One of Stephen Sondheim’s greatest masterpieces, Into the Woods, has been getting a lot of attention lately. Not only did the movie version of this fairy tale mash-up open up a couple weeks ago, and not only is it continuing to make money at the box office, but it’s also starting to garner a lot of award attention.
In addition to the successful movie, the stage version of the film will be making its Kelsey Theatre debut on January 23, and running through February 1. And if you liked the movie, you will certainly enjoy being fully immersed into the story with this live-staged production, which is being produced by The Pennington Players, with direction and choreography by Kyrus Keenan Westcott, and music direction by Mike Gilch.
With beguiling lyrics, sumptuous melodies, and a deliciously wicked plot, this Tony Award-winning musical weaves together favorite fairy tales as it picks up where “happily ever after” leaves off. Beloved characters such as Cinderella, her prince, her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk), Rapunzel, and her prince are all drawn into the lives of a baker and his wife. The couple’s wish to start a family sets in motion a series of twisted events within the confines of the woods that are sure to charm one and all.
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So today, we are going to meet the women of this production of Into the Woods, and highlight their experiences with the show, and the fairy tales their characters are based off of.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARTHA WASSER OF AMOUR ARTISTIQUE
JENNA O’NEILL AS “THE WITCH” – In the normal fairy tale, The Witch would be the villain, but in Into the Woods, it’s much more complicated than that. At times, yes, she is an adversary, but The Witch is just as “human” as the characters who cross her path.
KARA WILSON AS “THE BAKER’S WIFE” – Like The Baker (who is played by John Zimmerman is this production), The Baker’s Wife is an original character, although she’s a type in countless fairy tales. The story is largely propelled by her desire for a child – she’s more driven and assertive than her husband.
CHRISTINA KOSYLA AS “CINDERELLA” – All Cinderella wants is to go to the Prince’s ball – but she doesn’t know that also meant landing a Prince. In Into the Woods, Cinderella does marry her Prince, but she learns that being a Princess isn’t everything she’d hope for.
NATALIE ROMEO AS “LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD” – The Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale has always been a metaphor for the loss of innocence. In Into the Woods, Red’s encounter with The Wolf (played by Ben Menahem) ushers her into adulthood, which is essential as she faces the challenges ahead.
JENNIFER WINN AS “JACK’S MOTHER” – Jack’s Mother means well, though she can’t help holding back Jack (who is played by Karl Weigand). Part of his journey is breaking free from Mother and becoming a man, even though she still thinks of Jack like her baby.
MISHA BARKER AS “RAPUNZEL” – Rapunzel is something of a tragic figure in Into the Woods – held captive in a tower by a mother that wants the best for her but firmly believes in tough love. She struggles to maintain her sanity after a traumatic upbringing.
JULIE STEIN, TAYLOR LLOYD, & KYLA MOSTELLO DONNELLY AS “CINDERELLA’S STEP FAMILY” – Lucinda (Taylor Lloyd), Florinda (Julie Stein), and Cinderella’s Stepmother (Kyla Mostello Donnelly) are mean, self-centered, egotistical, and downright rotten, especially when it comes to their relationship with Cinderella.
E. NICOLE SPADAFINO AS “MILKY WHITE (PUPPETEER)” – One of the most difficult aspects of staging a production of Into the Woods is bringing the character of Milky White to life. Some resort to a person dressed as a cow, some resort to a cow on wheels, the opportunities are endless. In this production, Milky White is brought to life via puppetry, quite uniquely, by puppetry master, E. Nicole Spadafino.
Tickets for Into the Woods are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $16 for students and children. Free parking is available next to the theater. CLICK HERE for ticket information.
READ MORE: Meet the Men of INTO THE WOODS
Additional show information can be found by visiting www.PenningtonPlayers.org and clicking on “Into the Woods.”
For all the latest Kelsey Theatre news and information – CLICK HERE!