See it if Beautiful choreography, staging, lighting. Masterful puppetry. Romantic fairy tale. Whimsical, poetic. Bring a date!
Don't see it if you are not ok with mostly mimed action. Could use less grunting to emote happy feelings.
See it if An engaging & creative production that's romantic & touching. The staging is beautiful & the puppet work masterfully done. One of a kind.
Don't see it if You don't like fairytales, whimsical storytelling, innovative staging or shows with mininal dialog.
See it if you respond to beautiful images. The simple, heartwarming story is told almost entirely without words. Clever use of props.
Don't see it if you are mostly drawn to words. My attention wandered a bit. Mostly, though, I enjoyed the stunning, haunting beauty. Read more
See it if you enjoy stripped down productions focusing on artistry and storytelling, such as Peter & the Starcatcher, Bedlam Theatre & Fiasco Theatre.
Don't see it if you don't have the patience for an intimate and mostly wordless evening of theatre.
See it if you enjoy puppetry.
Don't see it if you have a hard time following a story told without dialogue.
See it if You like to use your own imagination & fill in the no dialogue spaces, You like a world of visuals that inspire wonder & a very different OZ
Don't see it if You need everything explained for you
See it if enjoy creative stagecraft that combines many diverse elements.
Don't see it if you don't like puppets and prefer your storytelling to be conventional.
See it if You want to see phenomenal actors/puppeteers/musicians create magic in an intimate venue.
Don't see it if You require dialogue to understand a play. There is almost no dialogue and it is a sad story though it contains very funny moments.
"This is a more assured production than the one I saw a year ago, and the encompassing visual lushness of its environment is new. But a fundamental stumble still keeps it from fully blossoming to life...Mechanics get in the way of fantasy, though, at a crucial point...Just when we want the play to move us, there’s a frantic muddle instead. That long sequence contains the key to the story’s heart, and this abundantly beautiful show still needs to find it."
"Strangemen & Co.’s immersive and practically wordless adaptation of the writings of L. Frank Baum uses low-tech stagecraft like evocative Bunraku puppets, haunting vocal sound effects and a lone violinist to tell the backstory. Emotions are communicated through simple gestures, grunts and glances, not one wasted. Touching on mortality, futility and fate, 'The Woodsman' is a grown-up fairy tale that proves happiness is a worthwhile goal, even if it doesn’t last ever after."
"There’s not an unconsidered moment: Every element contributes, echoes, foretells. Many a production could benefit from Strangemen’s level of attention to storytelling detail. And yet I couldn’t help feeling that all this attention had been lavished on a story that resists being opened...'The Woodsman' does not raise dramatic questions for us in the way 'Into the Woods' does with similarly archetypal characters."
"It tells the backstory of the Tin Man via movement, mime and puppetry, with only a short prologue verbally setting up the action. It achieves great impact with minimal means...The evocative mood is set even before the show begins and it's sustained beautifully throughout the virtually wordless piece...The narrative is diffusely conveyed at times, many of the individual sequences are vividly rendered."
"There’s a haunting beauty about this dark puppet show, created by James Ortiz, the writer, co-director, puppet master and star of the current production. This eerie prequel to “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' reveals how the Tin Woodman lost his heart — not to mention all his body parts — when the Wicked Witch of the East put a curse on his ax...The puppeteers are proficient and the effects are exquisite."
"Silence, precisely enough articulated, can indeed speak volumes. And it does, in 'The Woodsman,' the haunting, lovely, and unforgettable puppet-fairy-tale extravaganza. So well rendered is this astonishingly short but impossibly full show...On the few occasions when an actor does use his or her actual voice, you'll be amazed at what you've been missing—and how, against the odds, you haven't missed it at all."
"This engrossing and magical 75-minute stage show uses mime, puppetry and music to tell its story...The talented cast of nine alternating as actors and puppet handlers enact their brief but eerie tale in this unusual format...It is a bit confusing as to what is happening since after the opening prologue there is no dialogue...However, the show is always theatrical, always hypnotic."
"You're in for an unusual, immersive experience...A hauntingly beautiful, spectacularly imaginative adult theater piece...For all the eeriness and Nick Chopper's destiny as the tin man without a heart, 'The Woodsman' has its lighter, more heart warming than heart breaking moments...A show that is fueled by imagination and talent rather than multi-million-dollars invested in technical wizardry."