I hadn’t been to the Hollywood Bowl in 25 years, only able at the time to afford the most toppermost seats, where I choked on cannabis fumes and saw Morrissey onstage as but a mopey and hilarious microbe. Now, I can afford slightly better seats and the figures onstage are ants (an upgrate!). But they’ve renovated the place and along with all the places to eat and shops, there are video screens. “All the better to see you with”.
Anyhoo, we went to the Bowl to see “Into the Woods”. Here’s a shot from our seats using the zoom. At the top of the bowl you can see the shadow of the Giant.
This show assembled the perfect cast: Sutton Foster (Anything Goes) as the Baker’s Wife, Skylar Astin (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) as the Baker, Patina Miller (Pippin) as the Witch, Sierra Boggess (The Little Mermaid) as Cinderella, Cheyenne Jackson (Xanadu) as Cinderella’s Prince and the Wolf, Gaten Matarazzo (Stranger Things) as Jack, Edward Hibbert (Frasier) as the Narrator, Whoopi Goldberg as the Giant, and many many other very talented folk.
All were outstanding. I always love Sutton Foster and Skylar Astin, but had never seen Patina Miller who was Boom! as the Witch. She just about stole the show. And Cheyenne Jackson certainly grabbed the audience; I heard loud sighs from girls all around (and some of the boys, too) when he hit certain notes. His growl as the Wolf certainly produced a tingle across the audience, as well. Gaten Matarazzo has a surprisingly good voice and his personality brings so much to any role. Whoopi brought some hilarity to the Witch, adding a “motherf–” when the birds are pecking out her eyes.
This should go to Broadway. I know that the ambiance, with the bowl nestled in the hills under the open sky, is quite alluring and wouldn’t be replicated on a Broadway stage, but the cast combination and the direction which made the show funnier and warmer than I’d ever seen it. So onto the Great White Way, I say!
Here’s some video taken by an audience member of Patina Miller. Video’s not great but the sound is fairly good and the performance outstanding: