note: entire contents copyright 2008 by Beverly Creasey
Have you ever wondered what happened after Cinderella marries the handsome prince? Stephen Sondheim will tell you, there is no ‘happily ever after’: The prince will stray and another giant will slide right down that beanstalk looking for the blood of an Englishman. Fans of the Sondheim/James Lapine musical, INTO THE WOODS are in for a treat at Turtle Lane Playhouse. (WOODS plays through Dec. 14 and again Dec. 27-30th)
Scenic wizards John MacKenzie and Michelle Boll make this particular WOODS an enchanted forest which will take your breath away, it’s so lush. No wonder everybody plunges headlong into the thicket. Russell Greene directs WOODS with a keen eye for visual puns. These extras add delightful surprises to a show already full of delicious wishes…which do come true with a vengeance!
Lapine’s book takes the Grimm fairytales, which are already a teeny bit gruesome, one step further so that stories overlap and intertwine, adding to the fun. The central character of the Witch, whose spell sets the mayhem into motion, is sumptuously portrayed by Kendra Kachadoorian. If you don’t get goosebumps every time she sings, you need your blood pressure checked.
James Fitzpatrick brings warmth and purpose to the role of the Baker and Lydian DeVere adds sparkle and cheek to the Baker’s Wife. Some roles are double cast. This reviewer saw the 2nd cast and can’t imagine a better one. Kacee Staiti makes Little Red an adorable brat and Kevin Cirone towers as her lupine nemesis (and cavorts with Ronny Pompeo, Jr. as a duo of agonizing princes).
Julien Touafek is a darling, simpleminded Jack and Jaime Steinbach is hilarious as his overpowering, overprotective mother, whose honeyed voice is evidently so sweet, it draws flies. Each and every character packs a dramatic punch. Richard Itczak’s costumes are sublimely gorgeous. Don’t miss this beauty.