With a blockbuster holiday movie on the horizon in just a few days, I am once again bewildered by Roundabout Theater Company's decisions to put plays on the stage. But despite the much hyped anticipation of the movie, I hope this parallel stage show is going to get its due praise. The Fiasco Theater Production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's epic musical as interpreted by this artful company is triumphant, theatrical, and simply entertainment at its best.
Fairy tales woven into discordant, staccato music, intelligent and witty lyrics, and artful staging simply dazzles in this two part musical theater lesson on life. Subscribers and non-subscribers alike should head over to West 46th Street to the Laura Pels Theater to catch a performance by this supremely talented cast. Ben Seinfeld and Jessie Austrian (Baker and His Wife) anchor the story of their quest for items to be given to Jennifer Mudge (The Witch) in exchange for a child. They encounter a potpourri of fairy tale characters including Little Red Riding Hood (Emily Young), Cinderella (Clarire Karpen), and Jack -think bean-stalk- (Patrick Mulryan).
The cast mostly does double and triple duty with characters all the while a few of them play instruments on stage and create sound-effects too!
The show is really a two part tale - is every so slightly long - and wraps up one story in Act I and tells a very different tale in Act II. Overall - The show is clearly a deeply rich Sondheim work that has a lot to say - both musically and dramatically.
I wonder if anyone will mistake the stage musical for the movie. If they did, I guarantee they would walk out happily ever-after!