The Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine cockeyed fairytale ‘Into The Woods’ comes to life in Migration Hall Productions junior adaptation later this month and into early September.
The groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning musical is being directed by Kathy Costa, who chose this play for a very personal reason.
“Stephen Sondheim is easily my favourite composer and Into the Woods is one of my favourite musicals of all time,” she notes. “Although it is based on familiar childhood fairytale characters, the subtext and plot is actually very mature. I love teaching kids how to truly break down their characters and understand the motivation behind their actions. I believe they are never too young to learn this essential skill in acting. ‘Into the Woods Jr’. is and it’s an excellent introduction to complex characters and compelling story lines. It definitely helps that the musical score is phenomenal.”
Not only is Kathy directing, but will also be acting in ‘Into The Woods Jr’.
“Oh gosh,” she revels. “Two of my dream roles are in this play – the Witch and Jack’s Mother – so in lieu of being in it myself, directing is the next best thing! I have always loved the moral teachings of this show: ‘be careful what you wish for’ and ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’. I think it’s just something that everyone can relate to!”
Patricia Arndt, who plays Cinderella couldn’t agree more.
“I really love the music from “Into the Woods”, she says. “My favorite song from the show is probably ‘Agony’, but I also really love ‘Your Fault’.”
Into the Woods Jr. features all the favourite characters movie and musical fans have come to love — Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk), and the Witch. It’s a lyrically rich retelling of classic Brothers Grimm fables.
The musical centers on a baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse, and wind up changed forever.
Migration Hall KIDS production group of 30 members has been rehearsing in-person and on-line throughout the COVID-19 pandemic via Zoom.
“For me, it was a bit tough, because it gets a bit harder to follow along when she’s speaking to multiple cast mates,” Patricia says of the rehearsal process. “I made sure I was writing down everything and then practicing it on my own. Then I felt like I’d done a good job.”
Kathy adds: “If I’m being totally honest, it was THE WORST!! The kids were already tapped out of online anything. They were online for school all day and then having to be online for rehearsal was just more screen time they didn’t want or need. I tried to make it quick and succinct so they wouldn’t have to be on Zoom any longer than they had to be. Now, with that being said, they all showed up – even though they didn’t love the online process – and were genuinely happy to see each other on screen.”
The show will run Friday, Aug. 27 (7:30 pm), Saturday, Aug. 28 (2 & 7:30 pm), and Sunday, Aug. 29 (2 pm), as well as Thursday, Sept. 2 (2 & 7:30 pm), Friday, Sept. 3 (2 & 7:30 pm), Saturday, Sept. 4 (2 & 7:30pm), and Sunday, Sept. 5 (2 pm). Migration Hall is located at 170 Main Street East in Kingsville. This production includes dark comedy and fantastical elements, so viewer discretion for the young ones is advised.
Visit Migration Hall Productions at www.migrationhall.com.