Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Journey Into the Woods with St. Marks

By • Jul 29th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of St. Marks Catholic Church’s production of Into the Woods [MP3 4:26 1.3MB].

Laura: We had a treat this week. Not only did we get to see Into the Woods performed by the Little Theatre of Alexandria, but also at St. Marks Catholic Church in Vienna, Virginia.

Mike: Into the Woods is a musical written by Stephen Sondheim with the book by James Lapine. It’s the story of all the Grimm’s fairy tales combined together with each of the characters meeting each other. The basic story that brings them together is the baker and his wife can’t have children. So they need to go out into the woods and fetch four different items that the witch who has cursed them told them to get. These four different items are different parts and pieces of other Grimm’s fairy tales. So throughout the adventures they get the four pieces. Then in the second act we get to discover what happens ever after. Is it really happily ever after?

Laura: This was a really good show. I enjoyed it very much. I thought the set was good. All of the singing and acting was really good. The kids really put a lot of work into it. I really though they enjoyed themselves performing up on stage.

Mike: This is the first time we’ve repeated a show so closely. We just saw Into the Woods last weekend. Then on Thursday night we saw the opening of this Into the Woods. So that was kind of a nice surprise so close together. Usually the licensing of the shows restricts it from playing at the same place or the same geographic area so closely. I assume that all got worked out somehow.

Laura: The role of the Baker was played by Brian Dunleavey. He did a really good performance. I liked his performance, his emotion. You could see the love for the his wife in their scenes together. I liked the singing, too. He had a good singing voice that carried well.

Mike: Little Red Ridinghood was played by Brittany Dunbar. She was such a fun character. She had a lot of attitude. She was a little snobbish at times and later she was bratty. It was just a really interesting portrayal of Little Red Ridinghood. She stole the show in a few of the scenes where she came up with nice little comeuppance’s and comebacks at some of the other characters. That was a lot of fun.

Laura: Another important character was that of the cow, Milky White. In the performance we saw the previous week in Alexandria, the cow was a wooden cow. In the performance we saw on opening night, Milky White was a real cow. She was played by Janna Vloet. They did a really good make up job on her. She really looked pitiful. I liked her performance very much.

Mike: The lighting ws simple. One thing they did well was they used the aisles of the auditorium. We were in a gymnasium at the church. The characters came in through the center and side aisles, which was fine. Unfortunately the spotlights are not up on platforms. When they would use the spotlight to focus on the charcters coming down the aisles they would also blind a good part of the audience as we were watching th characters come in. That was something I didn’t really like. I wish they could maybe build some platforms up three to five feet.

Laura: The sound was also pretty good for the most part. There were parts where the character started talking and then the sound person would turn their microphones up. You had a little bit of muddiness there. Sometimes I had a hard time distinguishing who was singing what. Especially during the opening scene when they were all singing “I Wish” together at various parts it all kind of got really muddy.

Mike: The set was really nice. They made good use of the space they had. Some of the trees would rotate to show other parts, such as Rapunzel’s castle or the grandmother’s house. That was really nicely done. Some of the set people had trouble rotating the actual pieces around. I don’t know if they got hung up on the floor or the wheels were sticking or something. That was a little awkward a couple times when they were rotating.

Laura: Into the Woods is playing through July 30th at St. Marks Catholic Church in Vienna, Virginia.

Mike: A few days a go we interviewed the producer of the show, Kathy Sullivan. That interview is available on the website. We have the transcript and the MP3 file that you can listen to.

Laura: Our next review will be Blood Brothers performed by the Elden Street Players in Herndon, Virginia.

Mike: And now, on with the show.

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