Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” is a musical full of valuable lessons told through fairy tales about wishes, wolves, and witches, but the audience of the musical during LCU’s family weekend learned one lesson best – LCU is full of talent.
The LCU fall musical, “Into the Woods” with book by James Lapine and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, was directed by Dr. Laurie Doyle and ran Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 during LCU’s annual Family Weekend.
The musical is a collection of popular fairytales – including Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Little Red Riding Hood – as their stories cross in a mysterious woods where wishes tend to come true – no matter how devastating the results.
The plot primarily follows the Baker (Joshua Dansby) and his wife (Kayla Emerson) as they work to overcome a witch’s curse and fulfill their wish of starting a family. The two were a power pair whenever they appeared onstage, engaging audiences in their plight in every appearance and duet, especially when their acting coupled with the antics of other lead characters or Milky White, the cow (Aaron Chavez).
The voices of each cast member were incredible, a necessity when performing a Sondheim musical. Many of the most memorable and emotional numbers in Act II were punctuated by the talent of the singers performing them. “No One is Alone” featuring the Baker and Cinderella (Lexi Willis) particularly captured the audience.
The Witch (Alyssa Willis) drew laughs during her rap in the opening number and tears in her powerful solos “Stay with Me” and “Witch’s Lament.”
The other principles, Jack (Cameron Insilan) and Little Red Ridinghood (Mercedes Weast) played off of each other in a fashion that was both humorous and endearing.
The princes, Cinderella’s Prince (Michael Peschell) and Rapunzel’s Prince (Colton Wheeler), left the audiences roaring with laughter in their every appearance, but especially during their duet “Agony” and when Cinderella’s Prince leaped atop his Steward’s (Clayton Henriksen) back in pursuit of Cinderella.
At the end of the show, the audience was left mourning the characters that were killed in the second act, but also cheering for the survivors, invested in their traditional stories but also in the future beyond happily-ever-after.
To find out more about fine arts degree programs at LCU, click here, and keep an eye out for future performances by LCU theatre.