On Thursday, July 13, Heartwood Regional Theater Company will open the enchanting and beloved musical, “Into the Woods.” In their Tony Award winning book and score, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine bring everyone’s favorite storybook characters together in this timeless yet relevant piece. One of Sondheim’s most popular works, “Into the Woods,” is a musically sophisticated epic fairy tale about wishes, family, and the choices we make.
Maybe its popularity comes from the heart of the story, certainly the focus of director Griff Braley. “You just can’t miss with this music, especially with the superb vocal coaching and directing of Beth Preston, along with Sean Fleming’s musical magic at the baby grand, sitting onstage,” Braley said. “I leave the challenges of Sondheim’s music to Sean, Beth, and a very talented cast, while we build the show from the inside out, beginning with the text. Relationships, staging, blocking, singing, and acting – even the technical elements – stem from the words. The heart of the story informs all our choices, and it will absolutely resonate with our audiences.”
Double daily rehearsals are creative, demanding, and rewarding, including choreography sessions with New York-based choreographer Michelle Bruckner.
This talented cast is a mix of visiting and local professional performers, along with three very talented students. Visiting actors live together in Lincoln Academy housing, and several actors have returned for the strong bonds and unique experience they enjoy at Heartwood Regional Theater Company.
Patrick Sylvester, who played the wild role of Caliban in Heartwood’s “The Tempest” last summer, has returned this summer as a prince. “Having a space where we can unwind, theorize, and play together outside of rehearsal is an added advantage to our ensemble work,” said Sylvester. “By living together, we grow to know one another on a tight level that usually doesn’t happen in regional theater work.”
“This musical is always great fun for me to play, and this production promises to be a fun experience for all ages!” said Fleming. Performances regularly sell out in the Parker B. Poe Theater, particularly for musicals; reservations are very strongly recommended.
Eight performances, including one matinee, will run July 13-22, in the Parker B. Poe Theater at Lincoln Academy in Newcastle. Student tickets are $5; adults are $30, except Wednesday, July 19, which is $20 Night. Full details are at heartwoodtheater.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 563-1373.