In the Hood 

Karamu offers urban take on familiar fairy tale.

A troupe of X-Men rejects (castoffs prevents interp. reject as verb) and a Jeopardy!-obsessed grandmother headline a twisted take on a familiar fairy tale in tonight's youth-theater opening of Karamu's Little Red Riding Hood (and the Power Mutants). In the Ed Monk farce, Little Red is a caterer who meets three wimpy wolves on the way to Grandma's house. "It's completely contemporary," says director Judy Mazur. "It's for kids, but adults will definitely get a kick out of it too."To cater to Cleveland's black theatergoers, the company handpicked the play for of its multicultural cast. The diversity has paid off in bragging rights: Karamu's teen alumni include Everybody Hates Chris actress Imani Hakim. "Theater functions at all level for kids. They develop confidence, a love of reading, and the ability to present ideas more eloquently," says Mazur. "I love seeing children progress and enjoy the limelight." The curtain rises at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Sunday, January 6, at Karamu House's Arena Theatre, 2355 East 89th Street. Tickets are $10. Call 216-795-7070 or visit www.karamu.com.
Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Dec. 22. Continues through Jan. 6, 2007

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