‘Woods’ Rises to Another Level

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“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.”

                                Cinderella – “Into the Woods”


The current LBHS production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” is an absolute triumph. If you live within 50 miles of Laguna Beach, you owe it to yourself to get to one of the last three shows next weekend.


Of course, Mark Dressler and the staff and students of the Park Avenue Players have a long track record of sparkling high school musicals but this production rises to a new level of excellence and sophistication. [Disclosure:  I do not have a kid in this show, though I have an alumnus].


The vocal and acting talents of these particularly amazing young thespians could grace any stage in the world – and Sondheim is tough, musically and lyrically. His dark, witty and ultimately uplifting recasting of Grimm’s famous tales was not written for little children, though they’ll enjoy the spectacle and recognize the characters. This is a young adult and grown-up show with serious themes and emotional impact, and these actors really deliver.


The set is gorgeous and inventive, the costumes lush, and the lighting evocative. But it’s those amazing performances that will stay with any musical theater fan.  This is high art and an absolute steal at $15 and $20!  Though I’m no theater critic, I’ve seen my share and this is really “not-to-be-missed”.  There are only three shows left:  Nov. 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 20 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Artists’ Theater box office, 625 Park Avenue, Laguna Beach (949-497-7769) before each show.


Tad Heitmann, Laguna Beach

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