Sunday, May 17, 2009

Into The Woods--My Opinions

So, as you creepily-stalkerish and ethereal readers of mine are well-aware, I went to see Shorewood High's production of Into the Woods last night. I figured I'd put my thoughts about the show into my blog, for the following and nicely-numbered reasons:

1. I want to preserve my opinions for posterity, and God knows that my brain is not a good place to store things.

2. I can't remember what this reason was.

3. People wanted to know my thoughts. So I decided to blog them (my thoughts) rather than communicating them in a marginally more personal way.

4. I don't want this blog to become a list of what I'm watching on TV at the moment. That ain't cool, nohow.

There, the list is done. On to the thoughts: and please note, this will not be a review. I don't do Reviews. I just do awesome, complicated, random, discernible-only-to-me collections of thoughts. So my thoughts were as follows: I loved the show. Of course it's difficult to judge objectively--to even judge--when one's experiencing a movie or a show for the first time, and I think my emotional and sensory involvement in the experience definitely influenced me favorably.

The singing was...interesting. I thought that for the most part the actors had seriously good voices. Red Riding Hood, for instance, had a delightful voice, as did the Baker, the Baker's Wife, and Cinderella. The Princes, although they didn't have many songs, acquitted themselves well, and the song Agony was my favorite of the entire show. The characters were very present in the songs for the most part, with a few exceptions: singing style, facial expression, physical carriage all signaled the characters quite clearly. The dancing, too, was remarkable for a high school production. Part of this is due to the deceptively simple choreography: there were few numbers with complicated or varied dance steps. But full credit must be given to the dancing abilities of a very talented cast. The physicality of the cast, again with a few exceptions, was remarkable. Not to be overlooked was the performance of the orchestra: I didn't hear a single false note.

The acting was equally praiseworthy: as has been previously mentioned, characters--so important to the show--sprang beautifully to life. The one weak point, if it can be called such, was in enunciation and diction: projection was fine, but some lines were hard to understand. I attribute this to the relative inexperience of the cast.

Technically, the show was marvelous. During one of the songs, the Witch disappeared through a trapdoor in the floor, fog swirling about her, red lights playing about her, cacophonic music whipping wildly from the pit. The spectacle was quite memorable, and Gary Pruitt's work on the show as technical director was unparalleled. Shorewood will sorely miss him (he's retiring, and this was his last show.)

Overall, given the suspect nature of my opinions, I give the show four stars out of five. I will definitely see it again, next time I find somewhere it's playing.

Long live pointless preservation!

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