Leading up to The Kelsey Awards on Saturday, July 25th, we will be highlighting the five musicals nominated for Outstanding Production of a Musical. Today, we’ll take a glance at The Pennington Players production of Into the Woods.
In January 2015, the forest was deep and delightful in Into the Woods, which was presented by The Pennington Players inside The Kelsey Theatre.
With beguiling lyrics, sumptuous melodies, and a deliciously wicked plot, this Kelsey Award nominated and Tony Award winning Stephen Sondheim musical weaved together our favorite fairy tales as it picked up where “happily ever after” leaves off. Beloved characters such as Cinderella, her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack, Rapunzel, and the Princes 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 charmed audiences one and all.
Kyrus Keenan Westcott, the production’s director and choreographer, notes that the Pennington Players’ production came just after the release of the film adaptation. “Audiences had a unique opportunity to see Into the Woods in two different mediums,” he said. “Our stage production offers the power of live theater performed in Kelsey’s uniquely intimate setting. We had no doubt that theater-goers would be fully immersed in this unforgettable story.”
The cast featured Misha Barker of Plainsboro as Rapunzel; Kyla Mostello Donnelly of Levittown, Pa., as Cinderella’s stepmother; Frank Ferrara of West Windsor as the Steward; Christina Kosyla of Lawrence as Cinderella; Taylor Lloyd of Hamilton as Lucinda; Ben Menahem of Plainsboro as Cinderella’s Prince; Jenna O’Neill of Hamilton as The Witch; Kevin Palardy of Doylestown, Pa., as Rapunzel’s Prince; Natalie Romeo of Piscataway as Little Red Riding Hood; E. Nicole Spadafino of Flemington as Milky White Puppeteer; Julie Stein of Monroe as Florinda; Karl Weigand of Lawrence as Jack; Bill Weir of Chalfont, Pa., as the Narrator; Kara Wilson of Rahway as the Baker’s Wife; Jennifer Winn of Ewing as Jack’s Mother; and John Zimmerman of Hamilton as the Baker.
In addition to Westcott, the production team included musical director Mike Gilch, set designer Bryan Schendlinger, costumer designer Rusty Miller, stage manager Sally Page and Vianna Fagel, sound designer Wayne Irons, lighting designer Vicki Kaiser, and properties by Dottie Farina.
2015 KELSEY AWARD NOMINATIONS
Outstanding Sound Design
- Outstanding Lighting Design
- Outstanding Costume & Make-up Design
- Outstanding Set & Scenic Design
- Outstanding Vocal & Music Direction
- Outstanding Direction of a Musical
- Outstanding Comedic Performance (Ben Menahem & Kevin Palardy as “The Princes”)
- Singer of the Year (Jenna O’Neill as “The Witch”)
- Outstanding Kelsey Theatre Debut (Kara Wilson as “The Baker’s Wife”)
- Outstanding Kelsey Theatre Debut (Christina Kosyla as “Cinderella”)
- Outstanding Musical Number (“Children Will Listen/Finale”)
- Villain of the Year (Jenna O’Neill as “The Witch”)
- Outstanding Theatrical Romantic Couple (John Zimmerman & Kara Wilson as “The Baker” & “The Baker’s Wife”)
- Outstanding Young Performer (Jenna O’Neill as “The Witch”)
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical (Christina Kosyla as “Cinderella”)
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical (Jenna O’Neill as “The Witch”)
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical (Kara Wilson as “The Baker’s Wife”)
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical (John Zimmerman as “The Baker”)
- Outstanding Production of a Musical