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Marilee J. Layman

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07:48 pm: Into the Woods
I saw this at the Arlington, VA, Signature Theatre's old blackbox theatre where it was not only much more minimal than this DVD production, but leaned harder on the racy jokes. I have the CDs, too, so I'm familiar with it, and I really enjoyed watching this production.

Into the Woods is a Sondheim musical mixing a number of fairytales into one story. Jack and the Beanstalk, Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, plus an original story about the Baker and His Wife. At the end of the first act, everybody has accomplished what they wanted and everybody is happy. After intermission, though, we find out that what they wanted might not be quite what they thought. The second act is darker and sadder, but we find people making do and dealing with problems, ending with the song "Children Will Listen", which gives a strong parent-child lesson.

The DVD production features the Broadway cast, with Bernadette Peters as the Witch -- the only person who tells the truth -- and one of my favorites, Joanna Gleason, as the Baker's Wife. I thought Chip Zien (The Baker) looked familiar and googling brings that he's played a lawyer on L&O regularly.

This is a really wonderful story about growing up, parents and children, and wish fulfillment. I highly recommend it.

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