By Bob and Karen Isaacs

BOB Hi! I’m Bob


KAREN: And I’m Karen and we go to the theater regularly.


BOB And we would like to share with you our thoughts and opinions, which don’t always agree, about area professional theater.


BOB: Stephen Sondheim’s fantasy musical Into the Woods is getting an excellent production at the Westport Country Playhouse.


KAREN: Under the direction of Mark Lamos, this Tony winning musical takes audiences to a beguiling and dark place inspired by the Grimm fairy tales. Among the classic characters that wander the woods searching for fulfillment of their wishes are Cinderella and her wicked stepsisters, Little Red Ridinghood and the wolf, Rapunzel and her Prince, and Jack of beanstalk fame.


BOB: As their tales intertwine, they are forced to confront the harsh reality of what actually happens after “happily ever after.”


KAREN: You know every time we see this, some people, when the curtain goes down for act one -- and everything seems happily resolved, think the musical is over. They don’t seem to realize that there is more.


BOB: The ensemble cast captures the fantasy feeling and the excellent Sondheim music and lyrics. The setting by Allen Moyer enhances the fantasy.


KAREN: Overall the performances are excellent. Each of the many characters -- the familiar fairy tale people plus the new couple -- the baker and his wife which Sondheim and book writer James Lapine created -- are multi-dimensional characters who we end up caring about.


BOB: The performers are hugely responsible for these feelings. It is hard to single out any one or two performances that are better than the others.


KAREN: Into the Woods is known for some of Sondheim’s must hypnotic melodies -- we have all heard Children Will Listen, No One Is Alone, Into the Woods and others. The music and lyrics stay with us.


BOB: This is not just a fairytale, it is much more so it is perhaps not necessarily appropriate for younger children.


KAREN: This production of Into the Woods is a wonderful opening to Westport Country Playhouse’s 2012 season. It runs through May 26.


BOB: For more information or reservations, contact the box office at the theater.

This review appeared on WNHU-88.7 fm and www.wnhu.net

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