No book review today since I worked yesterday, and went to see "Into the Woods" last night at Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre. I saw "Into the Woods" last year for the first time with my cat sitter who loves this musical. The book is by James Lapine, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Based on classic fairy tales, it tells of a number of characters who go into the woods looking for happy endings to their stories. By the end of Act One, it appears as if everything ended "Happily Ever After". But, happily ever after goes horribly wrong in Act Two, resulting in tragedy.
Desert Stages Theatre's main stage is in the round, which made for a fascinating production as characters appeared on both sides of the audience and above us, as well as on the stage itself. It made for tight dancing scenes for the actors, but it added to the intimacy of the show. I have one of the same criticisms for this show that I have for so many other productions. The background music is so loud, it sometimes drowns out the voices of the characters. Either the sound system was weak in this production, or the acoustics were bad. All three of us who went complained we couldn't make out all of the lines, particularly those of the young boy who played the narrator. Characters often spoke so fast (as they do in this show naturally) that the words were difficult to hear. That was a big problem with the narrator.
Cinderella, the Witch, and the actor who played Rapunzel's Prince and the Wolf had particularly good voices. I'm not naming the actors because the program was somewhat confusing. There are two princes in this show. One is Rapunzel's Prince and one is Cinderella's Prince. It lists Cinderella's Prince as also playing the Wolf. I don't believe so. I believe the actor who portrayed Rapunzel's Prince also played the Wolf, and I don't want to misidentify the actors.
We bought our tickets through Goldstar, the second time we've done that. Tickets are often half-price through them, which is a good way to try a new show or a new theater. After seeing "Into the Woods" twice, I can say it's a fun show with unusual twists.I'll go back to see it again, if only because of the duet, "Agony" sung by the two princes. Funny song that pokes fun of every prince in fairy tales.
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