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Perez Reviews: Into The Woods… In The Woods!

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Donna Murphy Into The Woods

The Public Theater's production of Into The Woods has gotten some very mixed reviews, but we found it to be very enjoyable - for the most part.

We had never seen the Sondheim classic before and were pleased to get to experience it for the first time in such a unique setting as Central Park.

The show is the show. We probably would have liked it better had it ended at the end of Act 1. But, Sondheim is Sondheim and though he's a genius composer and lyricist, he sure loves to be contrarian!

Woods has some very memorable music. Songs that have transcended the show. And if this production were to move to Broadway, our biggest note and we disliked the most was the casting.

Denis O'Hare as the Baker and Sarah Stiles as Little Red Ridinghood were just awful and grating, respectively in that order. We do, though, think that is the way they were directed. Piss poor choices made with their characters.

Big movie star Amy Adams was more than good as the Baker's Wife. Joanna Gleason won the Tony for that role in the original Broadway production of Woods, while Bernadette Peters was glazed over for her portrayal of the Witch.

In this revival, Donna Murphy steals the show with her Witch. She is absolutely enthralling! Vocally dynamic and her acting is superb! She alone is reason enough to catch the show - now in its final performances - if you haven't already.

Gideon Glick as Jack is the other standout in the show!

And Ellen Harvey as Cinderella's Stepmother was also thoroughly enjoyable.

Recast or rethink the Baker and Ridinghood, and send this Woods to Broadway!

P.S. If the show does transfer, Leah Loukas deserves a Tony for her inspired wig designs. And Donna Murphy too, of course!

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29 comments to “Perez Reviews: Into The Woods… In The Woods!”



  1. 1

    So let us get this right: Hollywood reject you and you tried selling clothing. That flopped and you tried selling us music, that flopped and you tried radio. That flopped and you tried a tv show, that flopped and now you think you can review theater????

    Bwahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhaah thank you for giving this old gal the laugh of her life.

  2. Of says – reply to this


    2

    Are you nuts!? Denis ohare and Sarah stiles were phenomenal! If anything, Amy Adams was mediocre. I will agree, Donna Murphy was shit



  3. 3

    A) "We had never seen the Sondheim classic before"
    Well since you don't have any prior knowledge of the music or the characters, you probably can't really question any of the performer's character choices.

    B) "We probably would have liked it better had it ended at the end of Act 1"
    Sometimes productions only do the first act. Children's productions. If you cut Act 2, you lose the majority of the show's real depth and emotion.

    C) "…though he's a genius composer and lyricist, he sure loves to be contrarian"
    If the show ended at Act 1, it would be a typical fairy tale. The point of the show is what happens AFTER the "happily ever after". He's not being contrarian by taking a traditional concept and maturing it.

    D) "Amy Adams was more than good"
    What. A vocabulary.

  4. Lucy says – reply to this


    4

    Oh my god I couldn't disagree more!! Amy Adams was fine. Sarah Stiles was absolutely HILARIOUS. The whole theater was cracking up when she was on stage. And Denis O'Hare was an enjoyable constant throughout the show - definitely held his own.



  5. 5

    Maybe look up "ingratiating?"

    And by the way, I'm not one of your bashers, but I really don't understand why you are now giving parenting advice. Absurd. Do you feel another book coming on?

  6. julia becker says – reply to this


    6

    how was Chip Zien at the Mysterious Man because he was originally the baker, so i want to know if you like the new baker more then the original. I didnt see it in central park, i was going to, didnt have the change. so i mean i feel like even though i didnt see it, i think that chip zien is better as the baker. or at leasr keep Bernadette Peters as the which i mean she has aged well so she could have easily pulled it off. i mean guess not to the director though..



  7. 7

    Re: ParisIsBurning

    I could not agree more. Perez isn't a "jack of all trades" he is simply a jack ass.

  8. B says – reply to this


    8

    Please stick to gossip. Instead of using what "power" you have(from this webstie) to maybe encourage people to see live theater you confuse them. I'm honestly don't know if you enjoyed the show from this "review" sounds like you're friends with Amy Adams and you had a crush on Gideon. Stick to copy and paste.



  9. 9

    Watch Weeds Season 8 Episode 9 Full Online Streaming

  10. bri-job says – reply to this


    10

    Mario,
    You are not and will never be LIZ SMITH.



  11. 11

    Awesome…Loving it…



  12. 12

    sounds bastardised ….



  13. 13

    Re: ParisIsBurning – I don't think I could've said it better myself. Mario has "epic failure" written all over him. Instead of sticking to what used to work for him, he's tried everything and failed at it all. Perez = loser.
    .
    Re: JonnyReinhart – You can't educate Perez. He's too into himself and his own delusions.
    .
    Re: B – He doesn't have any "power" or influence anymore. He's destroyed that, and it's obvious from those who leave comments here that most hold him in complete contempt. And he's done it to himself.

  14. DoctorBroadway says – reply to this


    14

    You are a joke!

  15. manaugusta says – reply to this


    15

    so glad for your success but you are not Queen Victoria get over he royal we we are not amused

  16. Tom says – reply to this


    16

    YOU are not a theatre critic. YOU are not an expert on Sondheim. If you felt the play should have ended after the first act then you absolutely did not get what the play was all about. Act 2 is critical to the entire concept of the musical.
    Perhaps you should keep your remarks to the inane and irrelevant where you are an expert.



  17. 17

    Denis O'Hare was one of my favorites in the show! Thought he did a great job. Saw him in Elling on Broadway and thought he was phenomenal in that as well. Obviously, Donna Murphy and Amy Adams were equally brilliant. It was a great show and I enjoyed reading your review even though I disagree with your loathe for Denis.



  18. 18

    I have to agree that i LOVE the first act, and yes the second act is very depressing, but you NEED it. It shows that fairy tales aren't always what they seem, and how life truly is. Perez, I tend to agree with you on most things, however I COMPLETELY disagree with the comments about the baker and little red. Denis O'Hare is AMAZEBALLS!!! He is a perfect choice to play the baker. I've seen him in many shows, and I wish I could make it up there to see him in this production. As for the woman playing little red, I know her name, but haven't seen her in anything (that I can think of) but I'm sure they picked the best person for that character. Sorry Perez, I think you're wrong with this "review"

  19. laurastacey says – reply to this


    19

    I am just surprised by how hateful and simple-minded that review was. I saw the show, and can add that Dennis O'Hare, and especially Sarah Stiles were marvelous. Ms. Stiles is a brilliant performer on her way up, and all viable publications have spoken of her stellar performance in this. Reviewers (if that is what Mr.Perez is calling himself these days) usually write with more tact. This is a sloppy, short-sided, and unkind hack piece.



  20. 20

    The fact that you have "landed" some paltry role in an Off-Broadway production has apparently gone to your pumpkin-like head. Depicting S. Sondheim as a musical/lyrical idiot savant shows how stupid you truly are. Ever heard of West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, etc. etc.? You are a fathead.



  21. 21

    It's true Mario, you are not a theatre critic or a music producer or a radio personal or a fitness guru, or a clothes designer or a fashion runway critic… among other caps you seem to wear. Does it ever end??? It's good to have hobbies, but when you bring it to perezhilton.com it makes you look stupid. Stick to what you are good at and do it well. It's ok to have hobbies lil craftman.



  22. 22

    Wish I could afford to travel to NYC and see a play or two. Last one I saw was at a local repertory theater, a spoof of an English murder mystery, hilarious and only $15.

  23. IAM5 SLIMMY KAT GRAHAM says – reply to this


    23

    GOOD GOD RETARD ! YOU CAN'T BE THIS STUPID PLAYING WITH JUST ONE DICK lol #EPICFAILHOMO !

  24. Tony says – reply to this


    24

    Lawls.
    I loved Donna Murphy, but even she had flaws in her performance. Sarah Stiles, if anybody," stole the show. Denis O'Hare was ridiculously deadpan and retarded, which I suppose was a home run if they wanted "overacted middle-schooler" stamped all over it.
    Amy Adams was great for not being a theatrical actress, and I guess your lackadaisical remark with regard to her can be overlooked or agreed with.
    The production was in an entirely different world from the original so on the whole they can't really be compared.
    Not that I often read this blog (and when I do its strictly for laughs) but steer clear or reviewing theatre..its not your niche.

  25. OperaKitty says – reply to this


    25

    Thank you for this brilliant example of how NOT to write a theatre review.

  26. Adam CHatwin says – reply to this


    26

    Yeah………You should stay FAR away from theater. This review has no substance and more importantly no BRAIN behind it. Just because people trust your celeb gossip does not mean they are going to respect your shady theater reviews.

  27. OperaGaga says – reply to this


    27

    "The Show is the Show…" Um…have you ever even seen a play or a musical? You may not want to be writing reviews when you don't have the knowledge, capacity, or vocabulary to write a theater review of merit. Sarah Stiles was a standout in the show and Jack was adequate vocally and dramatically. I can only assume the hetero-sex dynamic between the wolf and little red somehow turned you off and that you are attracted to the actor playing jack to merit those particular opinions. Amy Adams did not have the vocal depth for the baker's wife and could not hold her own with this cast of musical theater veterens. I love her work in movies, but a broadway leading lady she is not–her presence would have been much more suited to Cinderella, though vocally she doesn't have the kind of pretty tone quality and spin that role requires either. The second act is the absolute guts and soul of this show and what it's really all about–the first act alone is the light fluff that merely sets it up. I guess it makes sense for someone who is more experienced watching 30 minute episodes of Keeping up with the Kardashians to find the second act somehow unnecessary or tiring. You clearly have zero understanding of this material, the skills it requires, or the history behind it. Stick to celebrity gossip, honey, because reviews like this just make me think, "Hey Perez, your stupid is showing!"

  28. Lulu Banks says – reply to this


    28

    couldn't agree more with all these comments. What makes you think you are qualified to review theater?? do you really think you have the power to make or break a show??? LOL i wonder what kind of reviews you will be receiving for your long awaited off broadway debut.

  29. candystriper says – reply to this


    29

    LOL–everyone's a critic.. Perez,, you are soooo off. This Little red steals the show and gives it back to the audience and the 2nd act, although dark is amazing..The cast is great and yes, it should move.. I loved it. But, then again, i see everything and will assume that this is your first Broadway caliber show… Welcome