My review of Amity High School’s Creative Theater production of Into the Woods…
“Once upon a time in a far off kingdom…”
“I got lost!
I got into the car to go watch my friend in a pageant that was kind of a far distance. I left thinking that I would be early, instead the pageant had begun, and I was in the wrong town. I cut my losses and turned for home.
Ironically, enough my Mom had gotten tickets to see a local High School production of Into the Woods. She really wanted me to come and mentioned it about 47 times before I left the house.
Are you sure, that you’re sure, that you don’t want to come?
Can you please stop?!
It’s not that I didn’t want to go, it was just that I had other plans. Maybe she knew something I didn’t. My friend has always supported every endeavor, so it was important to me that she knew that I supported her too.
“Don’t you know what’s out there in the world?”
My Mom has said in the past, that the productions at Amity are ‘spectacular,’ I thought “everyone says that.” Don’t they? The ticket system was super high tech, and the lobby was decorated with a life-size storybook arbor that patrons could enter under. It was pretty awesome! Still, I was like “Seriously, how good can this show be? Its kids, with voices and body parts still in the process of developing…” I have to admit I went in with low expectations. Sorry!
The sets were impressive, and the orchestra had their schtuff together dude, no lie. As the narrator entered, he was a young kid who reminded us of the boy that plays Adam Goldberg on ABC’s The Goldbergs. It was very clever to have him as the storyteller, he had a super great speaking voice and he was completely adorbs.
Loved the narrator: Check
The minute the cast started to sing, I started to cry. I don’t know if I was crying for my dreams that have past, for the rough week that I had, or the fact that I just really love Into the Woods and Sondheim. Which can also be a combination of things, as once upon a time I was supposed to sing for Sondheim.
“Well that’s another story, never mind anyway…”
First of all the casting was on point. From the Witch to the Baker to the candlestick maker. I don’t think that there was one of those, but if there had been he would’ve been cast perfectly too. Jack, his Mom, the Wolf, the Baker’s Wife, Cinderella to the Mother Tree to Rapunzel to the Step Fam…the Princes…it was perf. Oh, and I hearted Granny!
Second of all, the first Act was solid as a rock. Everyone was committed to their roles, and to each other. Down to the actors that were cast as the birds, who were beyond invested. Which was an ingenious touch BTW. My favorite “bird” who I think played Snow White or Sleeping Beauty later (not quite sure) totally embodied the role.
PS: The narrator ate snacks and had a juice box while the action was happening on stage. #Brill #Brill #Brill
“Mother said straight ahead…”
It was a longtime dream of mine to play Little Red Riding Hood. When my High School put on the show my sophomore year I thought “it’s my chance.” However, I didn’t even make the show. #SLICED
Little Red Riding Hood played by Lillian Querker, kicked a$$ so hard, that I forgot that it was my dream role in High School, and I had no time to be envious. (Or jelly even) I was so mesmerized by her! Her acting was so good in every moment. It reminded me of a conversation about Amanda Seyfried I had with my brother once. When Seyfried played Karen in Mean Girls she was virtually unknown. My brother always mentioned that when she didn’t have lines she was always still so in the role, she never broke. That’s a sign of a true actor. The same can be said for Querker, and she had really great pitch too. #PitchPerfect
The coolest thing about this show is that if there were shortcomings in one place, it was made up for in another area. I mean let’s face it… no matter your level of talent Sondheim is no easy feat to master. I couldn’t sing half of those songs. I also loved that no one tried to outshout each other, even if they may have been a better singer, or had more training. They were all like a well-oiled machine working together. I honestly forgot that I was watching High School kids.
“Someone is on your side, someone else is not.”
While the second act hit some bumps and was a little bit rockier, by the time the giant came you forgot that you weren’t a part of the story too. I was immersed!
For a High School production I was completely blown away. The sets, props, costumes, direction and the talent. (Down to the very last detail) It was as if I was watching a documentary of stars before they were famous. We were also in the very front row, and there was a runway around the orchestra that they made really good use of. We could feel the breeze as they swept by.
My Mom turned to me and whispered, “You would’ve loved to come to this school.” I was a part of a region and didn’t have a High School of our own at the time. I chose a HS that did plays and pretty much didn’t make the cut often.That was really my only criteria. Plays and Musicals!! I’d like to tell you that I’ve found my way and I’m super successful, but I still think I’m kind of lost in the woods. #SearchingForMyWay #SearchingForMyPlace
“You are not alone”
I’m sorry that I missed the pageant, but I NEEDED to see Into the Woods. It’s as if the words resonated in my soul in a different way than they have in the past. I needed to hear those songs, and I needed to be reminded that I am not alone. That ‘no one is alone. Truly!’ That we as people will make mistakes and take wrong turns. That we won’t always get what we want in the way that we thought that we would. (I think I just wrote a line to the sequel? Maybe? Maybe Not?)What’s on the outside isn’t always what’s on the inside. That we aren’t all good or all bad, and that while we will try to do what’s right, we may not do what we thought.
When Cinderella sang to Little Red I completely broke down and wept. Ok, maybe I sobbed. Okay kids, TRUTH I lost my ever loving SHhhh….It was as if they were singing directly to me. I kind of couldn’t keep myself together until the end of the show. Just thinking about it, I’m crying. I was so unbelievably moved. You have no idea!
“Nice is different than good.”
The truth is that the story is kind of saying be careful what you wish for. That we can have everything that we think we want and still not be satisfied. That within our actions sometimes there are costs that we pay. Being nice or cordial even, is different than having good intentions. That our perception may be one thing, but not everything is as it seems in the end. That people leave us, but even after they’re gone they’re always with us. At least a piece is. We learn from both the good and the bad. #TheFactsofLife
Thank-you Amity High School Creative Theater. Amazing job! You kicked big chubby butt! I’m a belieber!! Wait, what the Biebs wasn’t in this musical? My Bad! Congrats!
These are the questions I leave you with:
- Is timing really everything?
- Does everything really happen for a reason?
- What do you take from these lyrics? (link below)