March 31, 2023
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Into The Woods

We saw Into The Woods at the Kennedy Center last week, and it was a terrific show.

I heard the original cast album quite a bit in the early days of Eastgate, but I’d never really understood how Into The Woods is a meditation on being a Jew in a world with an empty sky.

I wish my son were not a fool
I wish my house was not a mess
I wish the cow was full of milk
I wish the walls were full of gold—
I wish a lot of things...

It starts with folk wisdom in a characteristic slant vein: “And though scary is exciting/Nice is different than good.” Everyone, pulling together, wins through.

But then the giants show up and wreck everything: the house, the palace, the village, all gone. And we ourselves are not are selfish, short-sighted, greedy, vengeful, careless — and it’s all your fault. Still:

Witches can be right, Giants can be good.
You decide what's right. You decide what's good.

In the end, standing in the wreckage:

Hard to see the light now
Just don't let it go
Things will come out right now
We can make it so.