Monday, February 17, 2014

Review of The Hypocrites' Into the Woods at Mercury Theater

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Into the Woods directed by Geoff Button and it was written by James Lapine and the music and lyrics were by Stephen Sondheim. It was about a Baker (Joel Ewing) and his wife (Allison Hendrix) and how they wanted to have a child, but they had been cursed by a witch (Hillary Marren). They have to get a bunch of different items to put in the antidote. In doing that they meet Cinderella (Sarah Bockel), Jack (Aubrey McGrath) from Jack and the Beanstalk, a mysterious man (Blake Montgomery), Little Red Riding Hood (Hannah Dawe), and Rapunzel (Bockel). It is trying to say, this is what real life in a fairy tale would be like: not very good. I think this show is a really cool show; it is funny, scary, and sad too.

When you are first introduced to the Baker and his wife, you don't think they are going to be very big characters, but they end up being very big characters. Well, not as big as the giant. Ba dump shh! These characters are very fun characters and you get to know them more than anybody else. You get to learn about what they were feeling, They acted like husband and wife: they weren't always nice to each other and they had fights. They loved each other, but they still had fights. They are in this play to make it more realistic; they want to show what a fairy tale would be like if it was real. They start with them because they don't want to start with a fairy godmother, a evil witch, or a talking rabbit because you will never see those things but you have seen a man and his wife having fights.

There was this song called "Giants in the Sky" and I memorized it by heart; that is how much I like it. I really liked this performance because he really told the story like it was his story, not just about some guy named Jack. I think this is a very catchy song. When I am walking down the street or in the car, I just sing it. It is about how he likes visiting Giants and he likes what he gets out of it. Even though he feels smaller, he feels adventurous. But his mom (Kate Harris) doesn't like him being adventurous so he gets angry at his mom even though he loves her. And that is something that happens in real life.

The princes (Will Skrip and Michael Brown) had a song together called "Agony" and they stepped like ballerinas in this song. I thought it was really funny. And the princes were just singing "Agony! Oh it is so much pain!" I believed that they were faking being in pain so that they would lure Cinderella and Rapunzel. They sang the song again after they were married, but this time about Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. And that showed me that they were not very good husbands because they liked too many women. I liked how they sung it so big-ly, like an opera.

I thought it was really sad when people got stepped on. They made it so moving because they made the sound so loud and terrifying. It sounded like bones cracking because they had been stepped on. It was so horrible, even though I knew it was not real. When Rapunzel got stepped on, you felt so sad because you liked that character but also her mom the Witch was so sad. I felt like I would feel the same way if my daughter had died. She felt very sad and she didn't think anything could ever fix it and she just held the remains of her hair and just looked at it and sang a song about how she was trying to be a good mother even though she wasn't really succeeding. She wasn't succeeding because she locked her in a tower and Rapunzel couldn't see the outside world.

They had a lot of funny things as well. I thought it was hilarious when Cinderella was talking to the birds and Red Riding Hood was like, "You talk to birds?!" Cinderella said, "They're my friends" and everybody just looked at her very weirded out. I thought it was very funny when the mysterious man pretended to disappear by putting 3 balloons in front of his face. And then the Baker was like, "O my gosh, he's disappeared!" even though he was standing right there with a balloon in front of his face. I thought it was really funny when the Witch started listing off all of the vegetables. And the Witch just kept getting closer to the Baker and the Baker's Wife and by the end the Baker's Wife was just hiding behind the Baker. Cinderella's Prince (Skrip) fell in love with the Baker's Wife and then a few seconds later he was like, "I have to go." I thought that was really funny because usually people aren't like "I have to go now; I'm sorry but I have to go" if they are really serious about being in love like he pretended he was.

I thought it was really cool how they double cast. Cinderella and Rapunzel were the same person. That is significant because they are sisters-in-law and they never get to meet each other. Jack and the Steward were the same person. Jack, because of a reason I can't tell you, wants to kill the steward, so that means that he wants to kill himself. And Cinderella's Prince is also the Wolf. They are both jerks. You expect that the big bad wolf will be mean, but you don't expect that the prince will be mean. Because the narrator and the mysterious man were the same person, I kind of even thought the mysterious man was the narrator. That would be appropriate because the mysterious man comes back from the dead and the narrator also comes back from the dead. I thought it was really cool how everybody played the cow. It was the opposite of double casting because it was one character, Milky White, played by almost every actor.

People who would like this show are people who like catchy songs about Giants, feeling a lot of different feelings at the same time, and people disappearing behind balloons. People should go see the show because the acting is great and so it the set (by William Boles). It is funny and it makes you feel like you are part of a fairy tale that has gone wrong, but you know that you won't actually get hurt.

Photos: Evan Hanover

No comments: