Into the Woods | Mercury Theater Chicago | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through April 5 2014
Price: $22-$59
Long known for eccentric revivals of classics, the Hypocrites hit a rich vein recently with a beach-blanket Pirates of Penzance and a circus Mikado. Here they extend the franchise to a masterpiece by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. In Geoff Button's staging, the 1987 musical is set in a child's world, amid toys and toy chests, a slide, and bungee-cord trees with balloon branches. That makes sense, because Into the Woods uses fairy tales to explore the parent-child relationship and how all of us move from bright innocence to melancholy experience in the course of our lives. Yet the visual motif does nothing to deepen the theme; more often than not, it just gets in the way. A good thing, then, that the production is so strong on the fundamentals. Look past the bungees (as well as some other cutesy gestures) and you'll see ten talented, personable actors perform the hell out of a great work of theatrical art, supported by a sharp offstage band. —Tony Adler



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