“Once upon a time, In a far-off kingdom, There lay a small village ... At the edge of the woods ...”
Even folks who say they aren’t too keen on musical theater will thoroughly enjoy “Into the Woods Jr.”, the Musical Theater International version of the Tony Award-winning musical, book by James Lapine, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The show runs one hour, 15 minutes – no intermission.
Be careful what you wish for as Sondheim’s and James Lapine’s cockeyed fairytale comes to life in this adaptation of their groundbreaking musical. “Into the Woods Jr.” features all of your favorite characters – Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk) and the Witch in this lyrically rich retelling of classic Brothers Grimm fables.
The musical centers on a baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the baker and his wife learn they cannot have a child due to a witch's curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse and they wind up changed forever.
The cast in this enchanting tale, directed by Mary Miller, are: Grace Campbell, Emery Lorrain (8th grade students) as Cinderella and Cinderella’s Mom; Lilley Harris as Baker’s Wife: Emerson Harris as Little Red; Will Perkins as The Baker; Brady Harmon as the Wolf and Cinderella’s Prince; Nataleigh Blackman as the Stepmother; Brianna Field as Stepsister Lucinda; Journey Bennett as Stepsister Florinda; Maren Whitney as Rapunzel and Granny; Larissa Greenleaf - Rapunzel’s Prince; Colin Campbell appears as the Mysterious Man; Della Hahn is Jack (of Beanstalk fame); Isabel Harkins is her, er, Mom; Kaitlin Tuttle has the role of the show as the Witch; Jamie Major is Narrator; and in her second onstage role (she appeared as a mouse in “Cinderella” last year), Blythe Miller plays Milky White, the cow.
Behind the scenes, there’s Tim Norton backstage, Paulette Carter as costumer and makeup artist, and Caitlin Shepherd handling set direction. Mary Miller is also music director.
Among the first-time performers are Lilley Harris and Isabel Harkins. Harris said the experience hasn’t been about the show, a song or the music ... “I’ve enjoyed meeting all of these people and the community aspect of it. I’m a senior and this is my first play - I’m getting outside of my comfort zone and that’s been the most fun part about this.”
Harris and all of her friends vowed to do a play during their senior year. “We’re seniors this year ... and I’m the only one here!” Lilley said with a laugh.
Harkins always wanted to give the whole footlights trip a try. She plays Jack’s (of Beanstalk fame) mother – and she is clearly having a blast. You can tell by the enthusiasm she has for her character, Harkins has spent some time on her role. For her, it’s “the magic of theater” that has been fascinating. “In the beginning there was so much to learn – (you wonder) how am I going to do it – and now I’m watching it all come together.’
Brady Harmon is one of the seasoned student thespians in the cast. Brady is portraying The Wolf and The Prince and had a hard time deciding which character he liked playing most. “The Wolf is more fun and I can get goofy with him, but The Prince is arrogant - and goofy ... I guess I prefer The Prince because of his song (“Agony,” a duet with Rapunzel’s Prince – Larissa Greenleaf). This is a really fun show.”
The curtain goes up on the fun show when the far-off kingdom comes to the Boothbay Region High School auditorium, 236 Townsend Ave., at 7 p.m. all three dates with an additional 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Nov. 17. Tickets $10/adults, $8/seniors and $5 students and children - are available in advance through the BRHS office - and at the door. See you ... in the woods!
Into the woods, It's time to go, I hate to leave, I have to, though.