Into The Woods

the most ambitious production since "Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical"

» Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in The Upstagers | Comments Off on Into The Woods

Into The Woods

From the category of “shows we never thought we’d do” comes the 2015 presentation of Into the Woods, the spectacular Stephen Sondheim hit musical.  Featuring a number of well-known fairy tales (Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood) intertwined with the original tale of the Baker and his wife who long to have a child, this show is a cautionary story warning that you must be careful what you wish for… and what you say.

I am not a Sondheim fan, mostly because I don’t find the music enjoyable and, as a result, rarely find the story enjoyable.  Into the Woods has always been an exception.  Terra and I never thought The Upstagers would ever mount this production because the music is such a challenge to do well and it’s such a large cast that requires virtually everyone to be what I call “solo quality”.  This was honestly the most challenging show I’ve done since Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical.  I co-directed the show with Kathryn McWilliams who, incidentally, also played opposite me as the Baker’s Wife.  In the end, we had very good performances, although they were riddled with technical issues and memory lapses here and there.

The set we designed was one of the best we’ve ever done, and we challenged ourselves with a number of new construction techniques.  At one point I was afraid the sets would outshine the performances.  So many people were out due to illness, vacations, bad time management, that we literally had not been through the entire show, top to bottom, until dress rehearsal!  The hours leading up to the opening the next day were some of the most terrifying of my life as an actor/director.  But the magic of theater prevailed and the show was a success.  On with the show: