“I wish…More than anything”
It has to be the beat-the-movie rush. Great musical, good score, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s most successful collaboration, everybody likes a fairy tale and all that, but c’mon. You are not going to be able to sneeze during a summer festival this June-August without encountering some “Agony” over “Giants in the Sky” “On the Steps of the Palace.”
If you do not recognize these be-quoted song titles from Sondheim and Lapine’s “Into the Woods,” (1987) you sure as shooting will by Christmas when the Rob Marshall-directed film version of “Woods” hits theaters with Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick and Emily Blunt.
If, however, you can not wait to dive into the fairy tale mish-mosh that throws together the stories of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and a couple more Grimm-ies, then “Woods” awaits you this summer.
(Apologies, first off for the fact that none of the below-mentioned round-up are actually in Los Angeles. A local “Woods” may yet sneak in within our borders between now and end of summer, if not end of the year. I’d wager an overused cow and a bag full of magic beans on it.)
You may have read of my recent tidings at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where “Into the Woods” is scheduled to open in the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre June 4 under the direction and musical of Amanda Denhert. The production, which runs through Oct. 11, features a set design by Rachel Hauck and company regular Anthony Heald as the Narrator/Mysterious Man. (541) 482-4331. http://www.osfashland.org/experience-osf/current-season/buy-tickets.aspx
Not so very far away, at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Jeremy Mann will direct an (as yet uncast) production of “Woods” opening June 25 and running through Aug. 30 in the Randall L. Jones Theatre. This one’s indoors. (435) 586-7878 https://boxoffice.bard.org/TheatreManager/95/login&event=_&search=PB_PERF_FLAG%3C%3E%27E%27.
San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre will be presenting the McCarter Theatre/Fiasco Theatre staging of “Into the Woods” directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld (July 12-Aug. 10). This one – in addition to being quite a bit more local than Oregon and Utah Shakes - boasts the radical re-imagining of Fiasco which brought a crazy-wonderful “Cymbeline” to the Broad Theatre in 2012.
The symmetry of having “Woods” at the Globe is rather cool since the Old Globe hosted the pre-Broadway world premiere in 1987. SoCal has been lucky that way. We got the first Broadway revival of “Woods”, again pre-Broadway and directed by Lapine, at the Ahmanson Theatre in 2002.
What’s that? You say you simply cannot hold out a single minute longer, not even until the summer? Calm down and get thee to Fullerton where 3D Theatricals is “Woods-ing” it at Fullerton’s Plummer Auditorium through May 18. The 3D Theatricals website is rather stingy on any details about their production, although there’s a Youtube preview. (714) 589-2770 http://3dtshows.com/productions/into-the-woods/