Stage 284's 'Into the Woods' Is an Incredible Performance!
The cast of 'Into the Woods’' radiant talents illuminated a hilarious and moving performance.
Cast members of Stage 284’s Into The Woods trying to find their way through the wood. Photo credits to Jessica Guest.
Running through the woods and avoiding a singing wolf, an evil giant, and two singing princes, I made it just in time to see Into the Woods at Stage 284.
Into the Woods sets around the stories of fairy tale characters such as Cinderella, a sinister witch, and a bickering baker and his wife venturing into the woods, seeking a wish. Although their desires become fulfilled, were they worth the trek to begin with?
The instant I stepped into the theater I gaped in astonishment at the extraordinary handcrafted sets of fairytale storybooks set up around the stage. From gorgeous costumes and an amazing set, the cast of Into the Woods’ radiant talents illuminated a hilarious and moving performance.
James Turner and Cai Radleigh were outstanding as the baker and his wife who want a child of their own. Whether bickering or their never-ending love, Into the Woods sparks a very important message about love. Their singing voices were wonderful! They outdid themselves in song numbers ‘No More’ and ‘Moments in the Woods.’
The moment Ursina Amsler stepped on stage covered in a frightening witch-like makeover, frazzled hair, and wiry sharp fingernails, Amsler stole the show. One of my favorite numbers in Into the Woods is ‘The Last Midnight.’ The witch poses a question about humanity. Should we be viewed negatively by our outward appearances?
Kendre Scott’s child-like charisma was a combination of humorous moments and a moving performance. His song ‘Giants in the Sky’ was spectacular! I always laughed when his mother (Rebecca Axelrod) pulled him around the stage by his ear.
Meghan Ahern (Cinderella) and Ashley Olson (Little Red Riding Hood) were both impressive, singing in gorgeous voices. One of my favorite scenes is their emotional, yet uplifting, conversation about how no one is ever alone.
A couple of members of the cast had the opportunity to play two contrasting characters. One moment Andrew Hankinson was narrating the story until seconds later he was dressed in a new costume playing the mysterious man with a riddle. And Steve Monroe’s performed as a sinister howling wolf, stalking Little Red Riding Hood, followed by a charming, yet egotistic prince of Cinderella.
Whether acting as an incredibly animated cow, a supportive ghostly mother, overly-dramatic step-sisters, or a rebellious grandmother, every cast member committed to their roles, beaming, dancing, and supporting each other no matter what.
Running, jumping, crawling, and even sliding along the ground, Into the Woods proved to be a physical challenge for the cast. I never saw any lingering exhaustion from anyone! Every cast member put in their utmost energy. I applaud everyone for their tremendous enthusiasm.
Into the Woods includes countless memorable song numbers. ‘Agony,’ ‘I Know Thing’s Now,’ ‘No One is Alone,’ and of course the titular opening number of ‘Into the Woods.’ An orchestra of four talented individuals did an incredible job.
Countless hours were spent creating, painting, and organizing sets. I fascinated with the lighting of the show. Every second, lighting effects illuminated the stage posing the mood of the scene whether terror or shading the environment of a dark woods.
Director Kathleen Tringale’s direction was brilliantly conducted creating an enriching performance, excelling in comedy and emotion. Tringale not only directed an adult cast of Into the Woods, but also two other versions involving a double cast with children. I am very impressed with her hard work and concentration.
I had a fun time laughing, dancing in my seat, or even tearing up at touching moments at Stage 284’s production of Into the Woods. I very much recommend that you take a trip through the woods to catch one of these remarkable performances throughout November 8-17.