Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Different Kind of Fairytale

Written by Jillian Toyad
An ambivalent Cinderella?
A blood-thirsty Little Red Riding Hood?
A Prince Charming with a roving eye?
A Witch who… raps??


The stage is set this December 9 and 10 for a twist on the fairytales we all grew up with as the Young Company brings James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s production, INTO THE WOODS, to life at the Youth Arts Hall, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center. With a one-of-a-kind cast made up of cockeyed characters, INTO THE WOODS tells the desperate tale of a Baker and his Wife. 

When the Baker and his Wife learn they’ve been cursed with childlessness by the Witch next door, they embark on a quest for the special objects required to break the spell, swindling, lying to and stealing from Cinderella, Little Red, Rapunzel and Jack (the one who climbed the beanstalk).  Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later, with disastrous results.  What begins as lively irreverent fantasy becomes a moving lesson about community responsibility and the stories we share with our children.  

Director Katie Cummings and musical director Adam Baus join artistic forces once again after their collaboration in LITTLE WOMEN (2011). Cummings just recently joined the staff as School Year Academy Director in July 2011. She previously directed the Young Company’s production of LITTLE WOMEN in 2011 and was the resident director at St. Joseph’s High School in Kenosha for eight years. Baus teaches musical theatre for First Stage Theater Academy and teaches piano privately at Ronald Reagan High School (“Piano Club”). He is currently the pianist for FOUR GUYZ IN DINNER JACKETS who perform regularly in the Skylight Bar & Bistro as part of their cabaret series.

The cast of loopy characters is made up of First Stage’s Young Company performers. This includes Mitch Bultman as the Narrator/Mysterious Man; Ava Bush as Cinderella; Andrew Oppmann as Jack; Elizabeth Warren as Jack’s Mother; Garrett Kim as Baker; Kiaran Hartnett as Baker’s Wife; Abbi Minessale as Cinderella’s Stephmother; Hannah Obst as Florinda; Laura Troshynski as Lucinda; Matt Welden as Cinderella’s Father; Grace Bobber as Cinderella’s Mother; Ashley Patin as Little Red Ridinghood; Erin Stapelton as Witch; Jake Konrath as Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince; Kate Futoransky as Granny/Show White; Kamilah Lay as Rapunzel; Max Mainwood as Rapunzel’s Prince; Cassidy Buenz as Steward; and Isabel Hemley as Sleeping Beauty/Giant. 

INTO THE WOODS serves as the opening for The Young Company’s 2011-2012 season. The Young Company is the advanced, college-level actor training program at First Stage.  Young Company students complete coursework led by First Stage’s John Maclay, Todd Denning, Matt Daniels and Karl Miller as well as special guest artists.  Young Company produces three shows a year.

Be sure to join us for this delightfully fractured fairytale. Can you really resist a Witch who raps?
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INTO THE WOODS
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Originally directed on Broadway by James Lapine
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Directed by Katie Cummings
Musical Director Adam Baus

Performances will be held on Friday, December 9 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 10 at 2 and 7:00 p.m. at the Youth Arts Hall, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 W. Walnut St., Milwaukee.  Advanced tickets are available now.  Tickets are available at First Stage Academy Office at academy@firststage.org or (414) 267-2970.  Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.  Seating is general admission. 

For more information about Young Company, contact John Maclay at jmaclay@firststage.org or Patrick Schley at (414) 267-2970 or academy@firststage.org.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A stunning production! Thanks, cast & crew, for a wonderful Once Upon A Time & happy "Ever After".