I felt really dumb after seeing Into the Woods at Lawrenceville’s Aurora Theater recently.
I didn’t realize that it was a major play or movie or anything until after we saw it.
I was thinking throughout the show, “Wow–these local theater groups sure do write and perform some really elaborate stories!”
Ha! Maybe if we hadn’t skated in about sixty seconds before the lights dimmed, I might’ve taken a glance at my program and seen the name “Stephen Sondheim” printed there. Oh well. Later on, I got to laugh at my utter cluelessness!
Into the Woods is indeed a major Broadway play and it is also a movie, and is a delightful (at times, delightfully dark) story about a couple who encounters various fairy tale characters while trying to reverse a curse placed upon them by an evil witch. The Aurora Theater is a fun place to experience this musical, as it’s a small, intimate venue that draws the audience straight into the excitement. All of the performers were top-notch, and well-suited for each of their roles.
My and my son’s favorite characters were the hilariously arrogant princes, crooning ever so eloquently about their combined “Agony”. Here is a clip from the movie, so you can hear this funny song:
(But we both agreed — the actors in the Aurora Theater’s production were much funnier than these guys!)
I’m kind of glad that my daughter didn’t see this one. She was born in Uganda and isn’t overly familiar with the fairy tales that provide the main story lines, so I think it might’ve been a bit confusing for her to follow along. Indeed, no matter your age or where you’re from, if you only have a vague recollection of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk or Red Riding Hood, you might want to brush up on these tales before seeing the play.
Also, even though this is based on fairy tales, I wouldn’t say it’s exactly suitable for children. I would personally be comfortable taking kids aged 13 or older.
I always love stories that offer a peek into life beyond the “happily ever after”. I mean, have you ever entertained the thought that perhaps Cinderella wasn’t really madly in love with Prince Charming? I know I hadn’t!
Into the Woods runs at Lawrenceville’s Aurora Theater through April 17th. Many of the performances are already sold out, so don’t wait too long to secure your seat at this highly entertaining show.