Another year, another Spring musical by the Redondo Union Theatre Arts Program.
This time around, my alma mater put on Stephen Sondheim‘s take on Grimms’ Fairy Tales: Into the Woods.
The show had live music by a pit orchestra, in which my sister took part. When they did Crazy for You last year it was the first time in a long time that a musical had live orchestration at RUHS, so I’m glad to see the tradition continue.
Editor’s Note: I thought I wrote about that show but apparently not, so forgive my semi-random link up there.
I don’t have too terribly much to say about the show itself. The theatre kids put on a nice performance that I would say shined most in its stage design.
To create the titular woods, stage hands dragged tree stumps into the mid-ground, and logs were lowered onto them from the ceiling. It was a really neat little effect that got enhanced by fog machines.
Those gave everything a mysterious Midsummer Night’s Dream forest vibe.
And of course, the music was wonderful. Which I only say in part because this post is a shill for my sister (who deserves credit, but still). Even though the sound mixing was not optimal and a lot of the actors kind of got lost in it.
The only major complaint I have about the show was an odd framing device added on top of the story.
They decided to have Into the Woods, in the context of their continuity, be the content of a book being read to a lost little girl in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Bit of an oddly paired metaphor.
It didn’t bear enough of an effect on the story to ruin it necessarily, but at the same time the fact that they didn’t elaborate on it much just left me asking why it was included at all.
I suppose I will say that it contributed to an immersive theatre-going experience.
All the kids got to mess around and play their hearts out in the aisles of the auditorium before the show. Asking audience members if they’ve seen family or friends lost in the hurricane, requesting food in exchange for voodoo crystals, so on and so forth.
It was a lot of fun, and added to a nice overall presence through things like a faux red carpet backdrop in the lobby:
Pretty cute stuff.
That’s just about all I have to say about the show. It was originally going to be my main blog post of the day before I exhausted myself last night and decided to save my Us review for earlier.
But I didn’t want to leave my sister hanging. Especially after I got such a cute picture of her.
So you’re getting two-for-one today, and I don’t have to feel as bad about skipping another day of writing in March.