No sir, I didn’t like it.
Coming off of Peter Grimes, I figured I needed something lighter for my brain. I enjoyed my previous excursion to Sondheim (Company was entry #2) and I had heard of Into the Woods for years. This production was whichever one they stream on Netflix. Bernadette Peters was the witch and the baker reminded me of that Burt Whatshisname that hosted Password in the 80s.
It was…okay. The first act seemed manic and too fast. Funny lines were generally not funny. The interactions between the various fairy tales was fine and while I can appreciate that Into the Woods came before things like Fables, Once Upon a Time, and whatever other fairy tale show is on TV right now, it is hard for me to see this concept as a novel one.
The second act really didn’t need to exist, except for the Princes’ lines “Dwarfs are unsettling” and “I was raised to be charming, not sincere.” Other than the Princes’ duet of “Agony” in each act, I really didn’t connect with a lot of the music. I DID like when they (SPOILER ALERT) fed the narrator to the giant. Didn’t see that coming. And I always enjoy a good bit of meta-fiction.
Sondheim is always good for counterpoint and copious amounts of internal rhymes. This show just wasn’t to my tastes. I’d watch Company again. I’d buy the soundtrack to it, too. I will avoid Into the Woods in the future (unless one of my daughters is in it).
I almost bought this as a DVD for my niece (before I had seen it) but I’m glad I didn’t. I think she would like the music, I don’t think her folks would appreciate the Big Bad Wolf’s costume (Wolfman has nards).
This week I think I’ll finally tackle Falstaff. That is supposed to be funny, right?