BWW Reviews: Westport Takes a Pleasant Trip INTO THE WOODS

May 7
11:35 PM 2012

Westport-Takes-a-Pleasant-Trip-INTO-THE-WOODS-20010101

Jenny Latimer (Cinderella) and Dana Steingold (Little Red Ridinghood) Photo: T. Charles Erickson

INTO THE WOODS
Westport Country Playhouse

Mark Lamos directs an impressive kickoff at Westport Country Playhouse with a 25th-anniversary production of Stephen Sondhheim's funny and thought-provoking musical INTO THE WOODS.

The fairytale characters are familiar. There's Little Red Riding Hood (a terrific Dana Steingold) and the wolf (Nick Walker), Cinderella (Jenny Latimer), her prince (also Walker), stepmother (Alma Cuervo) and stepsisters (Eleini Delopouos and Nikka Graff-Lanzarone), Rapunzel (Britney Coleman) and her prince (Robert Lenzi), the Baker and his wife (Erik Liberman and Danielle Ferland), Jack of beanstalk fame and his mother (Justin Scott Brown and Cheryl Stern)) and of course, the witch (Lauren Kennedy). there's even a mysterious man (Jeremy Lawrence) and a narrator (Jeffry Denman) to take us once upon a time.

What happens after the "happily ever after" part of this story, with a book by James Lapine, isn't exactly familiar, however. Sondheim's lyrics take us on another path through a woods as the kingdom's residents have to face giants, prejudices, relationships and loss.

For the most part, Lamos has assembled a strong cast. Stand outs are Steingold as a really edgy and funny Riding Hood and Brown, whose dreamy tenor seems tailor-made for Sondheim. The princes and stepsisters play off each other well for good comedy.

Dressed in festive costumes (Candace Donnelly, design), the cast performs Sean Curran's subtle choreography and movement against a storybook cutout backdrop (Allen Moyer, design) and sings classic tunes like "No One is Alone," "Giants in the Sky," "Agony" and the title song accompanied by a six-person orchestra (Music Direction, Wayne Barker). There's even a fun cow for Jack to trade for the magic beans in this nicely staged production. An adjustment to sound (Zachary Williamson) would improve a sometimes hard-to-understand voice of the giant.

In an interesting note, INTO THE WOODS, produced in association with CENTERSTAGE (Baltimore), is being staged at The Playhouse where Sondheim was an apprentice in 1950.
It runs through May 26.

Information and tickets: 203-227-4177; 1-888-927-7529, Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport; www.westportplayhouse.org.

Connecticut THEATER Stories | Shows  Like BWW CT  Follow BWW CT



About the Author

Get Author Alerts
Lauren Yarger Lauren, a former newspaper editor, is the editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com) and Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com) where she reviews Broadway, Off-Broadway (read more...)

  • Women's Issues Rank High with Playwright T.D. Mitchell
  • Second Event Launches CT Chapter of LPTW
  • An Old Guy is Making a Stir on the UConn Campus
  • Launch CT Chapter League of Professional Theatre Women
  • Connecticut Fall Preview
  • CT Critics Circle Announces Awards Nominations

  • BROADWAYWORLD TV

    Sylvia in ConnecticutSylvia
    Hole in the Wall Theater
    (Runs 9/16 - 10/8) PHOTOS CAST
    The Bewitchingly Scrumptious and Extraordinary Mister Trick & Mrs. Treat in ConnecticutThe Bewitchingly Scrumptious and Extraordinary Mister Trick & Mrs. Treat
    Pantochino Productions Inc.
    (Runs 10/21 - 10/30)
    The Sound of Music in ConnecticutThe Sound of Music
    Palace Theater
    (Runs 3/7 - 3/12)
    A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder in ConnecticutA Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
    Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts [Belding Theater]
    (Runs 10/25 - 10/30)
    PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT
    Connecticut Theatre Company
    (Runs 7/7 - 7/23)

    VIEW ALL ADD A SHOW AUDITIONS

    Save $$$ on Tickets to:
    Backstage with Richard Ridge
    Back to Falsettoland w/ OBC - Passing the Torch
    Backstage Bite
    TV Exclusive: BACKSTAGE BITE with ALADDIN's Rodney Ingram!
    Turning the Tables
    Binge on TURNING THE TABLES!
      Chewing the Scenery with Randy Rainbow
    TV:-LuPone's Autobio - Lands EVITA!
    KID CRITICS
    TV: KID CRITICS Swept Away at PHANTOM
    BROADWAY SESSIONS
    BWW TV Exclusive: THE LION KING Cast Roars at Broadway Sessions