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Into the Woods 2017


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Into the Woods is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. The musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales, exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. The main characters are taken from “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Rapunzel”, and “Cinderella”, as well as several others. The musical is tied together by a story involving a childless baker and his wife and their quest to begin a family (the original beginning of The Grimm Brothers’ Rapunzel), their interaction with a witch who has placed a curse on them, and their interaction with other storybook characters during their journey.

My friends and I saw this play together on Thursday, February 2nd at 7:00. The theater was mostly empty, mostly students and friends of the actors in the crowd. I imagine this is because everyone else saw it opening night which was the week before. Nevertheless, crowd size doesn’t matter, and it was easy to find a good seat.

As expected from high school productions, the production was plagued by technical issues involving the speaker system and microphones. A lot of the time, it was just simple audio cut-outs, but other times you could hardly hear what the characters were saying at all. “Even though some cast members’ mics kept cutting out, they did the best they could and projected their voices to make up for the tech difficulties,” a student said.

“The play was a little long, and there were some audio problems, but overall the acting was great and they tried their hardest

Part of that was not the fault of technical failure, but on the fact that some songs in the play had to be sang very quickly, so the words slurred together and I as well as people around me became confused as to what was happening in the story. As someone who had never seen Into The Woods (the play or the movie) before, the story flew right over my head and that of my friends, who had also never seen it or knew nothing about it.

One example of leaving the audience confused is a section of the opening song, where the witch comes in and sings. This part of the song is supposed to set up the plot and motives for the entire movie, and it’s supposed to be sang very quickly but clearly. The words were very difficult to make out at times, and apparently some vital information was in that song that we could barely understand. Therefore, for the rest of the play, we were lost. Without spoilers, there was a scene that was supposed to reveal a big plot twist that completely flew over our heads because you had to understand the opening song to get it.

The sets were nice and were reused in clever ways. For example, Rapunzel’s tower was also the giant’s tower. The crew did a very commendable job moving set pieces quickly into place without any fuss I could notice. The effects for this play, once again as expected, were as good as the crew could make them. Obviously you can’t have a real giant or actually throw somebody off the overhang, but the effects used for these scenes were comical. The ‘giant’ was a spotlight on the wall with what appeared to be an alien figurine held in front of it to form a slightly-tall shadow that shook like a leaf, probably because it was actually paper. And for a part where the giant picked somebody up and threw them down from the sky, someone on the overhang threw a cloak over the railing. Rudimentary, but charming.

The play was about 3 hours long and separated into two acts. Everyone did a very good job with what they had and put their hearts into it. You could tell the actors really cared to entertain the audience. The actors that really stood out would be Wendy Kuhn as the witch, Antony Quintana as the wolf, and Michaela Bollinger as Red Riding Hood.

 

CAST

NARRATOR- JACQUELINE MASSEY

CINDERELLA-SYNDEY ENOS

JACK-CAITIE JOHNSON

JACK’S MOTHER- CAMPBELL DUFFY

THE BAKER- ETHAN RAY

THE BAKER’S WIFE- MAKALA SCHEEL

CINDERELLA’S STEPMOTHER- MARTHA ZIMMERMAN

LUCINDA- KRISTA HALL

FLORINDA- MARINA BOULINGHOUSE

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD- MICHAELA BOLLINGER

THE WITCH- WENDY KUHN

CINDERELLA’S MOTHER/RAPUNZEL- KYLAH SUTTON

MYSTERIOUS MAN- CAMERON MORRIS

WOLF-ANTHONY QUINTANA

CINDERELLA’S PRINCE- BRYCE KEESEE-LOURIGAN

RAPUNZEL’S PRINCE- DAVID MONROE

MILKY WHITE- AMARYS DEAN

GRANNY- PEYTON GIVENS

STEWARD- SHANE DICKINSON

SNOW WHITE- MADI ALMOND

SLEEPING BEAUTY- AVERIE CIRCE

CINDERELLA’S FATHER- JULION CRUZ

THE BAKER’S BABY- JON-TYLER MORTON

 

PRODUCTION/CREATIVE

DIRECTOR- MELODY MORTON

DIRECTOR/TECHNICAL DIRECTOR- DEAN BAKER

MUSICAL DIRECTOR- STACEY BRANDENBERGER

ASST. MUSICAL DIRECTOR-JOEY LAWRENCE

CONDUCTOR- JUSTIN SMITH

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Into the Woods 2017