Review: INTO THE WOODS at Creative Cauldron

This production runs from May 5th through 29th.

By: May. 09, 2022
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Most fairy tales end at "happily ever after," but in Into the Woods, a musical with book by James Lapine and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the characters can't stop wishing for something more. Into the Woods is far from your typical Disney fairy tale; it leans towards the Grimm's Fairy Tales and that's what makes this musical enchanting. The musical weaves the stories of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack and the Beanstalk together with a tale of the Baker and his Wife, a childless couple who must complete a series of tasks for their neighbor, The Witch. Classic fairy tales with a twist require a magical cast and production. Creative Cauldron's production of Sondheim's Into the Woods, directed by Matt Conner with music direction by Elisa Rosman, concocts a magical musical within the constraints of a small theatre space.

Review: INTO THE WOODS at Creative Cauldron
Susan Derry, Chad Wheeler and the Cast of "Into the Woods."
Photo by William Gallagher

The most memorable songs of Into the Woods are ballad-like ones that evoke emotions of wonder, desire, and desperation. "Giants in the Sky," a lovely solo by Brett Klock as Jack, captures the spirit of the show, a hope for something more that is just out of reach. In "Hello Little Girl," Santiago Alfonzo Meza channels the Wolf's desire with outwardly lustful energy, which is quite the contrast to the apprehensiveness of Nguyen's Little Red. The winner of the audience favorite is perhaps the Princely duet, "Agony." While the song is a lament over the difficulties of pursuing princesses, it becomes light hearted and almost tongue-in-cheek with Meza's Cinderella's Prince and Bobby Libby as Rapunzel's Prince moping around the stage. Susan Derry's Witch is delightfully wicked as she toys with the Baker (John Loughney) and the Baker's Wife (Erin Granfield), but there is another side to the Witch, one of a mother who is afraid to have an empty nest in the song, "Stay with Me." Another notable Witch moment is the song, "Last Midnight," which features Derry channeling her inner Bernadette Peters.

Review: INTO THE WOODS at Creative Cauldron
Santiago Alfonzo Meza, Brooke Bloomquist, Erin Granfield, John Loughney in "Into the Woods."
Photo by William Gallagher

Like most musicals, Into the Woods is known for its large cast of characters and over-the-top sets. The biggest challenge for this production is pulling off a musical in a small space. Despite this challenge, Creative Cauldron's adaptation overcomes this daunting challenge. A stationary set, designed to be outside of the castle, along with projections and lighting creates a magical atmosphere fit for a kingdom (and even Giants).

If you love retellings of fairy tales and the magic of Stephen Sondheim's music, then Creative Cauldron's production is your 'moment in the woods.'

Running Time: About 2 hours and 30 minutes with a 15-minute intermission

Creative Cauldron's production of Into the Woods runs from May 5 until May 29, 2022. Tickets can be purchased here.


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