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Review: "Into the Woods"

Review of "Into the Woods" at George Mason University Center for the Arts.

 “Into the Woods”, the initial presentation in an ongoing collaboration between School of Music and Department of Theater, at The George Mason University Center for the Arts was a huge success!  This fabulous production with its amazing cast made it difficult to imagine that these were students exhibiting such command of the stage, vocal maturity, and comedic timing. 

Congratulations to Dennis Layendecker,(Musical Director)  Director of School of Music, and Ken Elston, (Director)  Chair of Department of Theater, for assembling such  a fantastic production team and cast that exceeded all expectations. 

Just as Layendecker predicted, there were many audience members, me included, who walked away saying, ”Wow; we had no idea."

This production, with the caliber of talent on display, was the perfect vehicle to launch the George Mason certification program for an eventual BA degree in Music Theater.

I liked everything about this production and if you know me you will know that to be a rare statement.  Although I always find something to like no matter how dismal the affair, I find that I must restrain my praise for this “Into the Woods”
production, which showed so few weaknesses. 

The cast - Tristan Griffin (Narrator); Kat Brewster, Ruthie Rado, and Maggie Rodgers (Magic Makers); Kate Merryman (Cinderella);Rafael Medina (Jack); Kyle Imperatore (The Baker); Cara Pellegrino (The Baker’s Wife);Brittany Martz (The Witch); Alexandra Bunger-Pool (Little Red Riding Hood); Rob Swanson (The Wolf); Matthew Succi (The Mysterious Man); Matthew Lincoln-Bugg (Cinderella’s Prince); Jacob Lash (Rapunzel’s Prince); MirandaCarver (Rapunzel); Justin Sumblin (Cinderella’s Fathere); Ariauna Heck
(Cinderella’s Stepmother); Melissa Berkowitz (Florinda); Colleen Zimmerman
(Lucinda); Christine Huff (Jack’s Mother); McKenna Weipert (Cinderella’s
Mother/Little Red Riding Hood’s Granny/Giant); and, Wesley Meekins (Steward) – proved  that there are no small parts by executing each character with confidence and style. Kudos also to the note-perfectorchestra . 

Not singling anyone out because this was truly an ensemble performance; however, I think we witnessed some future stars in the making.

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