OUTLOOK: ‘Into the Woods’ brings a new spin on classic tales
Published 4:00 am Sunday, July 10, 2022
With hopes of breaking a curse cast by a wicked witch, a baker and his wife follow the enchantress’s instructions and set out on a journey “Into the Woods.”
Beginning at 7:30 p.m. on July 15, the Westside Theatre Foundation will hold its opening performance of James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Into the Woods,” a fictional story that intertwines some of the Brothers Grimm’s most notable fairy tale characters and the wishes each is desiring.
“This is a musical about growing up and being in the world,” musical director for the production Kate Erickson said. And its message also brings to light how one should appreciate a relational community.
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“While children’s stories often have clear good and evil characters, I think what James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim are talking about and trying to bring home for the audience is that real life is all about everything in between the gray — living in the gray,” Erickson said. “Everybody has to go into woods — the world and exist there and work together to achieve the greater good for the community.”
Erickson is a Vicksburg resident and studied theater and musical theater at the University of California-San Diego.
Daniel Boone, who is one of the cast members in the musical, said Erickson became active with the WTF last year and had since expressed interest in the group performing “Into the Woods.”
With a large cast of 20 members, “Into the Woods,” Boone described, is a show that is “complex and challenging.”
“The music is hard, and it has been a challenge since we are working with pre-recorded tracks. They are unforgiving,” Boone laughed.
“But I knew we could do it,” Erickson said.
“Into the Woods” has beautiful costuming and Jack Burns, the director of the production, has provided enchanting sets and lighting.
Others who are involved in the production include Kenzie Irons, who is the assistant musical director, Ashley Dunn, production manager and Don Hill, stage manager.
Performers include Erickson, Boone, Kenzi Irons, Dunn, Crorey Lawton, Cindy Veazey, Alex Long, Andrew Cochran, Linda Hadala, Zack Erickson, Patrick Wallace, Izvistia Robertson, Jason King, Nikki Ciciora, Celeste Constancio, Mark Jourdan, Mike Bilbo, Cameron Gates, Sadie Gates, Madalyn Mouton, Renee Irons, Reba Causey and Abby Grant.
In addition to the opening performance of “Into the Woods,” shows will also be offered at 7:30 p.m. July 16, 22 and 23 and at 4 p.m. July 17 and 24 at The Strand Theatre, 717 Clay St. Advance tickets are $20 and are available at the Highway 61 Coffeehouse, 1101 Washington St. and at intothestrand.brownpapertickets.com. Tickets are $25 at the door.