‘Into the Woods’ offers new take on nostalgic childhood folktales
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Childhood folktales, only slightly darker, come to life in the Center for the Fine Arts’ production of the Broadway musical, “Into the Woods,”
The Broadway adaptation was originally written and directed by James Lapine, and the El Camino adaptation performed in the Campus Theatre is directed by Don Hill.
The story takes the childhood folktales and has given them a more humorous and dark edge to it.
The story focuses on a baker and his wife trying to start a family after a witch cursed them to make this impossible. Further in the story the baker and his wife cross paths with Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and a witch.
The music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim brought the play together. The attitude the cast put into the lyrics made the songs that much more magical.
Watching Little Red and The Wolf have a song-and-dance duet for their scene together was intense as they moved around the stage towards the crowd as well.
Along with the catchy song numbers the cast performed, the sound effects made the cast’s movements more noticeable. With every move from The Witch there was a sound effect to go along with it, while Jack’s beans being thrown around were accompanied by a light bell sound effect as well.
The narrator, Kevin Patrick, using his charming and sometimes frightening voice to engage the audience was also a very interesting twist to the folktale. He even joked that the audience must turn off their cell phones at the beginning of the first act or else a witch or giant will escort them out of the theatre.
The Campus Theatre was completely transformed into a forest. The backdrop added an excellent feature to the play, helping to emphasize The Giant’s large fall when he was killed, also with help from the backdrop shadow and sound effects from the orchestra.
As much as The Giant’s death is anticipated, when she is finally killed, it was like audiences could feel the thump as she landed, thanks to the effects the production put on.
“Into the Woods” put a new spin on the original stories that have been read since audiences were little, and brings plenty of nostalgia and a new outlook on these traditional folktales.
The production will have six more performances at the Campus Theatre, tickets cost $25.