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Thursday, April 26, 2012

'Into the Woods' opens at JEB Stuart High School tonight

The cast rehearses
April 26 and 27—7 p.m.
April 28—2:15 p.m. ($1 discount for seniors)
May 4 and 5—7 p.m.
JEB Stuart High School, 3301 Peace Valley Lane, Falls Church
Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for students, seniors, and FCPS faculty

By Sydney Khalaji

“Into The Woods,” a musical by Tony-award winning playwright Stephen Sondheim is exactly what it sounds like, but most definitely not what you have in mind. This musical revolves around three main fairy tales: the stories of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, and the Baker.

We all know the fairy tales and we all know how they end: with a “happily ever after,” right? By the end of Act One, it would seem so. The tales begin and end as they’re supposed to, with everyone receiving what they deserve in the end—good or bad.

The Baker and his wife, played by Sam Khalaji and Mariana Barbosa, go out into the woods in search of three items to please the Witch, played by Caroline McLoughlin. In exchange for the items, the Witch has promised to release them from a spell so they can have a baby.

Cinderella, played by Hillary Leersnyder, goes into the woods in search of consolation from her mother. Jack, played by Joshua Okada, is sent through the woods by his mother, played by Lenny Mendez, to sell Milky White, a cow that no longer produces enough milk to sustain them.

Little Red Riding Hood, played by Abby Stewart, and Rapunzel, played by Tessa Burzio, skip their way through the play as well. Everyone’s paths become twisted and the story lines become crossed when a Mysterious Man, played by Dustin Goddard, enters each story and does as his role implies.

Sam Khalaji is the Baker
The Narrator, played by Osama Ashour, assists you as you venture into the woods with the characters, explaining and describing the actions in the scenes.

Two Princes, played by Joe Dubas and A.J. Grunewald, go through the play constantly in search of their princesses, Rapunzel and Cinderella. Singing a song titled “Agony,” they divulge their struggles to each other. They are a hilarious diversion from the more serious themes in the play.

In Act Two, the characters realize that their “happy endings” might not be entirely what they expected.

The sets are constructed to give the audience a sense of mystery. The flowing gowns, other costumes, and props also add to the exciting theatre experience. In addition, the music is provided by live musicians that support the cast’s strong musical performances.  

Sydney Khalaji is a student at JEB Stuart High School.

1 comment:

  1. The play was wonderful! Each cast member provided a strong performance, the music was top-notch, the sets added to much to the overall effect, and the singing fantastic! I highy recommend this pay to audiences young and young at heart!