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Giannina

Into the Woods

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Sondheim's "Into the Woods" is playing at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. My daughter and I saw it Saturday and had a wonderful time. I have the original cast on tape, and several years ago I saw a production of this musical in Pasadena starring Leslie Uggams. Starring at the Ahmanson is Vanessa Williams. While this cast was very talented it cannot, and probably should not, compare with Bernadette Peters and company. Williams is not as funny as Peters, nor is her witch as haggard nor her "normal self" as glamorous, nor is her voice as rich. If not compared to others Williams is good in her role. The cow, Milky White, is portrayed by an actor rather than being a cardboard cut-out. While somewhat distracting she does lend a comic air to group dance numbers. The 2 Prince's have the most treasured roles in that their music is beautiful (as is it all) and they are so darn funny. These 2 princes couldn't help but be a riot, but they lent nothing other than the funny lines to their role; no characterization. It was sorely missed. I love this musical; a local Junior College recently presented it and I even loved their production. This staging is headed for Broadway. I recommend it to all.

Giannina

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Thanks for your comments, Giannina.

I, too, love Sondheim, in general, and "Into the Woods" in particular. My husband and I will be seeing the production you described in New York in June. Right before that, we'll be in Washington, D.C., for "Sunday in the Park with George" and "Company," two of the Sondheim musicals in the ongoing Kennedy Center tribute. Next, it's "Merrily We Roll Along" at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, followed by "A Little Night Music" at the Ravinia Festival in the Chicago area. Not to mention "Sweeney Todd" with Bryn Terfel at Lyric Opera of Chicago next fall! It's quite a year for Sondheim fans (and it all began for us here last summer with a magnificent "Sweeney Todd" -- also at Ravinia).

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