Into the Woods @ 5th Avenue Theatre

Be ready for the journey 🌳

📸: Courtesy 5th Avenue Theatre

February 10th – March 5th 

After 91 years of changing the history of musicals bit by bit, note by note, point by point, genius composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim finally passed over to that glorious theater in the sky. (One imagines him haunting the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in New York like one of the Follies ghosts giving constructive notes to its current occupant, the British jukebox pop musical & Juliet.) In his honor, theaters around the nation are doing, well, even more of his plays than usual, with Seattle’s 5th Avenue doing two of his most famous works back-to-back.

Up first is Into the Woods. For the few not in the know, the Tony-winning 1986 blockbuster is a mashup of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales that follows the various stories to their logical, often dark conclusions, asking what happens after the strained promise of “happily ever after.” It’s a show that seems to work in any venue (Broadway, regional, community, high school) long as the cast and crew take it seriously. And this local production is pulling out the big guns, with producing artistic director Bill Berry at the helm of some damn fine performers, including Mari Nelson (Urinetown), Sarah Russell (A Night with the Russells: The Legacy of Us), Shaunyce Omar (Shout, Sister, Shout!), Porscha Shaw (Beauty and the Beast), a perfect Baker/Baker’s Wife combo in Eric Ankrim (How to Succeed…) and Cayman Ilika (Kiss Me, Kate), and Joshua Miller making his 5th Avenue debut in the role of Jack (as in “and the beanstalk”).

Remember, careful the things you say; children will listen.

And the second extremely popular Sondheim show that goes up on their stage this spring? None other than Razors McGee himself Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

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Marcus Gorman

Marcus Gorman is a Seattle-based playwright and film programmer. He once raised money for a synagogue by marathoning 15 Adam Sandler movies in one weekend. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter @marcus_gorman.