2nd Star Productions Into the WoodsBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jun 2nd, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of 2nd Star Productions’ Into the Woods [MP3 4:59 1.4MB].
Mike: Into the Woods is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. It takes a lot of the characters you’re familiar with from fairy tales and puts them together in story. It stirs it all up and you end up with a wonderful story that takes you right up to the happily ever after. After the intermission, though, you learn what happens after the happily ever after.
Laura: I thought this was a fun show. Everyone seemed comfortable with each other on stage. I know last night was opening night so maybe a few opening night jitters. Overall everybody did well. They all worked together well. The choreography numbers I thought were very good and it was just a really good time.
Mike: This was an enjoyable show. 2nd Star Productions did a pretty good job with it. The set was really nice. The dancing was good. The biggest problem I saw is something we’ve seen at several of the other Into the Woods productions that we’ve seen. The big group numbers when they are singing in rounds. For example, when they are singing “Once Upon a Time” at the opening scene of the show. It seems like all of the voices get muddled together and it makes it really difficult to understand what they’re saying. The rest of the songs when there was a smaller group of people singing, it sounded really nice. This was a fun show. I think you’ll enjoy yourself.
Laura: The role of the Witch was played by Christine Asero. She did a great job. She has a commanding presence when she comes out on stage. She had really good singing and her dance numbers were good. The transformation that she went through, I thought was really smoothly done. I really liked how when she was on stage, even if she wasn’t delivering her lines, she was still reacting to what was going on. I really liked that.
Mike: The narrator was played by Gary Seddon. I enjoyed watching him tell us what was happening in the show as he kept the actors and the performers moving along in their parts. He also played the role of The Mysterious Man. It seemed like he was falling out of his pants. He kept hitching up the back of the pants and his long beard, mustache, and wig kept getting in his way. He seemed a little bit distracted by that. All in all I liked how he kept the two characters pretty separate and then when they did need to merge together he did that pretty effectively.
Laura: The role of the Baker was played by Brian Douglas. I liked his portrayal of the frustrated husband and father. Wanting what was best for his family, but frustrated because he could never quite get a handle on what that was. I also liked when he was not delivering his lines he was still reacting to what was happening on stage. It kept him very involved with the story.
Mike: The Baker’s wife was played by Nikki Arbiter Murphy. I really liked her and her expressions. Especially when she was reacting to the princes throughout the evening. I think she did a great job with that. She had a very nice singing voice as well.
Laura: The set for Into The Woods was very good. The set Designer and Scenic Artist was Lynne Wilson. I liked how it was one set. They brought their props on and off. They had the story books suspended up above and would lower those down at the beginning of each of the acts. I thought it was really good. Everything flowed really well together.
Mike: One thing that I really liked about the story books that would lower down that were used for Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, and the Baker and his wife. Each of the three of them had a fire place. It was a neat little parallel of what’s going on in life. I just thought that was pretty cool.
Something else I really liked was how they did the lighting. The Lighting and the Sound Design was done by Garrett R. Hyde. There were gaps between the trees so you could see different layers of the forest. You could even see all the way to the backdrop of the stage. When it was lit up, it had many different tones and colors. It really emphasized the emotions in each of the scenes. One song that exemplified this was when Jack (Ryan Patrick) was singing, “Giants in the Sky.” The lights went down around him and he had a spot light on him. It worked very nicely.
Laura: Into the Woods is playing through Saturday, June 30. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm at the Bowie Playhouse in Bowie, Maryland. This is a good show. I think when you go see it, you’ll really enjoy yourself.
Mike: The show is about two hours and 45 minutes long with one fifteen minute intermission. It could be appropriate for children. There are some adult themes that are touched on. There are some not so happy endings that are discussed in parts of the show. So it’s not quite a children’s children show, but probably older children could see it.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
- Narrator: Gary Seddon
- Cinderella: Pamela Day
- Jack: Ryan Patrick
- Baker: Brian Douglas
- Baker’s Wife: Nikki Arbiter Murphy
- Cinderella’s Stepmother: Heidi Toll
- Florinda: Linda Swann
- Lucinda: Jennifer Toll
- Jack’s Mother: Carole Long
- Little Red Riding Hood: Alice Goldberg
- Witch: Christine Aesero
- Cinderella’s Mother: Laura Cai
- Cinderella’s Father: Bryant Centofanti
- Mysterious Man: Gary Seddon
- Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince: Greg Bosworth
- Rapunzel: Laura Cai
- Rapunzel’s Prince: Danny White
- Grandmother: Robin Davis/Joanne Wilson
- Steward: Marty Hayes
- Giant: Joanne Wilson
- Sleeping Beauty: Sarah Tighe
- Snow White: Vivian Wingard
- Director/Producer: Jane B. Wingard
- Musical Director: Donald K. Smith
- Choreographer: Krissy Silvestro
- Assistant to the Director: Robin Davis
- Stage Manager/Properties: Joanne D. Wilson
- Stage Crew: Sarah Tighe
- Set Designer/Scenic Artist: Lynne Wilson
- Set Construction: Lynne Wilson, Joanne Wilson
- Lighting/Sound Design: Garret R. Hyde
- Lighting/Sound Technician: Pete Dursin, Al Chopey
- Costume Coordinator: Linda Swann
- Costume Asitants: Jane Wingard, Suzi Reams, Mary Dodson
- Load In Crew: Garrett Hyde, Pete Dursin, Al Chopey, Duane Rouch, Hank Drahos, Joanne Wilson, Lynne Wilson, Jane Wingard, Bill Davis, Stevie Mangum, Lynne Wilson, Beth Schultz
- Publicity: Jane Wingard, Lynn Wilson
- House and Concession Manager: Loretta Smith
- Assistant House Manager: Penny Patrick
- Usher Coordinator: Loretta Smith
- Reservations: Jane Wingard
- Reservation Assistants: Gerry Verrier, Patti Mangum
- Photography: Jane Wingard, Joanne Wilson
- Program: Lynne Wilson
- Musical Director/Conductor/Pianist: Donald K. Smith
- Violin: Nancy Badertscher*, David Jollie, Sharon Jollie, Nora Keller, Rob Manning
- Cello: Jamie Grant, Margaret Justice*
- Flute: Jean Deafenbaugh
- Clarinet: Mike Monda*
- Bassoon: Randy Nielsen*
- Flute: Shannyn Petersen*
- Percussion: Tim Dawson*, Eric Thomsen
- Viola: Chris Gosper, Anita Owens*
- Bass: Larry Anstead*, Thomas Dickey, Pete Miller
- French Horn: Kathy Bartolomeo
- Trumpet: Paul Deafenbaugh
- Trumpet: Ed Justice*
- French Horn: Lora Katz
- French Horn: Diana Ogilvie*
- French Horn: Judy Meyers
- French Horn: Zempolich Gruen
- * Designates Principal Player
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Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.