“Into the Woods”

By Matthew Hall

We all know those cute little stories that we remember from our childhood. These stories built our imaginations, creativity and give us that chance to make a difference in the world by the development of these moral qualities. So what are these stories that are so memorable? Fairy tales! You know, like Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and Repunzel.

We love these stories in their original productions, how these stories portray such a magical and influential feeling deep down inside, but there are always other productions that derive from these stories. These alternate types of productions show us another side of these well-known fairy tale characters, which seem to be hidden from us. One of these altered types of productions is being performed here at Eastern New Mexico University. This production is called “Into the Woods.” It started its first showing on Oct. 27and held it’s final performance on Oct.30

It is a 20th century Broadway/ opera fusion music written by Stephen Sondheim. Tickets were $6.00 a person for admission, but it was worth of the cost.

“Into the Woods” takes you on a journey through several of those fairy tales that we know so well. By combining several of those well-known fairy tale characters, along with a few other characters that many are familiar with, a broader story of deception, humor, terror, and even some romance emerges. For instance in this production you will see a confused, conflicted, almost two-faced Cinderella, a bloodthirsty Little Red Riding Hood, and a deceitful prince charming who has a roaming eye for women. Assistant director and audio manager Dr. Elizabeth Wade said that if this were a big movie production, this musical would be categorized as, “a moral adventure.”

This is because “Into the Woods” isn’t just another play. It is a musical which gives you more than a regular play does. A musical is based on a combination of vocal singing, vocal dialogue and acting. Dr. Wade describes a musical as “a dialogue dispersed with vocal emotions and circumstances where characters experience epiphanies that you can’t get from dialogue.” A musical can have a very powerful effect on the audience and others who are in the show, but it is a lot of work. For example Director and Conductor Dr. Jason Vest says for him it was difficult to work and put together as the conductor, “Because the music changes so much and you have to keep the actors all coordinated to the music.”

Even though there wasn’t a comment from the other director/audio producer, Dr. Jean Ornellas, impressively played all the music throughout the 2 ½ to 3 hour musical on the piano.Actor and vocalist Lauren Cook, who played the old witch/ Repunzel’s mother commented that it was, “really fun, but hard to be the part of her character.”

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