Into the Woods is what I would consider my first introduction into broadway musicals.
I’m a big fan of fairy tales. The fusion of old school fairy tales tangled together under a series of darker themes was intriguing to me as I rewound it again on again on my grandparents VCR.
Much like when Hollywood remakes things a certain magic is absent in the finished product.
Sometimes the most magic lives in the simple.
Fiasco Theater’s presentation does not contain the frills of the original broadway presentation. Instead, it works with what it has and doesn’t fail to entertain.
In the original broadway production, there was one narrator. Whereas in this production the cast takes turns switching off as narrator. Also, each actor takes on multiple roles.
Because of this creative decision, we don’t get the moment when the characters interact with the narrator and toss him to the angry giant awaiting.
Another thing I felt the production pulled off was the performance of the song “Agony”.
In the theatrical version with Chris Pine, I felt the duet was overdone on the comical side. The live performance truly felt like a throwback to the original performance. It succeeded without trying to make the Princes feel like an unnecessary comic relief.
I also enjoyed the presence of the piano and string instruments on stage. There were only a few but between that and the singing, it seemed to create an on-going of a funnel of sound.
A couple of the standout performances were Anthony Chatmon II. Chatmon played Lucinda, the Wolf, and Cinderella’s prince. He was particularly quite outstanding as the Prince.
Darick Spead made the quite the impression with his impression of Milky White. In the original, Milky White was a plastic cow that as rolled around. In this version, Milky White in personified as a person and really brings emphasis to many of the moments with Jack and the Baker and his wife.
Into the Woods truly managed to re-create the original magic but really went out of its way to do it their way which is what truly made this performance so memorable.
Into the Woods is performing at the San Francisco Golden Theatre now till April 2nd!