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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall

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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #1
Posted: 7/8/19 at 11:54pm

Just home from tonights concert. I was told it would run two hours but clocked in at three and a half hours. So this is my favorite musical. Always has been and always will be, so Im really particular about casting for it. That said, besides Joanna Gleason, Ive never once enjoyed any other actress as The Bakers Wife. Some have been better than others but its just a role to me, that belongs to Gleason. However Kate Shindle was really wonderful. Charming and really all around the best actress Ive seen interpret the role besides the original. For the most part, I thought everyone else was also excellent, especially Betsy Wolfe, who I want to see as Cinderella in a full production IMMEDIATELY. Tony Yazbeck as the Baker was also close to perfect, as was Matt Bogart (who is still just as hot as he ever was) as the Wolf.

Alice Ripley sounded as good as she ever has tonight. However, she suffered from what a lot of people did - not enough rehearsal time. They said before hand that everyone had only three days to prepare and that I do believe. Ripley missed a couple lines that kind of stopped the show with people waiting for her entrance on stage and she even tripped on the curtain and fell face first on the stage at one of her entrances (she was fine and made a joke about her shoes to the audience). The other person who seemed to just not know where she was tonight was Maureen McGovern who maybe, even with script in hand, got 30% of her lines right and on time.

But all that said, I had a great time and would be very happy to see a full revival with (most of) this cast.

Updated On: 7/9/19 at 11:54 PM
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Pippin
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joined:8/3/05
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #2
Posted: 7/9/19 at 12:08am
I was there too and agree with everything Jordan said, except you overestimated how much McGovern got correct. Poor thing was completely out to sea...... or lunch..... I’d say maybe she got 20% out.


This was a long night but a pure delight. I’m so glad I went!!

The orchestra sounded beautiful, and they sounded fantastic as a whole chorus.

Ripley was a glorious mess, but damned if she didn’t make cry during the Witches Lament. She was otherworldly singing those songs!!!

This will be long remembered for me as one of favorite nights at the theater!
"I'm an American, Damnit!!! And if it's three things I don't believe in, it's quitting and math."
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Jordan Catalano
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joined:10/9/05
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #3
Posted: 7/9/19 at 12:12am
It really was a glorious night. And I guess I agree with your 20% lol.
sethepstein12
Understudy
joined:1/18/16
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #4
Posted: 7/9/19 at 12:27am
I was there too, and I agree with your sentiments, Jordan! However, I was ultimately underwhelmed by Alice Ripley. But Kate Shindle, Tony Yazbeck, and Betsy Wolfe were perfection! Every time Betsy was on stage, I was also thinking that she needs to be in a full production immediately
Acetic Acid
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joined:5/27/17
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #5
Posted: 7/9/19 at 1:17am

Also just got home from this. Maureen McGovern was the Marianne Williamson of this production...

bk
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joined:7/20/03
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #6
Posted: 7/9/19 at 2:04am

Three and a half HOURS?  How is that even possible with this show?

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qolbinau
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joined:6/29/08
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #7
Posted: 7/9/19 at 3:14am
Into the words. Words words. I’m so sick of words. SHOW ME.
"It’s the fractured quality in [Bernadette Peters'] singing voice and line readings that puts across the character as someone for whom resentment is sliding into madness." - NYtimes on Follies (2011).
Bwayfan12092
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joined:5/22/14
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #8
Posted: 7/9/19 at 8:55am

Pippin said: "I was there too and agree with everything Jordan said, except you overestimated how much McGovern got correct. Poor thing was completely out to sea...... or lunch..... I’d say maybe she got 20% out.


This was a long night but a pure delight. I’m so glad I went!!

The orchestra sounded beautiful, and they sounded fantastic as a whole chorus.

Ripley was a glorious mess, but damned if she didn’t make cry during the Witches Lament. She was otherworldly singing those songs!!!

This will be long remembered for me as one of favorite nights at the theater!
"

To which the woman replied.... 

well, I would if I could find it. 

sethepstein12
Understudy
joined:1/18/16
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #9
Posted: 7/9/19 at 9:09am

bk said: "Three and a half HOURS? How is that even possible with this show?"

Well it started more than 20 minutes late and intermission was very long, so that contributed to the length

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GilmoreGirlO2
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joined:4/13/05
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #10
Posted: 7/9/19 at 10:47am

I have to say I was quite disappointed with the night. Although I agree with many of the sentiments above regarding some of the performers (Betsy Wolfe was a star, it was wonderful to hear Kate Shindle’s voice on this score, and Alice Ripley sounded excellent), the haphazardness that seemed to permeate every level (actors, lighting, props, orchestra) really took me out of the show. I think they tried to do too much with the staging, props, costumes, and lighting. I would have preferred a simpler staging with more polished performances.

And, while I understand it’s a benefit performance with limited rehearsal, and I absolutely do not expect anything near perfection, I felt a bit cheated considering the price of the tickets vs. the quality of the actual performance.

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Jordan Catalano
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joined:10/9/05
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #11
Posted: 7/9/19 at 11:33am
I hear what you’re saying. If this were an Encores performance (it did remind me of how they used to be) I would have been a little annoyed, but I guess the fact that it was a benefit made me a little more forgiving. However yes, it really did seem like a couple people had been handed a script for the first time and pushed out onto the stage. Even if they only had three days, some of them should have taken some extra time to read the script a few more times before the actual performance.
nasty_khakis
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #12
Posted: 7/9/19 at 11:35am

I'll also echo the sentiments of the above. Maureen McGovern seemed to have just been handed the score that night. I understand it's an incredibly difficult score to follow/count/etc but when your role is that limited surely you could have worked on it a bit more. God bless the Step Sister who basically sang some of her lines for her.

Kate Shindle was truly wonderful in a concert setting. She had great ideas and truly was the MVP of the evening miming actions or helping out when people missed cues etc. It was truly amazing to her her BELT the end of "Maybe They're Really Magic." Betsy Wolfe truly was wonderful. I love when a Cinderella leans into the weirdness and comedy of the character and she did not disappoint. She more than anyone was fully realized and could be plopped into a production tomorrow. Ripley sounded great on the bigger beltier moments, but I truly didn't like when she tried to use her head voice or sound "pretty." 

I agree with they tried to do too much. Encores has really spoiled us all (if they even still call them concerts anymore) so we expect costumes, props, and staging. Into the Woods is a tricky show to do in a concert because it's almost impossible to count so I give the music director and conductor major props for keeping up with the actors missing cues, waiting for the next measure of the vamp, etc. It's odd they'd do a score this complex with only 3 days, but they were pretty successful. It was nice seeing Kate and Betsy counting or checking with the conductor frequently to help both themselves as well as the ensemble. 

Overall it was a great evening minus the late start/intermission eating up an hour. There was a group from one of the sponsor companies sitting in front of us that was incredibly rude, talking and texting the entire first act before they left at intermission. 

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Jordan Catalano
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #13
Posted: 7/9/19 at 11:42am
Ok yeah that was another thing - the audience. The house seemed to be filled with groups and other people who had no idea what they were there to see or even want to be there. All seats were filled and I don’t believe it had been selling well so my guess was that they papered a lot of it to what must be just random people, asking if they were hot and wanted to sit someplace with air conditioning.
qafgenius122
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joined:5/3/14
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #14
Posted: 7/9/19 at 2:04pm

Jordan Catalano said: "Ok yeah that was another thing - the audience. The house seemed to be filled with groups and other people who had no idea what they were there to see or even want to be there. All seats were filled and I don’t believe it had been selling well so my guess was that they papered a lot of it to what must be just random people, asking if they were hot and wanted to sit someplace with air conditioning. "

I can maybe answer this for you. I had wanted to buy a ticket the day they went on sale, but with the prices, and the amount I had just put out for the JRB/Sondheim show, I was willing to wait for tdf to get it, as it seemed like it would. Well it did a few days ago. But I missed it. I went to Town Hall yesterday at like 6 to buy a ticket and didn’t love the prices, 77 for the last row the balcony, nope! Then they said that TKTS has tickets! So I rushed to tkts, and got a 50 dollar ticket in the front balcony. So I’m guessing a lot of the “lost people” might’ve been convinced to go from the people who work at TKTS in Times Square?

As far as my review, overall I loved the evening. Though the run time, with the late start and long intermission was really bothersome. To preface, I am a huge Alice Ripley fan, I’ll see her in anything and she can do no wrong, even when she does (missed cues, the trip) she is a true performer and made the flubs work. Other stand outs have been echoed here; Kate Shindle was brilliant. Betsy Wolfe was hilarious. John Riddle, and Zach Adkins have never sounded better! I’d also like to mention Pamela Myers as Jack’s Mother, who was brilliant, and Lee Wilkof as the Mysterious Man. (He still sounds like Seymour, it’s insane) I also thought Tee Boyich and Antionette Comer as the Step sisters were great fun to watch, especially when they went blind. Now the less said of the travesty that was Maureen McGovern, the better.

 

JustAnotherNewYorker
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joined:12/20/16
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #15
Posted: 7/9/19 at 2:24pm

nasty_khakis said: "Overall it was a great evening minus the late start/intermission eating up an hour. There was a group from one of the sponsor companies sitting in front of us that was incredibly rude, talking and texting the entire first act before they left at intermission."

 

i think we they have been sitting quite close to each other. I have nothing really to add to the sentiments above. I wholeheartedly agree with the group mind. I also thought that Kate was wonderful and I also really appreciated Betsy. Others mostly did very well in a difficult task. 

 

Updated On: 7/9/19 at 02:24 PM
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faceleg
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joined:1/12/18
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #16
Posted: 7/9/19 at 6:43pm

What happened with Alice's shoes? I heard one or part of one flew off into the audience?

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Jordan Catalano
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Into the Woods tonight at Town Hall #17
Posted: 7/9/19 at 6:46pm
She took part of her shoe that she said made her fall down and threw it into the audience.