Into the Woods at the Kennedy Center

Yesterday my fellow Broadway loving friend and I drove down to DC to see Into the Woods at the Kennedy Center. It had a recent revival run on Broadway, and much of the final Broadway cast is now doing a tour. I was interested in seeing both the cast and the show, so it finally gave me a good excuse to get to the Kennedy Center. Somehow in the almost 23 years I have lived in Baltimore I have never gone to see a show there. I was going to see a concert there in 2020, but that obviously didn’t happen. We had really good seats like 5 rows back for less money than we would have paid to sit in the back row of a Broadway theatre.

It was one of the most stressful trips to get down to the theatre though. I really didn’t think we were going to make it before opening curtain. My friend lives way north of the city, so we decided to meet up at a Park & Ride close to 95 nearish the airport and then carpool the rest of the way into DC. Supposedly it should have taken us about 45 minutes from the Park & Ride to get to the Kennedy Center. It took us just under an hour and half, which put as at the theatre a few minutes before the show started. Traffic was just fubar everywhere. The GPS couldn’t even figure out what it wanted us to do. Normally we would have gone south getting on the DC beltway, but it told us to go West so we figured the Beltway was way backed up and it was going to route us some way the other direction. But then it changed it’s mind and had us get off at the first exit and turn back around and go the other direction on the Beltway. Then it kept changing it’s mind as to whether it wanted us to stay on the Beltway or get off at the BW Parkway and drive through the center of the city. We wound up doing the latter which meant a million lights getting across the city. It felt like we had to sit at every single one and they all lasted forever. We did get a nice view of basically every DC landmark on our way in though. They were ushering in the door quickly as they show was about to start when we got there. We basically sat down just in time. Luckily, though weirdly there was absolutely zero security so that didn’t slow us down at all. I honestly don’t remember the last time I went into any sort of public building like a theatre, concert venue, sports arena, or even museum where there wasn’t some sort of bag check and/or metal detector that I had to go through. So I feel like it is very odd that there was none of that at the Kennedy Center, but whatever.

We actually didn’t wind up seeing several of the cast members that I had been interested in seeing. From what I understand Sebastian Arcelus, who was supposed to be the Baker, has been out for the entire Kennedy Center run with a knee injury. I was bummed about him because his real life wife Stephanie J. Block is playing the Baker’s Wife, so it would have been fun to see them perform together. I had zero complaints about Jason Forbach, who was the understudy that played the Baker. I only even cared because I wanted to see Stephanie and Sebastian together.

Gavin Creel was the Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince was also out for our performance. The ushers weren’t handing out programs, and we missed the stack of them on our rush into the theatre. Not that we would have had a chance to look at them before the performance started anyway. So I kept second guessing myself as to whether Gavin Creel was actually supposed to be in the show when he wasn’t there. He’s doing a concert at the Kennedy Center on Monday night when the show is dark that I’ve gotten approximately one million emails about, so I was starting to think maybe I was just confused and I was just thinking he was in the show because of all those emails. But at intermission when we grabbed the program I saw that he was in fact supposed to be there and just out. I suspect he might be taking the weekend off from the to prepare for his concert. Honestly I have zero regrets that he wasn’t there because Eddie Lopez who was the understudy was absolutely perfect in the role, and I don’t think I would have wanted to see anybody else. The actor who played Rapunzel’s Prince was also out, but I didn’t know who the regular actor or the understudy were so that didn’t mean anything to me really. The rest of the cast was fantastic too. Montego Glover was a great Witch. Katy Geraghty who played Little Red Riding Hood was absolutely the best. She was a real highlight of the show.

The whole production was great. It was really funny. I had a great time, and I’m glad we made the effort to get down to DC and see it. I’m especially glad that we got there before the show started. The show is just beginning its tour, so if it comes to a city near you I highly recommend it.

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