Into The Woods - Directed by Gary Griffin- Writers Theater (Chicago)
Posted by: PlazaBoy 05:34 pm EDT 08/18/19

Saw this production Friday night at Writers Theater in one of Chicago’s suburbs. It was my first visit to this beautiful, modern theater.
I'd give this show a rave with a few exceptions.

This production is performed in the round which suits the material particularly well. It allowed for some scenes to be performed in the aisles and the action felt like it was swirling around you, but not in the least chaotic.

I saw the original Broadway production and the Broadway revival. I think a big difference here is the performance space. With its multiple entrances and exits and playing spaces, the scenes seem punctuated in a way that I hadn’t felt before. In the other productions, I had the feeling of scenes piling up. This felt distinctly different like everything had more space to breathe.

The production values are high and the cast is full of standouts. One wonderful performance that I must single out is Michael Mahler as The Baker. He brought such emotional weight to the second act. It was truly moving.

It’s a very well sung, acted and directed production.


There was one element of the show that I did not care for. During the finale, a dozen children in modern-day dress were brought on stage to listen to The Baker tell his story. They sat for a bit and then participated in the number. It was far too literal for my taste and it pulled me out of the immersive, magical world that I’d been enjoying all evening.

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