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Monday, February 9, 2015

Report Card---"Into The Woods"

I saw the stage version of "Into The Woods" twice.
Once in New York, where Bernadette Peters starred as the Witch.
And, in Los Angeles, where Cleo Laine was the Witch.
Peters was great.
Laine was fantastic.
Meryl Streep was better than both of them.
I'm a huge fan of Sondheim, and of this show.
The film does justice to all concerned.
I was certainly one who was concerned.
It is wonderful.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

The intricate interweaving of the different fairy tales is fascinating.
A+.

Compelling even?

Often.
A+.

Is it controversial?

No, nor is it an issue.
No Grade.

Is it a story worth telling?

Absolutely.
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

Great storytelling.
A+.

Is it well written?

On all levels. And it is Sondheim at his most inventive.
The music is dazzling and haunting.
One quibble: In the stage play, there was a narrator, who turns out to be the Baker's father.
They retained the father, but eliminated him as the narrator.
There was no narrator.
Somehow, this caused them to eliminate what was, for my money, the best song in the show---a duet between the Baker and his father, called "No More".
It was sorely missed, by me.
And the spot for the song was still right there.
It could have been included. Sadly, it wasn't.
A.


Is it well cast? Well played?

Uniformly, and Streep was inspired, and an inspired choice.
A+.

Well shot?

Exquisitely.
A+.

Is it too long? Too short?

Too short, because they didn't include "No More".
A-.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Extremely, and extremely, considering it is a dozen fairy tales.
A+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

If you haven't seen the play, it is a total surprise.
A.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Mainly about that song that was cut. I've been humming it over and over since I saw the movie.
B-.

Is it funny?

More ironic than funny, but effectively so.
A.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Yes. The larger the screen, the better it is.
A+

Is it impressive?

God, yes.
A+.

Overall grade: A.

There is something about close-ups and a large screen that make Sondheim's intricate lyrics much easier to comprehend than if you're watching the stage musical.


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My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

2 comments:

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at macchus999@aol.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."