Fairytales collide in ‘Into the Woods’

Josh Mahannah, ’Doah Staff Writer
March 6, 2013

Into the Woods 2013 (316)

‘Doah photo courtesy of Cathy Kuehner

This past weekend, “Into the Woods” opened in Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre, and I decided to go and check out the hard work of some of our fellow students.

“Into the Woods,” a Sondheim classic, has never been my favorite musical. The idea of mashing up several fairy tales into a show fit for performance on Broadway just did not sit easy in my head. Through the combination of stories like, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, and Rapunzel, we might be swayed to think that the individual stories would end with a fairy tale ending like we have been taught. This isn’t exactly the case, but in the end a sort-of happy ending was achieved.

S.U.’s production of the musical did an amazing job of bringing it to life on our own stage. The set design was fantastic. Everything was covered and done with many intricate details, which is different from past performances of this musical I have seen. The costuming, credited to Cheryl Yancey, was spectacular. It fit the time period, and every character looked comfortable performing in their works of art.

On the other hand, the costuming for three of the male characters, the Wolf and both Princes, over-emphasized each of the character’s “assets,” making them seem more like Don Juan than Prince Charming. This made for some of the songs to be more sensual and uncomfortable for the audience who spent more time in shock at first, trying to take it all in.

All of the acting in the show was wonderful. Many people thought that Victoria Crump, as the Witch, stole the show. She played the part well, and with the help of a few special effects — such as the sparks that flew out of her magic walking stick — she manipulated the other characters to doing her bidding quite easily. Out of the entire cast, my favorite characters turned out to be Little Red Ridinghood, and the Prince’s Steward.

Rebecca Kaz, as Little Red Ridinghood, brought out the loudmouth antics for this version of Little Red, and did so with astounding strength. She was able to produce the cute “Awwh” moments of a little girl, then turn into someone in control and bossy who wanted to get her way. I absolutely loved Kaz in this role. The Steward, performed by Tanner Pippert, brought a comedic and flamboyant light to the show.

Overall, I was very much impressed with this particular production of the show. It started off strong, with a great opening night and was generally considered a hit by those who had seen it. Freshman Tom Valdez said, “’Into the Woods’ is an amazing show with a wonderful lesson of ‘be careful what you wish for.’ The Shenandoah cast, crew and pit were amazing, and one of the better productions I have seen.” International Student Claire Glover said this about the show, “aside from a few minor slipups on opening night, which ultimately proved to further cement the comedy which ran throughout the show, the show ran smoothly and was an excellent production.”

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