Into the Woods at the Wallis Annenberg Center

December 4, 2014 7:34 PM

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The Oregon Shakespeare Festival's revival of Stephen Sondheim's iconic musical, now playing at the Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills, is an uneven, if often delightful, rendition of Sondheim's parable of the trials and tribulations of childhood and growing up. Directed by Amanda Dehnert, the production features a kind of crazy quilt of styles - from British pantomime and vaudeville mugging to hip-hop choreography and story theater narration. Some of it works, and some doesn't.

The main problem is the inconsistency of tone. While Dehnert takes an admirably innovative approach to the classic Sondheim show by injecting a more lighthearted and playful atmosphere, she misses the mark in the deeper, more emotionally affecting aspects of Sondheim's and book writer James Lapine's...

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