I have minutes to heap praise on INTO THE WOODS, as opposed to an hour. Dylan and I both are up and out the door early today as he's being interviewed down at MacDonald Island on CBC's traveling road show. 'm going to have to make this quick.
While I had high expectations of this Keyano Theatre Company production, it exceeded all. I saw some of the finest musical performances that I have seen, here or anywhere else. Several were Broadway quality in my view.
INTO THE WOODS is a can of worms. It is complex, vocally challenging, long, and wildly onerous in terms of staging. The vision of director Paul Gelineau with the skills of his artistic team made it look easy; it was anything but.
I was impressed by everybody, but I was blown away by several.
My friend Jason Beck as the Baker was beautiful to watch and delightful to listen to. This guy can sing - that I knew - but he can also slip into the skin of a character and make it real.
The Baker's wife, played by Keilley Kulhawy was unstoppable and deliver a world-class performance. Even when she was not the centre of attention, she was believably in every the moment. Her vocal range was, and is, extraordinary.
Ashley Kendall as Cinderella was another standout. Oh my goodness, does she have a voice. But, she also has great presence and comic timing.
Elizabeth Wells was perfect as the smiley, come-what-may, narrator. She smiled through everything, until she...... well, you'll have to watch the show to see what happens to her. It's awesome.
Mark Armstrong and Seth Lavigne were wonderful Princes. They played well off of one another and were a delight to watch. I'd glance over to Heather every time they came on and she'd be grinning from ear to ear. Milk White was.....indescribably fun.
Camryn Hannigan (Little Red Riding Hood) and Emily Beauchesne (Jack), both alums of my last Keyano production (A Christmas Carol) were amazing. As the youngest members of the cast, they held their own with one of the strongest ensembles I have ever seen.
If I had time, I could say something effusive about every actor and every aspect of this show. If you miss it, you're missing out something important, something totally entertaining. I was exhausted when we went to the theatre last night. My tiredness disappeared, replace by captivating energy, fun, inventiveness and brilliance.