Church Hill Theatre is delighted to share Stephen Sondheim’s enchanting Into the Woods with Delmarva audiences this June. Beginning on June 10 and running for three weekends, the musical weaves several Grimm Brothers’ cautionary stories together—with unexpected consequences.
Into the Woods begins with familiar and comfortable friends: Cinderella will surely find her prince, Jack will climb the beanstalk and confront the Giant, the wolf won’t eat Little Red Ridinghood, and Rapunzel will escape her tower. But then we meet the Baker and his Wife (with problems of their own) and a Witch with a diabolical solution. Things develop much as we expect and Act One closes with the cast happily singing “Ever After.” But the show can’t be over yet? And the characters just don’t seem to notice that another beanstalk is sprouting. Sondheim stretches our brains and our hearts in Act Two, when “Once Upon a Time… Later,” starts us to question the very possibility of happily ever after. Our storybook favorites encounter moral dilemmas, real-world challenges and difficult family relationships.
This production features a live orchestra, an outstanding cast, great costumes and appropriate special effects. Mark Wiening plays the Baker and Becca Van Aken is the Baker’s Wife. Heather Joyce-Byers takes on the Witch, Noelle Wheeler is Cinderella and J.W. Ruth appears as her Prince. The Narrator is Jeff Daly, who also appears as the Mysterious Man. Caleb Ford plays Jack; his Mother is Erin Bradley and Maria Boone is his cow, Milky White. The Stepmother is Chelsea Clough, abetted by Florinda and Lucinda, played by Abigail Gilbert and Kelly Ostazeski. Little Red (Ridinghood) is Mackenzie Carroll, the Wolf is Ian Stotts, who also is the Steward, and the Grandmother is Thea Daly, who also appears as Cinderella’s Mother and Snow White. Rapunzel is Jessie Duggan and her Prince is Zack Schlag. Christina Johnson plays the Giant and K.T. Pagano is Sleeping Beauty.
Church Hill Theatre’s revival of Into the Woods is directed by Sylvia Maloney, with musical direction by Kevin Thomas, choreography by Cavin Moore, and stage management by Steve Atkinson and Jim Johnson. Church Hill Theatre is supported in part by grants for the Maryland State Arts Council and the Maryland Heritage Area of the Maryland Historical Trust.
The show opens on June 10 and runs through June 26, 2022, with performances at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons. Reservations and credit card payment can be made by calling the Church Hill Theatre office at (410) 556-6003 or online at churchhilltheatre.org. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for members and $10 for students. Although the musical is based on fairy tales, very young children (and some adults, too) might find the second act distressing. Patrons are urged to make reservations well in advance. CHT currently is not requiring Covid vaccination or masks but asks ticket purchasers to check the website for any updates to this policy.