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July 2, 2014

INTO THE WOODS JUSTIFIES THE BEANS - NOW...Lee Hartgrave







Wolves (Ryan McCrary and Jeffrey Brian Adams) meet
Little Red Ridinghood (Corinne Proctor) in the Woods 


INTO THE WOODS - INTO THE WOODS... 

 THE GREATEST 
 MUSICAL SCORES EVER WRITTEN BY SONDHEIM 

The sheer genius of Sondheim truly is one of the best songwriter, lyricist and dramatist in the world. His melodies are elegant and graceful. Yep, no clunkers in this show. I'm already breathless.

You really get wound up with fantastic ballads like "Children Will Listen" - "Agony: and "No One is Alone". The lyrics are extremely clever. I'm still humming them. 

The story is relentlessly funny and clever. What we see and hear at "The San Francisco Playhouse" is full of exciting delights as we explore the wild Woods. The dark side to this musical lets us know that everything is not always 'Happy Time".  

Right now at 'The Playhouse' Jack reveals his 'bunch of beans'. Not a clunker in the show. The story brings together the familiar characters -- there is as I said - Jack, Little Red Ridinghood and Rapunzel will keep you busy. Plus there is a Giant that is out to get everyone. And I'm sure -- you will just love the "Witch" that goes from ugly to a sexy beauty. 

There is without a doubt that Sondheim has given us the greatest musical scores ever written. The lyrics are naturally Sondheim's best ever. The conflicts, and characters are just so stunning that the entire audience felt like we were tricked into a strange desert Island. A lovely one - I must say. 

HERE IS THE FANTASTIC CAST: Jeffrey Brian Adams (Cinderella's Prince/Wolf) - El Beh (The Baker's Wife) - Ian DeVaynes (Boy) - Lily Drexler (Lucinda) - Michelle Drexler (Florinda) - Bkka Fink (Stepmother, Cinderella's Mother) - Safiya Fredericks* (Witch) - John Paul Gonzalez (Steward, Jack) - Monique Hafen* (Cinderella) - Tim Homsley* (Jack) - Ryan McCrary (Rapunzel's Prince/Wolf) - Maureen McVerry* (Jack's Mother/Granny) - Noelani Neal (Rapunzel) - Louis Parnell* - (Narrator/Mystery Man) - Keith Pinto* - (The Baker) - Corinne Proctor (Little Red Ridinghood). 

DIRECTED BY SUSI DAMILANO (GREAT) - MUSIC DIRECTION BY THE FABULOUS DAVE DOBRUSKY - AND CHOREOGRAPHY BY KIMBERLY RICHARDS*

Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine  (Broadway Greats******)

RATING: Six Stars****** or you might want to drink Six Champagne bottles****** - It's up to you

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he also contributed many Entertainment articles to PBS - KQED - for 7 Years)))

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