The Fiasco Theater’s reimaging of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s “Into the Woods” — officially opening at McCarter Theater this Friday, May 10, and continuing to Sunday, June 2 — caps off the Princeton-based regional theater’s current season with an imaginative take on another imaginative take.
The 1988 Tony Award-winning musical is itself a reimaging of familiar fairy tales. Part Brothers Grimm, part psychoanalyst Bruno Bettleheim’s “the Uses of Enchantment,” and all Sondheim, the musical rounds up the usual story book characters — Rapunzil, Red Riding Hood, Beanstalk Jack, and others — and lets them lead the audience to the place one finds after the “happily ever after.”
Fiasco’s take is to tease out the magic of the musical and the skills of the artists by enlivening the modern classic with a 10-actor ensemble and a single piano. It is a feat similar to their recent six-actor off-Broadway hit interpretation of Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline,” a show that brought the company founded by graduates of the Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA acting program an off-Broadway Alliance Award. This new production is under the direction of company co-artistic directors Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, features musical director and pianist Matt Castle, and promises to sparkle with innovation.
Into the Woods, McCarter Theater Center, 91 University Place, Princeton. Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 and 7:30 p.m., through Sunday, June 2. $20 to $80. 609-258-2787 or www.mccarter.org.