"FOUR STARS" - Winnipeg Free Press

This farcical spoof of Little Red Riding Hood is a grownup production that works well for kids, largely because of its hilariously over-the top performances.

Erin McGrath, last seen at Manitoba Theatre for Young People, turns in a delightful performances as the impish, if not obnoxious, Little Red. Gotta love her Edith Piaf imitation.

Not outdone is Rob McLaughlin as the villainous wolf, employing a Maurice Chevalier accent and hamming it up even more than he did as Bottom this spring in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The gimmick here is provided by American playwright Joan Shenkar, whose script calls for stage directions to be read out loud by a narrator, Tricia Cooper, doing double duty as the grandmother, a wine-loving butcher.

The highly ironic 60 minutes call to mind the shenanigans of the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon show. Nothing up their sleeve but talent.

-- Morley Walker


This is quintessential Fringe - a gleefully warped retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale with some black humour and French cabaret thrown in - just for fun. Erin McGrath brings an Ed Grimley-like physicality to Little Red that's as ridiculous as her shrill, lisping voice. Rob McLaughlin plays the wolf as a snotty, over-the-top Frenchman - a campy shtick that works well for him. Tricia Cooper is the funniest person on stage, playing both Grandma, a butch butcher and the narrator, a hysterical role which she does totally deadpan - pointing out missed stage directions and commenting on the production's subtext. FYI: she also wrote and stars in Homely Woman #2, a one-woman show at Venue 11. I bet it's good. - MC

4 out of 5 - The Winnipeg Sun

Once upon a time there was an alcoholic butcher grandmother, a French-accented wolf with a serious saliva problem and a little, red, riding-hooded girl who wrings the necks of wee little songbirdies in the deep dark forest. No, this isn't your childhood fairy tale, boys and girls, but who needs happily ever after when you've got all the makings of a deliciously dark Fringe hit? Local company No Sugar Added Productions' Universal Wolf is just that, taking an innocent storybook tale and corrupting it with bloody murder and grisly humour. As a bittersweet Red, Fringe first-timer Erin McGrath lisps her way into the bad books of her blackberry wine-guzzling grandma -- played by hilarious Royal Liechtensteiner Tricia Cooper - while charming, moustachioed Big Bad Wolf Rob McLaughlin sharpens his teeth for what he hopes will be his happy ending. Not in this version, wolfman.

-- Lindsey Ward


A huge, no-holding back tip of the hat to the cast of this comedy-musical for their huge, no-holding back performances. It’s Little Red Riding Hood, retold as it was originally intended, with lots of sharp teeth and no heroic woodsman. Tricia Cooper brings sly timing and delivery to her dual role as narrator and Grandma. As a pouting, lisping, Red Riding Hood, Erin McGrath is a wicked cross between Gumby and Shirley Temple’s evil twin. As the wolf, Rob McLaughlin delivers one of the this year’s most entertaining performances. Think of Pepe le Pew with fangs. Spinning from smarmy seducer to salivating carnivore, he wins this year’s “Most Pronounced Forehead Vein” award. The cast’s crazed glee makes it a fun parent-child pick.

CBC – Michael O’Brien