This summer’s musical by the Youth Theatre Ensemble at the Bloomington Playwrights Project is Lapine and Sondheim’s "Into the Woods." Under director Sandra Freund, the show has been scaled down to an hour, but all the attractive elements and the challenges of the original are very much in play.
Freund aided by choreographer Galia Arad and vocal director Shani Wahrman has worked intensively with two-dozen actors ranging in age from eight to fifteen. Clearly the work has paid off in the obvious confidence that each and every actor showed. I’m glad to say that the young voices are treated with care. Some are stronger than others, but none are asked to "belt" out their parts.
The production of "Into the Woods" is an intricate show. There are lots of exactly timed entrances and exits. On opening night things were meshed nicely. The audience, a group with more than a sprinkling of family and friends of the cast, thoroughly enjoyed the evening. The very accomplished cast was acting, singing, speaking and dancing with aplomb. They were also obviously having a very excellent time doing it.
The Bloomington Playwrights Project’s Youth Ensemble production of "Into the Woods" plays tonight and Saturday at seven. There’s a two o’clock matinee on Sunday. You can check, but as of last night all shows were sold out.