‘Into the Woods’ Original Cast Reunion at Brooklyn Academy of Music – Review

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Brooklyn Academy of Music, Peter Jay Sharp Building

This is an adult story, which is made clear by the Wolf’s randy lyrics and lascivious choreography.  “There’s no possible way/To describe what you feel/When you’re talking to your meal,” sings the Wolf as he meets Little Red Riding Hood in the woods, while making somewhat salacious gestures.

Other secrets come out as well.  Gleason and Zien, the Baker’s Wife and Baker respectively, spoke of their long-standing close friendship, although Gleason did confess that Zien was the only actor whom she had ever hit.

When trying the show out in San Diego, a large part of the audience at one performance was apparently satisfied after the first act, applauded wildly, put on their hats and coats on, and headed to the parking lot.  One of the ushers ran after them, saying that there was an entire second act to come.  This caused the show’s creators to add “To be continued” before the intermission.

BAM's lobby prior to the reunion

BAM’s lobby prior to the reunion

One of the funniest stories came from Robert Westenberg (the Prince and the Wolf) who spoke about his “anatomically correct” wolf’s costume, whose pendulous movements caused laughter in previews that lasted 15 minutes and kept much of the audience from hearing what was being said on stage during the laughter.  Apparently, for six successive nights, the offending part of the costume was shrunk until it no longer caused laughter that would drown out exposition.  On Sunday, Sondheim asked Westenberg what the reduction did to his self-esteem.

The seven cast members, who stepped back into their original Broadway roles reprising a dozen or so songs from the show without missing a beat after 28 years, caused Sondheim to comment that, if he were to close his eyes, it was indistinguishable from the original production.

Finally, the cast also proved it’s possible to have a true happy ending and marry your prince.  Kim Crosby (Cinderella) and Robert Westenberg (who played both the Prince and the Wolf), we are told, today “live in the same town… on the same street… in the same house,” having gotten married after meeting in the show.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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