Fairy Tales, Fallacies, and Forgiveness
But I want to talk about Broadway vs. local theater. Yes, I enjoyed this show. Boston’s very large Colonial Theater was packed—on a Tuesday night! yet I feel the need to point out that I have seen some performances that I would rank equal to this one in quality of acting, of set design, even of writing and sometimes of choreography, though most of the productions I’m thinking of weren’t really musicals) playing in much smaller houses that were sometimes half empty! And the tickets were probably half the price or less than those for Into the Woods. This is where I want to pitch to anyone anywhere reading this: check out your small local theater companies. This is where you’ll find the performers and writers and creative teams that will produce the award-winning hits of tomorrow. Sometimes it might be the actor you see in that small production this year finding her way to Broadway two years from now. Sometimes it might be the student of the director, or a kid who takes part in the theater company’s youth program (most of these small local companies offer extensive theater education). Maybe you’ll stumble on a show that drags or disappoints, but chances are high that you’ll be surprised and delighted by what you see.
I have one more comment though, and it’s a positive. After seeing this production, I found some video clips of the original 1987 Broadway production of Into the Woods. I watched a handful and was pretty amazed to see that the entire cast was WHITE! (as far as I could tell). What a weird and creepy look. I’m happy to say that I don’t think I have seen a single play in years with an all-white cast. Despite all the negatives (Disney-fication is #1 in my book, leaning on recorded soundtracks would be another) of modern theater, this is progress.