by Breanna Wood
Into The Woods is a musical mashup of four timeless fairy tales: Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood. The story of The Baker and His Wife was also created to tie all these fairytales together. James Lapine, the author, and Stephen Sondheim, the composer of this masterpiece, took classic stories and combined aspects of them turning it into a suspenseful play that is known for its turn of events and excitable storyline. It first debuted at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in 1986 and premiered on Broadway on November 5, 1987. Over the years, it has been performed by many diverse acting groups and in many locations. It is being staged by Immanuel High’s Chamber Singers this November 2016.
There are many parts to this play, yet the majority of them have equal roles in the performance. Patrick Neal plays the role of the Baker. The Baker’s largest struggle in life is that he and his wife are incapable of having children. The witch promises them a cure to this problem but only through bringing her four specific items. That in turn, sends them on the hunt to find them throughout the play. Neal is excited about his role in the show saying that it is, “Such a fun character to be and to be learning about.” Jenna Riemer is just as thrilled with her character, when sharing her opinion on her part as the witch. “It is an awesome role to be because she is the villain, but at the same time, has good morals and the things she does, she does for good reason,” Riemer explains. Preston Hajik who is playing Cinderella’s prince has an interesting response to his part. He describes his role as a “jerk” but enjoys the challenges of that part exclaiming. “It’s fun to be him, but I wouldn’t want to be him!”
All the actors and actresses I talked to, agreed that Mr. Robbins cast this show wisely. Riemer (the Witch) states, “The show was cast really well, and there’s so many different parts with so many different personalities. I think everyone is playing their parts very well, and it’s fun to watch them develop these characters and make them their own.” Neal (the Baker) agreed, saying similarly, “Each person’s personality fits the character, but it is also a challenge for them because they have to step outside themselves into a new part.”
This play is extremely relatable even in today’s day and age. Its themes cannot be pinned down to a certain time frame because its lessons never age. Although it is fiction, its morals are true to reality. This performance is not only for entertainment, but also has lessons that are appropriate for every generation and in every stage of life. According to Hajik (Cinderella’s Prince), there are two main lessons to learn from this play. “Getting your wish doesn’t always equal true happiness, and we all have choices we’re going to have to make and we need to make sure they’re the right ones,” Hajik wisely states.
Into The Woods
Immanuel High School, 1128 S Reed Ave, Reedley, CA
11/12-13, 11/19 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.,
11/17 at 7 p.m.
11/20 at 3 p.m.
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