The Woodsman OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Hunter Canning
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    January 13, 2015
    Closing:
    February 22, 2015

    Theater: 59E59 Theaters / 59 East 59th St., New York, NY, 10022

    Synopsis: 

    Back by popular demand, Strangemen & Co. present the untold story of Oz's Tin Man, the woman he loved, and the witch that would stop at nothing to keep them apart. A lonely woodsman falls for the slave-girl of a powerful witch. Determined to keep them apart, the witch curses The Woodsman's axe. With every swing he pays with a limb until he's more metal than man. Based on the forgotten writings of L. Frank Baum, The Woodsman gives these darkly beautiful, haunting and heart-breaking stories new life through spectacular puppetry and song.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Woodsman

    Led by a Tender Heart, Before It Is Ripped Out

    Laura Collins-Hughes

    January 20, 2015: Using words is dangerous in this eastern corner of Oz, yet sound is everywhere: the mournful music of a violin, the rasp of a witch, the spooky wind of the woods. A movement piece with puppets, James Ortiz’s The Woodsman is an elemental reimagining of L. Frank Baum’s world of Oz. The spectacle is handmade, infused with breath and light. This is the Tin Man’s back story: how a regular human named Nick Chopper (Mr. Ortiz) came to be a rusting pile of metal in need of a heart. The story, laid out in a spare spoken prologue in this largely wordless piece, involves the witch who rules this part of Oz. Her only apparent vulnerability is an aversion to sunlight. When Nick falls in love with her barefoot slave Nimmee (an appealing Eliza Simpson), the witch schemes to prevent their union. She enchants an ax to cut off chunks of Nick, one by one. With prosthetics to replace them, soon he is wholly made of tin. Without a heart, he can no longer love.

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