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BWW Review: INTO THE WOODS At Harlequin Musical Theatre

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A Clever Witty Romp Into The Woods

BWW Review: INTO THE WOODS At Harlequin Musical Theatre

Stephen Sondheim is universally recognized as a Musical Theatre genius!

His musicals are biting, clever, exposes of human frailty and foibles and none demonstrate the "human condition" more perfectly than INTO THE WOODS.

The musical sits upon a premise that has been familiar to us since early childhood when we learnt the fairy tales read to us by parents or grandparents, allowing INTO THE WOODS ( Act One)to fit us like a cuddly old dressing gown. This premise is a stroke of genius.

Lulled into comfort by these familiar beloved stories of childhood we are catapulted into musical theatre adulthood by the act two themes of "careful what you wish for", followed quickly by what happens when your dreams come true and how do we live with those consequences!

It is all fun and games until someone breaks a nail, or in this case steals a golden harp.

We have royalty, poor but honest middle class, downright poor, bratty little girls, deficient parents, broken families and a collection of the mad and bad- all as fairy tale characters, but instantly recognisable as part of our modern society, making the same right and wrong life choices as we do.

We may not have a real giant stomp on us in real life but we all probably relate to the stomp that the last 18 months has served us up.

Harlequin Musical Theatre had INTO THE WOODS scheduled for a 2020 season, so it was all cast and had started production planning when all theatre shut down.

Lucky for us, with a bit of replacement cast and a good, concentrated rehearsal period, was opened on Saturday night.

The Creative Team of Emma Bishop ( Director) Andrew Christie ( Musical Director) and Quinn Annermans have created a colourful, lively energetic production with great pace and fine actors and excellent vocals.

Great performances in particular from Simon Chapman, Beth Gouldstone, Caitlin Penty, Chiara van Baarle, Joshua Downs, Bridie Dixon in particular and they were strongly supported by the whole cast.

In particular Joshua Downs, Beth Goldstone and Simon Chapman were very impressive in the chaos of the plot of Act Two.

Director Emma Bishop designed a very clever and effective set, with congratulations to the set builders and painters.

The journey was orchestrated by a fine orchestra.

It was heart waring to be in the audience with a good number of younger patrons who were enjoying a really good story, well told in a simple yet classy manner.

Highly recommend a trip to have a wander INTO THE WOODS>

On until 10th July.

Tickets range from $25 to $35.

Bookings: https://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2021/jun/into-the-woods

Photo Credit: LK Creative


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