Much in the way that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the most talked-about movie of 2015, the North Bay theater scene already has its share of shows that are receiving major advance buzz.
Stephen Sondheim’s dark-tinged musical fairy tale Into the Woods is staged often but rarely well. The music is hard, the cast is large, and there is an actual giant in it. Marin County’s Theater-at-Large, which staged the show in November in Novato, gave us one of the good ones. Riding in on a magical wave of thunderous praise, Into the Woods will be materializing in an encore run at Spreckels Performing Arts Center (www.spreckelsonline.com), where the mirth and mayhem of Sondheim’s tricky script and score will have even more room to work their complex wonders (Jan. 8–17).
And like a two-headed ogre, or ghostly doppelganger, Into the Woods will be staged again, in a completely different production, as part of Sonoma State University’s spring theater season (www.sonoma.edu/theatreanddance). Directed by Marty Pistone, with musical direction by Grammy-nominated Lynn Morrow, the double-dose of Sondheim (Feb. 4–14) is just adding to the buzz.
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