INTO THE WOODS opened at Boal Barn on Tuesday and special recognition has to go to Tom McClary and his production staff for a delightful show. The decision to do the show in modern dress was a brilliant one and costume designer, Joy Elizabeth Downey, defined each character with just the right touch.
Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine have woven several well known fairy tales together to give us the plot for Into the Woods so that the characters can interact with each other as well as giving the audience a chance to see what happens after the “happily ever after” endings.
Although the cast was a true ensemble, I have to make several comments on individuals. As The Witch, Amy Sclight had some complicated lines and she sailed through them without a stumble. Amy has a strong voice and I would love to hear her sing without amplification.
The Baker and his wife were played by Eric Brinser and Kate Oberholtzer. Both were in good voice and were very believable in their more dramatic scenes. Side note: Bald Eagle students go see Mr. Brinser. You will be impressed.
The Wicked Stepmother and her daughters had the best chance to dress the part. Played by Susan Kleit, Emily Dennis, and Jessica Blanarik, they were a delight and their wardrobe sharp and edgy.
My favorite spots may have been the duets starring the two Princes. Jason Meyer, Rapunzel’s Prince, and Michael Tews, Cinderella’s Prince, were perfect for the parts. Michael’s overacting hit the right comic note. Loved his sneakers.
Julia Albertson’s Cinderella had the proper layers to her personality; she was not sure if actually marrying a prince would guarantee happiness. Her sweet voice was perfect for Cinderella.
Rachel Reed as Little Red won the audience almost as soon as she stepped on stage. She has an excellent stage voice, clear and precise. There was no doubt in my mind that her new cape would be made of wolf skin. Jason Myer did double duty as the Wolf and as a result had an outstanding solo, “Hello, Little Girl”.
Helen Fleischer deserves to be applauded as Milky White, the cow. Non-speaking roles are difficult. Never once did I see Helen break character; she just kept chewing her cud.
I have enjoyed Stefan Pelikan in past shows, but the part of Jack was perfect for him. Jason Hetler also did double duty. He kept the audience informed of the action as the Narrator for the play and was also the Mysterious Man.
All of the smaller roles had good voices. Lisa Wasbotten, as Rapunzel, has an exceptional voice. I hope that we get to see more of her.
The evening concluded with scholarships being awarded to Sarah Rafacz and Jessica Blanarik to be used to further their education in the field of drama.
INTO THE WOODS runs until August the 20th. Leading Ladies opens September the 6th.