|if the shoe fits... (Becca Hart and Frank Moran
with Jacklyn Juola, Kelly Ann Danger, and Taylor
Haggerty, photo courtesy of Shoot the Glass)
Into the Woods includes a narrator character, who provides some exposition and explanation as an outside observer, until he unwillingly becomes part of the story. This production utilizes him more as a storyteller (played by Nick Menzhuber), with the help of two storytelling aides (played by Maggie Behnam and Ellie Herringshaw). The three convene onstage before the show begins, as if they're preparing for telling us the story, and the two aides functions as stagehands and puppeteers (the birds!) throughout, sometimes directed by the storyteller if they get too involved. It's a cute and clever interpretation.
|Agony! (Joseph Hitchcock and Frank Moran,
photo courtesy of Shoot the Glass)
|the baker and his wife go into the woods (Kaitlin Klemencic
and Kyler Chase, photo courtesy of Shoot the Glass)
The stage is mostly bare, with hanging fabric columns representing trees. The only props are the wooden silhouette of a cow on wheels, a similarly constructed hen, and the clusters of birds hanging on sticks. Rather than extravagant period costumes, the cast is dressed in a sort of modern fairy tale chic style, with storytellers dressed in simple modern clothing (costumes designed by Rachel Nielson). The classic and simple aesthetic is pleasing and doesn't overwhelm the story. As they say, sometimes less is more.
Go Into the Woods with this delightful production and talented cast at the Crane Theater in Northeast Minneapolis, Thursdays through Sundays (more info and tickets here, with discount tickets available on Goldstar).
*I'm currently re-watching Mad Men, the highest form of the art we call television. I apologize for all of the Mad Men references that will no doubt appear in many blog posts this summer.
This article also appears on Broadway World Minneapolis.