This week: Into the Woods we go—trailing caveats

It ain't easy, but Fighting Chance Productions (mostly) rises the challenges of Into the Woods

It ain’t easy, but Fighting Chance Productions (mostly) rises the challenges of Into the Woods

The best show up right now is Fighting Chance Productions mounting of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical, Into the Woods, which is playing at the Jericho Arts Centre until May 16.

Stephen Sondheim’s songs are crazily difficult to realize musically and, under Angus Kellett’s direction, the small orchestra and mostly amateur cast do an admirable job with them. And director Ryan Mooney’s decision to stage the show in the round keeps things visceral; I usually feel like nodding off in Act 2 of Into the Woods, but this time I was downright perky.

I can’t unreservedly recommend this show: the material can sparkle more than it does here, the performances are inconsistent. and, on opening night, microphone glitches were distracting. (When will Fighting Chance get its microphone act together?)

The net sum is positive, though. And you’ve got to give this humble company credit for doing a credible job with such an ambitious piece.