TUPELO • In the criminal justice sty, the pigs are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police who investigate swine, and the butchers who prosecute the offenders.

This is one of their stories.

If you’re still here after that many pig puns, you’ll be in hog heaven with the latest production from Tupelo Community Theatre Off Broadway.

“The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” aims to finally pin the tail on the Big Bad Wolf after the death of the two that made their homes from straw and sticks.

But the wolf’s not going down without a fight in the courtroom musical that opens today.

“They actually died, but the third one survived,” director Marley Maharrey said. “We have a judge who is very much persuaded by music, and both the prosecution and the defense use it to their advantage.”

It doesn’t help the wolf’s case that the judge is a pig and his trial is in Piggsylvania.

“It’s not exactly an objective place,” Maharrey said.

But the decision on whether or not the wolf is guilty or innocent isn’t up to the judge, or even the cast.

It’s up to the jury; in this case – the audience.

“There are multiple endings that will depend on the audience,” Maharrey said. “After hearing the evidence, they will decide whether or not he’s guilty of murder.”

Maharrey said that while things may seem bleak, the show is light-hearted and intended for all ages.

“It’s a funny premise and I love working with this age group,” she said of her young actors that make up the intimate cast. “I think that it’s such a great opportunity to work with community students or kids in that age group. We have so much talent all over this area that I want to meet different students and help them shine.

“They have done very well under pressure and I’m looking forward to seeing their big performances this weekend.”

JC Reid, an eighth-grader at Tupelo Middle School, has the dubious pleasure of portraying the Big Bad Wolf.

“It’s a whole lot of fun getting to act this out,” said Reid, 14.

Though singing and dancing aren’t Reid’s usual forte, he said it’s been good to stretch his legs.

“I’ve never purposefully sung before, I don’t think,” he said. “It’s a little out there.”

But Reid has the wolf’s defense down to an art form, arguing that the pigs fell prey to his nasty head cold.

“It’s really up to the jury on whether I’m innocent or guilty. Hopefully they’ll see the system is rigged” he said. “It’s a great trial and a really great show. Everyone can come see it as a family.”

“The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” opens today at 7:30 p.m. with additional performances Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and $5 for students.

For more information, visit tct.ms or call (662) 844-1935.

derek.russell@journalinc.com Twitter: @wderekrussell

Features, arts and entertainment reporter for Daily Journal.

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