Saturday, February 6, 2016

Into the Woods - live

... sitting at my desk wonder what can I find in my mind to blog about ...
After Rebecca said a few things about Into the Woods I wondered what was left for me to say. 

This morning at the opera the person who gives the pitch to send money to the Met to promote more learning in the arts said again, “There is nothing like hearing opera live, so come, visit us at the Met or support your local opera.”

I always want to say back to her – nope about coming to see the opera. I love what you give me on the big screen and sitting back of the third balcony can never be better than what I get here on the IMAX screen.

By night I have changed my mind. There is nothing like live theatre or opera, even at the student level, which is what we saw tonight. The actors were perfectly miked. The music was done by a band. There were many firsts for Ben – he had never seen a live orchestra on stage before. At the intermission we discussed which other musicals had been written by Sondheim. Ben found the answer on Google: Gypsy, West Side Story, Sunday in the Park with George, and Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. These are musicals Rebecca grew up on. Then Rebecca and I stayed up later, after the show was over to see some utube clips of A Little Night Music, one of his other musicals.

The auditorium in the school had no concession but one that travels on a four wheeled cart so the intermission food could only be coffee or a muffin. The seats were hard – like the folding ones at church. The shifting action gave us some opportunity to twist in our seats, since the beanstalk from which Jack sang was behind us. I wondered if the boys would even know what a clothes line was, when the baker’s wife was taking clothes off of it, since all of them are too young to have ever had one hanging in their own back yard. But they didn’t have any trouble catching the humour in the fun couplets. Nor the other ideas in the text. For example Cinderella’s prince says, “I was raised to be charming, not sincere”. That made the boys laugh.

And they loved the witch’s advice in the song “Children Will Listen”: “Careful the wish you make, wishes are children. Careful the path they take, wishes come true, not free. Careful the spell you cast, not just on children. Sometimes the spell may last past what you can see and turn against you. Careful the tale you tell, that is the spell. Children will listen ….”

Lulu in the morning. Into the Woods at night. Hard to have had a day much better than this one.


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