Cinderella (Molly Holleran), Little Red Riding Hood (Erin Dickey) and Jack the Giant-Killer (Robert John Hanson) are featured in Into the Woods, the Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre's romp through the dark woods of fairy tales.
The three familiar childhood tales are roughly sewn together and supported by a cast of bakers, wolves, witches and wives.
The resulting play is an ingenious mashup of plots and characters. The costuming is beautiful. The sets are just the right blend of creepy and cozy.
The music is somewhat abstract, not the toe-tapping kind. However, the play features some of the most beautiful voices in the Tri-Cities.
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Holleran is always a pleasure to listen to. Geoff Elliott's performance as Cinderella's Prince is superb.
One of the pleasures of this production is how the various characters are portrayed. Holleran's Cinderella is trembling and insecure. Dickey's Little Red Riding Hood is almost as sassy and sly as the wolf that hunts her. Hanson's Jack is always looking for a con man's angle, and blowing it because he's not too bright. And Megan Johnson is wonderful as the triumphant Witch of the Woods.
The characters obtain the promised happily ever after by the first intermission. The plot in the first half is complex and interwoven, but familiar enough that even young children should be able to follow it without needing to leave a bread trail behind them.
By the second half of the play, the characters have become more human and irksome. Cinderella's Prince has a wandering eye. Fights erupt over who will do the royal babysitting and housework. The play winds down to a confused but entertaining ending.
The play is a tad too long for young children; they may enjoy the first half more than the second. Adults who are aficionados of fantasy and fairy tales will likely enjoy the whole thing.
-- Nancy Welliver is a longtime supporter of the arts. She has worked at Hanford as an engineer and is a member of the Camerata Musica organization.