If you ask me, the 2014 Disney film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical “Into the Woods” left just a little something to be desired.
Sure, the cast was star-studded and the large budget lent itself to some powerful computer-generated imagery, but there was a certain spark missing that you can only get from an actual theater production. It’s that spark that the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue hopes to offer with their production of the play, which opens Friday.
“It’s personally a show that I’ve always loved,” said John Goss, owner of the Revue and director of the show. “It’s very heartfelt. It takes ridiculous fairy tales and creates a story that handles real-life issues.”
Goss, who founded the Revue in 2009, said that while the theater’s main focus is on its vaudeville shows, they like to do a big theater production once a year. He added that about half of the cast of 15 that makeup “Into the Woods” are regular vaudeville performers and the rest are performers from up and down the valley.
If you’ve never seen “Into the Woods,” it retells the stories of many fairy tale characters, such as Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood, and gives them some modern takes on their tales, all while setting them in a fictional forest that retains many of the fantasy elements. The cast all perform musical acts that interweave with one another’s stories, including a personal favorite of mine, “Agony,” which has the two Prince Charmings one-upping each other about their woes in love.
The talented cast has “[busted] their butts” while rehearsing for the past month, Goss said. Much of the set is focused on the aforementioned woods after which the play is named. As such, they have been painting a lot of trees, Goss said. The cast is also joined by a live orchestra, which is also made up of local performers.
Although the entire cast is fantastic, Goss made a special mention of Kimberly Rehfuss, who plays the witch and seldom performs in the valley.
“Into the Woods” will open tonight at 6:30 p.m. and play every Friday and Saturday through March 28. (Goss noted that they may add more performances if demand is high). Tickets are $35 for adults, $31.50 for seniors and groups and $25 for kids and are available at gvrshow.com or at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue box office on the weekends.
If you’ve never seen this musical or share thoughts similar to mine about the film version, here’s a chance to see a performance by a talented, local crew.
“It’s important to have performance venues in the valley,” said Goss. “I feel very confident about the shows we do downvalley. We do great stories.”