Adapted from the book by Mike Artell, Illustrations by Jim Harris

  Book, Music & Lyrics by Joan Cushing
  Commissioned by: Imagination Stage, Bethesda, MD
  World Premiere: Imagination Stage, February – May, 2005
  Highlight: 2007 New York Musical Theatre Festival, Next Link Selection.
                          Honorable Mention, Best in Script, 2007 NY Musical Theatre Awards for Excellence
  Representation By: Imagination Stage
   Bobby Smith as Claude, Imagination Stage, Photo by Stan Barouh

Synopsis  |   Production History  |   Production Photos  |   Song Samples  |   Quotes  |   REVIEWS

What the critics are saying:

"With the exuberance of a Mardi Gras float wheeling through the Big Easy, writer and composer Joan Cushing has turned a 2001 picture book into a clever stage production whose tunes explode with Louisiana zest!"                                                                      – The Washington Post
"As snappy as a string of cayenne peppers!... Miss Cushing's show luxuriates in the music of New Orleans - Cajun, zydeco, Dixieland, gospel, jazz and the blues...and her talent for infectious rhymes [is] as sharp as ever... Petite Rouge is a feast for the senses and the appetite, as Miss Cushing's adaptation revels in the sights, music and food of Cajun country."   Four Stars ****                                                                       – The Washington Times
"A vivid theatrical experience, brimming with humor, melody, dance, and a sense of whimsy... A little gem of a mini-musical!"
                                                                                                                                                              – Weta Around Town: Best Bet
"Joan Cushing's book, music and lyrics totally charmed.  Michael J. Bobbitt showed quality comic direction and dazzling choreography... Kudos to Imagination Stage."                                                                                                                     – Aol Hometown/Performing Arts Review
"Adapter Joan Cushing is clearly having a blast with this and it shows.. .Bobby Smith's Claude steals the show, as he mumbles angrily to himself, tries to hide his long tail while in elaborate disguises, and butchers the French language."  Four Stars ****       – The Montgomery County Sentinel
"The whole show is what a kid show should be: inspiring, fun, truly beautiful and poetic, magical. The show transports you into another place, it really TAKES YOU somewhere.   I know my children are dreaming about it as I write.   Thank you for making out lives a little bit better today."
                                                                                                                                                                        – Pascale Brady, Parent

What the New York critics are saying…
"Almost everything about the show is hot: the setting (the Louisiana bayou), the music (with peppy zydeco and steamy jazz), the dancing (lots of tango moves) and, most of all, the fiery Cajun sauce…a musical with heart."                                                                  – The New York Times
"This explosively colorful rendition of a childhood classic, set in the swampy, down-home environs of New Orleans, has a saucy flavor and a cheekiness that lets it do double duty as an after-dark romp… Rouge's swirly, swampy, larger-than-life world [is] complete with wacky disguises, a riverboat, and a stopover in New Orleans for Mardi Gras… Bobby Smith is an absolute standout as Claude… It's hard to resist being won over by a band of crooning animals cruising on the Bayou."                                                                                                   – New York
"Little Red Riding Hood on the bayou. And what an exuberant retelling of the childhood fable it is! Thanks to the zydeco-inspired music and lyrics by Joan Cushing and a sprightly cast of six that seems much larger, even adults will enjoy this romp."                            – Back Stage: Critics Pick
"Petite Rouge is ostensibly for children, but like all good children’s theatre, it is equally entertaining for adults…Michael J. Bobbitt, who directs, has also choreographed the energetic, funny and sexy dances that work so well with Cushing’s songs… And Reggie Ray has created fantastic and colorful costumes and masks for Cushing’s assortment of evil and innocent animals.  There isn’t a song that doesn’t work… Get ready to leave the theatre humming one or two of Cushing’s tunes."                                                                                                      – Curtain Up New York
"For all the new and modern twists and references and Creole reupholstery of the story, this is at heart an old fashioned, traditional children’s theater piece with a message and a heart…Speaking and singing in dialect as thick as the Louisiana swamp, and dropping local food references like Hansel and Gretel drop crumbs, the characters and writer never let us forget where we are… At Mardi Gras…beads and feathers abound, and the colorful, swirling costumes here are the work of designer Reggie Ray… Energetic and efficient, with appealing and fun dance numbers… and some humor for the grown-ups."                                                                                                                                    – Edge New York



What the London critics are saying…

"Colourful theatrics...feathered masks...and Cushing's jaunty songs, blending jazz, Dixie, and hillbilly, keep the action bouncing along... Best of all is Daniel Tawse as a hip-swivelling Claude, strutting in leather coat and cowboy boots, his voice a bluesy growl...Jolly and quirky."

                                                                                                                                                                         - TimesOnline/London


A musically rousing, twinkly-eyed show for the family, thanks to the winning central pairing of Emily Patrikios as Petite Rogue, and Daniel Tawse’s thoroughly seductive ‘Gator…The supporting cast, particularly Richard Meek’s oily Jazz Cat, fulfill their animal-inspired, grandly overblown characters with gusto. “   Four Stars ****                                                                                                                       - e Metro/London                                  

“Colorful costumes, singing, dancing, and hot sauce!...Petite Rouge is a family musical with some real foot tapping numbers and a bright and sparky young cast…There is plenty to sing about in this jolly little production.”   Three Stars ***                

 - What’s On Stage/Off-West End & Fringe

“This  atmospheric open-air show is a family-friendly affair…with colorful animal masks and the irresistible folksy appeal of Cajun music.”               - Time Out London

“Petite Rouge has a puppet chorus of frogs, with grins as wide as their cheeks, a terrific funeral procession, fuelled by Cajun music, and an alligator villain in a leather jacket who snarls at the women in the audience. “                                                      

 - The Observer Guardian, U.K.

“With spicy language, and colourful characters, Petite Rouge expresses perfectly the naivety of youth walking blithely into danger.”                               - The Stage,  What’s On/London

“A great way to spend an evening…Tawse is outstanding as Claude.” ****Four Stars 

 - RemoteGoat/London

"A Top Theatre Pick" - Benedict Nightingale


What the Arizona critics are saying…

"Childsplay's stunning Petite Rouge moves the German children's tale Little Red Riding Hood to the exotic Louisiana bayou with its spicy Cajun influences...The show by Joan Cushing enchants little theatergoers while adding fun for adult chaperones."
  –The Arizona Republic

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