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Into the Woods
a Musical
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA MUSICAL
by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine

COMPANY : ACT1 [WEBSITE]
VENUE : ACT1 Theater [WEBSITE]
ID# 1675

SHOWING : July 28, 2006 - August 20, 2006

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

An ambivalent Cinderella? A blood-thirsty Little Red Ridinghood? A Prince Charming with a roving eye? A Witch...who raps? They're all among the cockeyed characters in Stephen Sondheim's fractured fairy tale. When a Baker and his wife learn they've been cursed with childlessness by the Witch next door, they embark on a quest for the special objects required to break the spell, swindling, lying to and stealing from Cinderella, Little Red, Rapunzel and Jack (the one who climbed the beanstalk). Everyone's wish is granted at the end of Act One, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later, with disastrous results. What begins a lively irreverent fantasy in the style of “The Princess Bride” becomes a moving lesson about community responsibility and the stories we tell our children.

One of Sondheim's most popular works, this timeless yet relevant piece is a rare modern classic.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Jerry Harlow
co-Music Director James Landreau
co-Music Director Mark W. Schroeder
Set Design Gayley Crockett
Costume Designer Suzanne Heiser
Stage Manager Paul Komorner
Light and Sound Design Murray Mann
Costume Manager Pat Martin
Assistant Stage Manager Dave Nelson
Choreographer Katie O'Neill
Set Construction Rich Vandever
Costume Designer Anne Voller
Keyboard Kelly Marino
Narrator/Mysterious Man Eric Bragg
Cinderella's Mother/Granny/voice of the Mandy Cook
Little Red Ridinghood Savannah Cookson
Baker Jim Dailey
Witch Traci Davison
Florinda Katy Harlow
Cinderella's Stepmother Jennifer Hartshorn
Cinderella Sara Holton
Snow White Emily Jerome
Cinderella's Father Paul Komorner
Steward Andy Leach
Jack's Mother Kathy Manning
Lucinda Kirsten Milliken
Rapunzel Katie O'Neill
Rapunzel's Prince Matt Pino
Wolf/Cinderella's Prince Clint Pridgen
Sleeping Beauty Kate Pritchard
Jack Mark W. Schroeder
Baker's Wife Karen Walsh
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

Well Done Act1 Theatre
by Bacchus
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
5.0
I feared the worse; the Act1 Theatre is in a church setting in ultra-conservative Alpharetta, and I didn't know what to expect.
I was genuinely delighted. Even before the curtain was raised I was charmed by the storybook reading of Eric Bragg, who also played the Mystery Man.
The stage and lighting was impressive, as were the costumes. The performance itself was absolutely fantastic.
"Into The Woods" is not my favorite Sondheim fare, but I had a wonderful time because the actors were a joy to watch and truly brought the play to life with great timing and strong singing. There was also ample interaction between the actors and the audience. The princes, Cinderella and her family were standouts. So was the evil Witch. The pace of the show was a delight, as were the vast comical touches added throughout. I don't think I laughed that hard in years.
Frankly, with the depth of talent on hand, I cannot ever imagine being unimpressed at the Act1 Theatre. I shall return. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
so sorry
by atlshowgirl
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
3.0
In my madness to get out the door to work, I forgot to give a rating. I in no way meant to give this production a zero. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
yo can fix grade by feather
login and go to edit reveiws and change grade and even delete and edit if you want.

by atlshowgirl
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
0.0
When I think of Steven Sondheim's Into The Woods, I think of a neatly tied together group of fairy tales with over the top characters.
While the show was an above average show for a small theater group, I was disappointed to see that not many of the characters had that "over the top" quality about them. I think that many of the characters think that louder is better, so chose to scream wildly and belt notes that weren't quite in tune.
The characters who portrayed what I was looking for were the Witch, Cinderella's prince, and The Baker's Wife.

Witch--with her wild walking and curled fingers, I was impressed with how Ms. Davison could stir emotions of hatred and love in the same character. You could feel her desperation of wanting to change back into a person again and how much she loved her daughter. She made me jump in my seat more than once with her perfect cackle. I enjoyed her transition back into being mortal, but it is her portrayal as the witch in which I was most impressed.

Cinderella's prince--I was HIGHLY impressed with Mr. Pridgen's over the top and committed portrayal of the prince. I found his goofy faces, rigid movements, and smile flashing to be of the utmost hilarity and he fit the description of what I believe Mr. Sondheim was looking for in a prince. His acting was up to par and his singing was strong. I was glad to see him in this production, but was wondering why he wasn't on a big stage somewhere.

The Baker's Wife---I found Ms. Walsh to be lovely on her feet and gentle in her voice. She was the epitome of stubborn and beautiful and carried the characteristics of love, dedication, and strength with her in every note. Her chemistry with her husband was great, but I found her chemistry with Cinderella's prince to be even better. Great job!

This production is very difficult to pull off, but these characters did what Mr. Sondheim intended.

If I could, I would ask Mr.Harlow why he would put a novice drummer in for his percussion. He was off beat and sometimes too loud for the volume of the music.

Overall, the show gave a break in the busy summer and if nothing else, is a nice way to spend an evening with your family.
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Goose Egg by Cavendish
If you thought so highly of the show why did you give it a zero?
If you're even slightly curious... go see it.
by Dr. B
Monday, August 7, 2006
4.0
Don't let the title fool you. I thoroughly enjoyed this rendition of Into the Woods. It was a delightfully well invisioned. You can deffinately see that this show came from a director's vision. The cast clearly understood more about the play than first glance would offer. The set was well fashioned and the only flaws I found were not great enough to make those, who don't look for every little flaw, even the slightest bit put off.

The set construction had brilliant thought put into it with versitility and atmosphere. Where there were shortcomings (clearly due to the fact that this is a community production) The actors played to them with energy and appeal that made the audience welcome a set of birds on strings or a cow made of two peices of wood leaned on each other... Wonderfull. I will say that the cartoon sound effects were distracting at best, anoying at worst. The crash noise that could never get timed well with the hit drove me slightly mad. It would've been better without it. But other times it was funny how hokey it seemed.

The music was mildly well executed. A stellar Accompanist who had no problem keeping up with the Singers and following their lead was only hindered by her placement in the front. Put the band behind the curtain and let that drummer go nuts. It seemed like he wanted to go berserk but was unable to because he's right next to the audience... Why hire a drummer at that point? But I will say that the accompaniment, aside from obviously being a midi powered keyboard, was very impressive.

The Choreography was Marvelously more than what we've come to expect for community theater. Katie O'Neil has a future in this.

The Cast was a very well built machine that knew how to function together. With the exception of a few errors, that I would consider directorial, the show was amazingly well acted. First and foremost, Mathew Pino is a miracle child. Someone give this man a career. I will honestly be upset if I don't get to see Mathew in more productions. Clint Pridgen has a voice for miles. Were he a little more controlled as an actor, I could easily see him in a number of great roles. Aside from seeming to strive for best performance in a dramatic role while playing the witch, Traci Davison really seemed to get her character. Great performance, just misplaced. Again, this is most likely a director choice. The same goes for poor Eric Bragg, who was marooned on the far side of the stage and forced to give dramatic exposition without moving. But he clearly did well with what he had. Karen Walsh and Jim Dailey have a chemistry that should be studied by other actors trying to pretend they love each other. Sarah Holton... Oh Sarah Holton... Wonderfull, just wonderfull. She's strong... maybe stronger than Cinderella should be all the time but deffinately nailed the part. Jack and his Mother did a great job. I honestly sometimes felt that Kathy Manning took lessons from my own mother. A little scary. But great. The wonderfull encemble of other characters had a great sense of togetherness as well. The wicked stepfamily proved whole heartedly that you don't need to be the lead to effect an audience in a good way. Bravo (not "va") Wonderfull performance.

All in all if you've ever enjoyed community productions I gurantee this show will not dissapoint. I don't think I've enjoyed a non-proffessional show as much as this... Honestly. (Wow that was long)

Dr. B [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Into the Words
by Sweet Babboo
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
4.0
I have always admired Sondheim's masterful work (Company and Assasins are my faves) yet for some reason, this show has never been a true favorite of mine. I guess it's because I can usually enjoy Act One - charming and clever as it is - think that it's all over and then realize that I also have to sit through that dark and depressing Act Two. (The worst production I'd ever seen (a professional one in Philly) had a male drag queen playing the witch that didn't fly at all.) I can honestly say that I like it. I've just never loved it.

Nevertheless, my five year-old daughter does love this show ever since her father, Dedalus (real shocker there) showed her a production on video that he had designed lights for over 15 years ago. I took her to see it just for that reason and ended up liking the production more than I had expected it to. The cast is delightful and very competent in handling the piece's extremely difficult score with ease and style. I don't know any of them personally, so I can say this without bias. My personal favorites were Sara Holton and Clint Pridgen as Cinderella and her swaggering Prince. Ms. Holton was exquisite in her singing and acting. Mr. Pridgren made the most of every moment on stage. His voice was excellent and his comedic timing impeccable. He cracked up the entire audience all night long. Yet, his break-up scene with Cinderella in Act Two was quite touching. Ladies, he also looks great in tights. This guy definately has got the goods!

Otherwise, the pacing was brisk. It managed to hold mine and my daughter's attention (NOT the easiest task in the Universe) for most of the 2 1/2 hour length. She got a little squirmy in Act Two. But then so did Mommy. The costumes were well thought out and executed. (Kudos to the fabulous Anne Voller) Overall, a very enjoyable night at the theatre.

My only quibbles; This is a very small stage and gets overcrowded rather quickly with a cast this size. I also saw more than one actor stumble over set pieces that were far too small to support them for long. Plus, I would have made some attempt to conceal the actress playing the voice of the giant. Having her standing in plain view in the rear of the auditorium killed the illusion she was trying to create.

[POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Surprisingly Enjoyable
by justentertainment
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
4.0
I went with a friend, rather reluctantly, not really wanting to sit through a Sondheim production. But, I was very happily suprised. The cast was strong, each playing their part with enthusiam and good solid talent. I especially enjoyed Jack, Mark Schroeder, singing "Giants in the Sky" and the charming-ness of the Princes and the sweetness of Sara Holton as Cinderella. If I had any little complaints about the acting it would be that Little Red was a little too shrill for me, yet Miss Cookson played her character very well. And it was hard for me to hear and understand Rapunzel's lines.
The set was great considering the small space, as was the lighting, music and even the stage hands did a good job. But,like the other reviewers, I had a problem with the costumes. Where as most of them were beautiful, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White looked like Ma and Pa Ingalls'girls somehow got off the prairie and into the woods. They just didn't make any sense relating to the characters and show.
With that little error in judgement put aside I would highly recommend this show. It really was surprisingly enjoyable. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
"Into the Woods"
by Brode Tuwall
Saturday, July 29, 2006
5.0
“Into The Woods”

“Into the Woods” is a metaphor for life. It is a statement that life is not a “fairy tale.” Instead, life is full of surprises, selfish-ambitions, confusion, conflict, and uncertainty. In the “woods” we lose our way, find that things go wrong, people leave us forever, loyalties shift and there are “giants” in the land. This account of life is carried forward by the characters of a mix of characters from a medley of fairy stories. You will see many with whom you are familiar in this fast paced, hilarious and sometimes hard to follow musical.

The ACT 1 Company has a winner in this play. It is probably one of the most endowed casts I have ever seen in any amateur production. They all grimace appropriately, have their characters nailed and keep up a pace that is energized throughout. Every voice is strong. They dance well. The choreography is well directed and executed. Every character brings cheers. And I might add, I have seen some of the actors before. It appears to me appears that the overall strength of this cast has had a positive effect on their individual performances.

Technically the play is also a winner. (I only wish they had a larger venue for their performance.) Kelly Lane, the keyboardist does a remarkable performance with a very complicated musical style. Murray Mann, lighting and sound technician has prepared a very complicated sound track and set lighting track and works it masterfully. The sets done by a bevy of creative people is superb. This is enhanced by the smoothness with which the stagehands move things on and off stage to keep the pace going without a break. If you like costumes you will not be disappointed in seeing some very well coordinated and designed wear fare.

If there is anything negative about this play I would say it about the playwright/ composer. There are some scenes where the music score and dialogue is overworked and unduly extended. Still it is a good play that brings a message of hope – at least the way it was presented by ACT 1.
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