Second Stage Heads “Into the Woods”
This weekend, a sweeping musical epic of fairytales gone wrong is going up in the ’92 Theater. “Into the Woods,” a Stephen Sondheim musical, boasts an impressive 17-person cast of talented singers and actors.
The show starts with five principal characters: Cinderella, a childless baker and his wife, Jack (of “Jack and the Beanstalk” fame) and Little Red Riding Hood. At first, each of their stories follows conventional fairytale plot lines, but they quickly intersect and take turns down darker paths.
When Director Jenna Robbins ’13 came to Wesleyan, she knew she wanted to put on the musical.
“I just really like this musical and it’s good to put it on in this type of environment,” Robbins said. “Putting on a Sondheim musical has its downside, however. The score is brilliant, but it’s a known fact that his music is incredibly difficult.”
For this reason, one of the stage managers, Sammi Hershman ’13, calls Sondheim “an evil genius.”
Managing the schedules of 17 students (not including the stage crew) has also proved to be a tremendous challenge.
“This is the largest cast, the most people I’ve ever been involved in a musical with,” said cast member Daniel DeBonis ’12.
Despite the difficulties with the music and scheduling, Robbins believes Sondheim is worth the effort. One of Robbins’ favorite aspects of the show are the lyrics.
“Sondheim is super clever,” Robbins said. “There’s a lot of plays on words and it’s been really fun figuring it out with the cast.”
Tennessee Mowrey ’14, who was originally going to be the Assistant Musical Director but is now playing the part of Cinderella’s prince, said he is impressed with the talent around her.
“[I haven’t] worked with people who are of such a high caliber musically before,” he said.
The set and lighting for the show also promise to be as entertaining as the performance itself. Set designer Cardner Clark ’13 and lighting designer Natalia Powers-Riggs ’13 have been hard at work preparing special effects and scene changes.
“It’ll be very pretty,” Powers-Riggs said. “It’s a cool show in general. “
Cast member Mikhail Firer ’13 also raved about the show.
“It’s like a full-scale fireworks display, but with people instead of fireworks,” Firer said. “It’s gonna blow your mind.”
“Into the Woods” goes up on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Patricelli ’92 Theater.