‘Goldilocks!’ at The Puppet Co. by Julia L. Exline

The Puppet Company presents Goldilocks! a cheeky twist on the classic, in which Goldilocks and the Three Bears finally get to settle their dispute…in court! Directed by Allan Stevens (who also handled costumes and set design) and employing the audience as the deciding jury, an age-old question is put to rest: was Goldilocks a concerned citizen who found herself in a compromising position, or a guilty intruder who was caught red-handed?

Goldilocks brings the lost little baby bear home, and makes sure he has some yummy porridge. Photo courtesy of The Puppet Co.

The set is a clever one: “marble” courtroom podiums, between which hangs a scroll that, when cranked, shows two separate painted settings (a forest and a kitchen). The Puppet Company staff, who are dressed up as rangers, with “Bear Patrol” printed across the back of their shirts, settle the children down for the show (a very packed, very excited audience at my performance) and performers Christopher Piper and Cate Krange take the stage to welcome them. Dressed in bright overalls and oversized shoes (and later, as gigantic bears!) Piper and Krange playfully banter about their differing opinions about Goldilocks. Piper maintains Goldilock’s innocence, and Krange, her guilt, saying “my mind is made up—don’t confuse me with facts!” They sing a song about how there are two sides to every story, and decide to hold a trial on her behalf.  Dan Brooks keeps the lighting mood-appropriate, especially in one fun scene where Goldilocks is stalked through the woods by hundreds of pairs of menacing eyes.

Papa bear (a Russian-accented Piper with an impatient growl) is asked to share his side of the story, which is then re-enacted between the podiums. Krange takes the part of Mama bear, and Baby Bear and Goldilocks are both rod puppets, designed by Piper. During a particularly cute scene, the bear family sings a song about how wonderful it is to be a bear, and walk into the eager audience. Goldilocks finally makes an appearance; a somewhat vapid valley-girl whose vocabulary mainly consists of “for sure!” and “little bear dude.” Baby bear, while cute, proves himself to be mischievous and a bit naughty, full of “Mine’s!” and “No’s!” Mistakes are made, misconceptions are conceived, and songs are sung. After each side of the story is told, the audience (*ahem*…jury) is asked for their verdict.

In this cute and clever re-imagining, the children are not only a part of the fun, but are given a highly important role. Finding new twists on old favorites can be tough, but this courtroom drama version is a winner! Treat your child to a performance of Goldilocks! Fur sure!

The Bear Family goes for a little walk in the woods. Photo by The Puppet Co.

Running Time: 40 minutes, without an intermission.

Goldilocks! plays through July 15th at The Puppet Co. – in Glen Echo Park – 7300 MacArthur Boulevard, in Glen Echo, MD. For tickets, call (301) 634-5380, or order them online.


A preview of Goldilocks! by John Gazarek.

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