Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Despite ample presence of wishes, witches, and loquacious furry woodland creatures, Stephen SondheimÃƒÂs acclaimed musical Into the Woods is not your everyday fairy tale. However, itÃƒÂs quirky – and often blunt – philosophies on life, fantasy, and beans are exactly why itÃƒÂs been charming audiences since its premier in 1987. Now, 20 years later, Dramaboard is bringing the fractured tale to the Swarthmore main stage under the direction of Phil Katz, class of ÃƒÂ07.
Into the Woods features rather alternative versions of the familiar stories by the Brothers Grimm, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack and the Beanstalk. ÃƒÂ¬Happily Ever AfterÃƒÂ® is only the middle of the story ÃƒÂ± the second act has the characters once again lost in the woods, each wrestling with dilemmas and messages that take them far deeper into themselves and their surroundings than their original stories ever could. ÃƒÂ¬[Into the Woods] tells stories that are familiar to everyone, but tells them in a way that makes you reconsider them and their messages,ÃƒÂ® remarks Katz.
Katz has been planning and working on the show for two years, ÃƒÂ¬and the amount of work and energy that students have already put into it is amazing,ÃƒÂ® he says. In terms of resources, such as time, energy, and money, Into the Woods is already beginning to surpass any theatrical project previously done at Swat. In short, Katz says that his experience working on the musical has been wonderful.
The cast members appear to be having an equally rewarding experience. Alicia Lemke, who will be portraying Cinderella, remarks that her experience has been excellent and adds that ÃƒÂ¬Sondheim is a musical genius, and the music is very challengingÃƒ– The show draws on a lot of issues and messages, creating a complex and intricate plot as well as musical score.ÃƒÂ®
For a new take on memorable stories; for a probing look into the weightier matters of life, man, love, and so forth; or for the simple kick of seeing your peers performing either onstage or off, come and see DramaboardÃƒÂs Into the Woods. It will be in the LPAC during Family Weekend.