Los Broadway journeys ‘Into the Woods’

mgaytan@losbanosenterprise.comOctober 25, 2013 

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    The Los Broadway production of “Into the Woods.”

    WHAT: “Into the Woods”

    WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16

    WHERE: Ted Falasco Arts Center, 1125 Fifth St., Los Banos

    INFORMATION: For ticket prices, call (209) 675-7605.

— Cast members and a production team are busy preparing for Los Broadway’s next musical, “Into the Woods.”

Performances are scheduled Nov. 15 and 16 at the Ted Falasco Arts Center at 1105 Fifth St. for the production, which features music and lyrics by Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim.

“Into the Woods” intertwines Brothers Grimm fairytales, said Robert Jerome, the director. The show was popular when it came out in the 1980s, he added. The 1987 Broadway production featured Bernadette Peters as the Witch and Joanna Gleason in the role of the Baker’s Wife.

The Tony award-winning musical takes characters from “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Cinderella,” the Big Bad Wolf from “The Three Little Pigs,” “Rapunzel,” “Jack and the Beanstalk” and others. The musical is tied together by an original story involving a childless baker and his wife and their desire to begin a family.

“What Stephen Sondheim did, was he put a premise together, where the Baker had a spell put on him, where he would not be able to have children,” Jerome said. Thus begins a journey where they interact with the storybook characters.

According to Jerome, the Bad Witch offers the Baker a reprieve from the spell if he gathers certain items: a cape as red as blood, which represents Little Red Riding Hood; hair as yellow as corn, Rapunzel; a slipper as pure as gold, Cinderella; and a cow as white as milk, Jack’s cow. The Baker and his wife go into the woods to get their tasks done. At the same time, Cinderella’s ball is going on.

The first act will tell all the traditional stories “so you know the ending of it already,” he said. The second act, “they kind of take you for a whirlwind and it becomes its own adventure. As a kid, (fairy tales) always said, ‘happy ever after’ and we always wondered what happened happily ever after,” he said.

This production has been more challenging than Jerome’s past forays, he said. “Into the Woods” has more overlap singing and more advanced acting. He also said that, normally, this production would take place in a Renaissance fairytale setting, but he created a carnival setting in the woods in the 1940s.

“We decided to put our own twist on it,” Jerome said. “We set it in that time period but we also took the perspective that everything that’s happening on stage is coming from the mind of the children.”

The 45-member cast ranges in age from 6 to 50.

“Into the Woods” will play at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16. For more information and ticket prices, call (209) 675-7605.

Reporter Marina Gaytan can be reached at (209) 826-3831 ext. 6562 or mgaytan@losbanosenterprise.com.

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