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Local Theater Review: Into the Woods at the Strand, by David Day



into the woods

Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim is being performed by the Westside Theather Foundation(WTF).

We attended the opening night performance Friday and a few minutes into the play laughed until we had tears in our eyes. We lost ourselves in the production and were blown away by the talent of the performers in the play. The production was brilliant with impressive staging. No one wore a microphone yet they could be heard clearly in the acoustically designed Strand Theater on Clay near Walnut.

The Prince and his brother are reason enough to see the play, they slayed. The Witch was nothing short of incredible. Little Red Riding Hood put on a powerhouse performance. The Wolf was terrifying (that might be related to us sitting in the front row) and got the longest applause in the first act after his frighteningly accurate and motived howl over the girl in the red hood. Or maybe it was the Witch who got the longest applause or the Baker’s wife, or the Baker…it might have been, I can’t remember. But I do remember applause after almost every song in the first act, shrieks of laughter, and a crowd of people screaming approval.

It was wonderful and everything the local theatre should be and so much more. It is gratifying to see a production this well executed in Vicksburg. The almost capacity crowd was treated to a top-shelf production with stirring performances. It is hard to pick out a single stand-out moment because there were so many of them.

Oh, the cow, the milky white cow was so well done. A central character in the plot, the milky white cow was a reverse centaur-type creature operated with sticks and an emotionless puppeteer. You’ll have to see the brilliance of that character for yourself.

Cinderella and her stepsisters were so much fun and you had a love/hate relationship with the stepsisters. You could do little beyond admire Cinderella. Rapunzel had Hollywood-quality screams and an angelic voice to soothe even the evilest of characters. The narrator breaks the fourth wall effectively and enjoys the rewards for doing so.

The show will be performed 5 more times. Saturday the 16th at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 4 p.m., next Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and next Sunday at 4 p.m.

Go to this show, see the cow, be amazed at the witch, enjoy laughing at the brotherly Princes, and be absolutely blown away by the talent in this cast. Into the Woods is a must-see.

You can buy tickets here.


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