomplished actors who make the most of their porcine personas.

Lisa Valenzuela is Petunia, the bossy star wannabe in a frilly pink dress who tries to get her siblings to reenact the tale as written; Maui Vang is tomboyish Patsy; and Matt Crabtree is a spiffy chef named Percy.

When straw and sticks are in short supply, the piggies make use of pizza boxes and hula hoops; when the Big Bad Wolf is unavailable, a glamorous witch (comedian Vivicca Whitsett) reluctantly fills in, even though she's watching her weight (due to an impending evildoers convention) and wouldn't dream of chowing down on pork.

Vang, with her sunny, round face, exaggerated freckles and cowgirl outfit (Lou Carranza's costumes are a colorful kick), helps make the proceedings adorable. Whitsett, in her sorceress gown, has some funny moments but seemed tentative at a recent performance in the witch-turned-"Wolfie" role.

Directed by Joseph Leo Bwarie, the actors need to project a higher comfort level with audience participation, too, but the friends-helping-friends message comes through with a smile.

*

'3 Little Pigs'

Where: Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank

When: Saturday, 1 and 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.; ends June 22

Cost: $10

Info: (818) 955-8101

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