Dispatches from Maine

Just another person of little note writing about ordinary things. That I reside in Maine is icing on the cake.

11 January 2007

Red Panda Adventures

If you like heroic adventure with a 1930s feel to it, then Red Panda Adventures by Decoder Ring Theatre is for you! The duo of the Red Panda, an unnamed wealthy young man, and the Flying Squirrel, Kit Baxter, is performed by Gregg Taylor and Clarissa der Nederlanden. The Red Panda is a mix of the intellectual side of Batman and the esoteric side of The Shadow. He leaves behind the cornball parts of Batman and the really creepy elements of the Shadow, which scared the heck out of my kids. The Flying Squirrel is the school-of-hard-knocks tough girl. She sounds like the only girl in a family of twelve boys. Their adventures cover the gamut from fighting mafia/extortionist types, to fighting super-villains and then the occasional oddball.

The show manages to walk that perfect balance of edgy enough to entertain adults without crossing into not-safe-for-kids land. Actually, I listened to it for months before first playing it for my young ladies while on the road to an appointment. They were instantly captivated and created a new female character, The Red Squirrel, to give them both girl characters to play. The run around the house play acting the tough female hero role, needing only the occasional "Kit Baxter...behave yourself!" to keep the furniture from being destroyed. After more than a month of this, I finally decided to see if I might be able to order a few t-shirts to go along with their new passion, throwing a shirt in for me perhaps. The Decoder Ring folks to have a cafepress.com store (buy something!), but no kid's shirts.

What, you say, "I see kid's shirts." Indeed there are! I contacted the folks at Decoder Ring Theatre and before you know it Gregg Taylor himself replied telling me he had added the kid's sizes and thanking the girls for listening. He was very accessible and so incredibly kind to the girls. They squealed with delight as I read the messages from Mr. Taylor and he made time to reply to their many questions. Not only is the show great, but they are good people too! If you have yet to give the show a listen, allow my girls to recommend these two episodes: When Darkness Falls and The Curse of Beaton Hall.



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