Students in the Music Theatre Performance and Entertainment Technology programs at St. Clair College open their production of Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical “Into The Woods” at The Chrysler Theatre this Saturday (April 20).
Into the Woods showcases the diverse and dynamic talents of the college’s students in a thrilling new production concieved by guest director Lezlie Wade (Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, St. Clair College’s Jesus Christ Superstar).
During a preview of the production held for the media on Thursday (April 18) Lezlie said, “I think one of the reasons this show is such a classic is because it takes fairy tales that we all know about and blows apart this myth of happily ever after.”
Written by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim, Into The Woods a colourful yet dark comedy that puts a modern twist on the popular Brothers Grimm fairy tales. The musical follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.
“I think it’s really about dysfunctional families and how we learn to forgive and move on from the scars that have been set upon us during our childhood,” explained Lezlie. “It’s important how the things that we say, not just to children but to everyone, have lasting effects on us in our lives.”
Into The Woods is One of Sondheim’s most popular works both among audiences and actors. Lezlie says it’s a treat for her to direct this piece by Sondheim beacuse “the music and lyrics are sublime, they’re just fantastic, and then on top of that it’s a James Lapine book which is also incredible.” Lezlie continued by saying, “they’re a great collaborative team and it shows in the show. I think it’s one of the top ten musicals that everybody loves to see and people really want to be in.”
The cast of St. Clair College students playing lead roles are all from this year’s graduating class bringing lots of talent to the stage. “These kids have been fantastic,” said Lelzie. “This class is without a doubt one of the most talented.”
During the media preview event some of the talent was on display by the students who showcased skilled dance and some singing. The set on stage was big and colourful, including the giant trees representing the woods, and a captivatingly colourful wardrobe worn by the cast.
The female characters costumes are much more dazzling than their male counterparts. “Obviously all of the money went to the girls costumes,” joked costume designer Agatha Knelsen. She told us that “this was one of my bucket list shows, I was building costumes starting back in November.”
Performances take place at The Chrysler Theatre on April 20, 24, 25, 26, and 27.
Director: Lezlie Wade
Production Manager: Dan Rehel
Musical Director: John Karr
Artistic Director: Katherine Kaszas
For more information or to purchase tickets visit http://www.chryslertheatre.com