Moments of Grief: Into the Woods and Little Women

I don’t know if it is because we live in such a loud world these days, but last weekend I was all about the quiet moment on stage. Or perhaps, I was really all about the grief.

Into the Woods at Good Company Players, Fresno

intothewoods

Teddy Maldonado as the Baker, Emily Pessano as the Baker’s Wife, and Sara Price as The Witch. Photo: Good Company Players.

There’s a lot to grab the eye in this production of Into the Woods, from the sparkly, elaborate costumes to the moving trees, from the smoke machines to the choreography using every possible inch of available space at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater.

And perhaps because I spent the better part of the show responding to the staging and visuals, I was struck the most by Teddy Maldonado’s rendition of “No More” near the end of the second act. The song has always been a favorite of mine, but delivering it alone and in front of a nearly blank scrim, Maldonado’s tender and plaintive voice hit just the right chord of loss and grief laced with anger and confusion. Its stark and still theatricality has stayed with me all week.

Into the Woods continues at Roger Rocka’s through September 16th. Information and tickets HERE. 

Little Women – King’s Players, Hanford.

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Little Women at The Temple Theater. Photo: King’s Players

The production of Little Women at Hanford’s Temple Theatre is full of the small-town charm that is the building block of local community theatre. Audiences love to see local friends and nearby residents up on that stage and will support them in droves.

The night I attended, the audience was at its most rapt at one of the most poignant and quiet moments in the play. After a great loss in the family, Marmee (Rebecca Jensen) enters the stage with a small photograph and places it on the mantelpiece, gently touches it with restrained feeling in her grief. It is a lovely picture of maternal strength and grace, and one that often gets overlooked in Little Women in favor of the zest for life possessed by the March girls.

Little Women runs for two more weekends, August 10 – 19th. Information and tickets HERE. 

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