This Into The Woods by DreamCatcher Theatre and Theater Up Close is so heartbreakingly uneven that it may bring Sondheim lovers close to tears. Long stretches are so skillfully and lovingly executed that you want to cheer. Others fail to conquer this difficult work. But the misstep is the high-profile casting of Tituss Burgess in the linchpin role of the Witch.
A gay teenager leading a religious choir at a regimented prep school for African-Americans is a perfect theatrical metaphor for an individualist struggling to square his uncompromising self into a society built upon conformity. Elevated by thrilling music performed in five-part harmony, a depiction of this difficult dance is the premise of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy in GableStage’s intriguing production.
At the end of Florida Grand Opera’s beautifully performed and comical edition of the Mozart farce Cosi Fan Tutte, you’ll want to take the heroes into a dark alley and beat them with a two-by-four.
By successfully depicting the sadistic emotional vise that the heroines are crushed in, director Bernard Uzan and a glorious cast intentionally or unintentionally gut the opera’s blithe misogynistic ethos.
With Bonnie & Clyde, Slow Burn Theatre Company has found the strengths in a “troubled” work and forged an entertaining even intermittently thrilling work. It keeps nudging upward the level of quality and polish without sacrificing a commitment to tackling edgy, difficult work that few would attempt.