After all your wishes come true
The words “Once upon a time,” known by many as the introduction to stories in favor the underdog, teach audiences the importance of being moral and set the standard for the infamous fairytale ending, that only the good will persevere and “live happily ever after.”
Until once upon a time, James Lapine wrote the book-turned-musical, “Into the Woods,” and squashed the traditional expectation of a fairytale story.
Presented by the Department of Musical Theatre in U-M’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, “Into the Woods” will be performed through Oct. 24 at Mendelssohn Theatre.
With its Broadway debut in 1987, “Into the Woods” follows the quest of a childless pair, a baker and his wife, through the woods as they encounter Brother’s Grimm favorites – Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (of Beanstalk fame), and Rapunzel – all on their own search for personal bliss.
Self–serving acts disguised as helpful gestures are riddled throughout the first Act when the various characters interact in dishonest deals as they strive to turn their own desires into realities. The story continues to unravel, revealing the characters’ individual struggles with the consequences of having all of their wishes come true. As catastrophe strikes, the characters are forced to work together in order to preserve their newly found happiness, ultimately learning the value of honest scrutiny of one’s hopes and dreams to maintain a balance.
Written by Lapine in 1976, “Into the Woods” made the leap to the world of musical theatre in its 1986 San Diego production with music and lyrics by American Composer Stephen Sondheim. Since that time it has been produced many times across the U.S. and in the UK in London.
The musical’s themes include: growing up, parents and children, accepting responsibility, morality, and wish fulfillment and its consequences. The dialogue is heavy with syncopated speech and the characters typically have been casted to play dual roles.
“Into the Woods” marks the second Lapine-Sondheim collaboration following “Sunday in the Park with George,” and has won numerous awards including, Tony Award for Best Book and Score and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical. Popular musical numbers include: “Agony,” “Children Will Listen,” and “No One is Alone.”
For performance and ticket information, please click on INTO THE WOODS
U-M 2010 Production Cast:
Alex Akin (San Francisco, CA), Rachel Bahler (Knightdale, NC), Amy Blackman (New York City, NY), Britney Coleman (Ann Arbor, MI), Cody Davis (Tulsa, OK), Olivia Hernandez (Fullerton, CA),
Andy Jones (Swampscott, MA), Harry Katzman (Columbia, SC),
Sam Lips (Parker, CO), Casey Low (Edmond, OK), Katie Madison (Traverse City, MI), Eric Maier (Okemos, MI),
Allison McDowell (Marietta, GA), Nora Menken (North Salem, NY),
Grace Morgan (Fishers, IN), Han Park (New York, NY),
Trevor St. John-Gilbert (Rockwall, TX)
Image above: Courtesy of Kansas City Repertory Company.