A fractured fairytale show too sophisticated for children and too juvenile for adults, “Into the Woods” is one Stephen Sondheim musical that has always had an audience identity crisis—which may explain why performances of it are relatively rare. This Marriott Theatre revival will certainly attract Sondheimaphiles on that fact alone, but those seeking the tongue and cheek irony that can make the show click will be disappointed in that most of the fairytale characters are playing it straight in this production, missing the satire of the lyrics and James Lapine’s comedy with overdone seriousness and tentative timing. Sondheim’s deceptively simple ditty-filled score is also not well served here—its punchy counterpoint is often blurred with key characters delivering unconvincing performances due to timing miscues. (Dennis Polkow)
Wed 1pm & 8pm/Thu-Fri 8pm/Sat 5pm & 8:30pm/Sun; 1pm & 5pm. Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire, (847)634-0200. $45. Through Nov 19.