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Theatre Review: Into The Woods

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Into the Woods” is a major undertaking, with a cast of 21, and a very complex score. The story takes fairy tales like “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Cinderella,” and retells them from a sophisticated adult point of view.
The first thing I noticed about this production was the 15-member pit orchestra – including several conservatory-trained musicians with professional orchestra and Hollywood experience.

(excerpt from the musical)
There are well-trained performers in the cast as well – one has a theater degree from Yale, another has sung with Sacramento Opera. And this talent pool connects with Sondheim’s songs, like the wickedly funny number depicting a seductive Big Bad Wolf eying his next meal, Little Red Riding Hood.

(excerpt from the musical: “Hello little girl, what’s your rush. You’re missing all the flowers… Some would set for hours, take your time…”)

Red Riding Hood is played by a Nevada Union High School student, and there are several other teenagers in the cast, which makes this show an appealing hybrid of professional and community theater.

Overall, it’s a strong production, meticulously planned and well-performed.

The Sierra Stages production of “Into The Woods” continues through Sunday May 23rd  at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley.
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