Scene in Cleveland: The Frogs

showimageI honestly thought I would make it through my entire life without seeing a production Stephen Sondheim’s musical version of The Frogs. However, last week a friend of mine from NYC was in Cleveland assisting the lighting designer on a production of the rarely produced show at Cain Park (where I interned, fittingly enough, the same summer the revised Frogs debuted on Broadway). The production is quite ably performed, with an outstanding chorus and pit that present the pleasant, though not-particularly inspired, score in the best possible light. Dan Folino is consistently entertaining (and occasionally, sincerely moving) with a Mitch-Hedburg-inspired take on Dionysus, playing the God of Wine and Theater as an underachiever who is so disappointed in modern writers’ ineffective response to world affairs that he is motivated to go to Hades in the hopes that retrieving George Bernard Shaw will inspire them to do better. The direction and design elements are elegant and creative. If I HAVE to sit through a production of The Frogs, Cain Park’s offering is as good as any and better than most. But it’s hard to not spend the script’s more tedious moments imagining the cast’s and creative team’s talents applied to a worthier project. Continue reading

What is it about the woods?

Anna Kendrick (and her cheekbones) as Cinderella

This has been a big 24 hours for “Disney’s Into the Woods” updates. A series of 10 still photos AND the first official trailer (and not the fake “teaser” that has infuriatingly been passed around for months) have been released. Taken together, they don’t really tell us anything we don’t already know. But after months filled with nothing but concerns about cut scenes and songs (which might not be cut in the first place/second place)–and during which the bizarre ANNIE remake has gotten TWO trailers–I’m willing to savor the potato caught by the slotted spoon and not worry about how little soup is there. Continue reading