All are invited to join us for this year's fall musical, Into the Woods, in the Knight Fine Arts Center theater.
Friday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 28, at 2 p.m.
Opening on Friday, Oct. 26, and running through Oct. 28, this year's fall musical will take you on a journey Into The Woods — "where nothing's clear!" WRA Fine & Performing Arts Department faculty member Midge Karam '79, by way of Stephen Sondheim, brings everyone's favorite storybook characters together for an adventurous and cautionary tale that begs the question, does "Happily Ever After" really exist?
The musical tells the story of a baker and his wife who, as the result of the curse of a once-beautiful witch, are childless. Three days before the rise of a blue moon, they venture into the forest to find the ingredients that will reverse the spell and restore the witch's beauty and along their journey, they meet Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Jack — each character on a quest to fulfill their own wish.
"I love this show," said Karam, Musical Director. "I love the message it sends. You don't always get what you wish for but often you get what you need. And I like the notion that happily ever after means different things to different people."
One noticeable different from last year's Urinetown and the previous year's Legally Blonde is the smaller cast size, giving each performer their own chance to shine.
"In the past, the fall musicals have been big shows with big choruses," said Karam. "It felt like a good time for us to do something more intimate. This show is much smaller and has lots of features, so everybody is a lead in a way. This will be the third time Into The Woods has been produced here. It's truly a star vehicle."
You might say this musical has a special place in Karam's heart. When Karam first began running the school's musicals in 1994, she debuted with Into the Woods — with English Department faculty member and alumna Sasha Maseelall '96 starring as Sleeping Beauty! This was also the year when the musicals switched from the spring season to a fall performance.
This year's cast is full of a wide range of ages and stage experience.
"We have a couple of new performers in the show as well as a few students who have never had large roles in the past," said Karam. "Veterans are returning too! Carlin is Cinderella, Suraj is Jack, Harley is the Witch and Noah is our Narrator."
Each cast member has committed to large roles in this small-cast performance. Karam is proud of her students for how hard they have worked — and for the unique spin some of them are bringing to their characters.
"Noah is our Narrator and is on stage for almost the entirety of the 2.5-hour show," she shared. "I know that Noah has the energy to help keep us moving forward as the Narrator. Tano has the wicked role of the Big Bad Wolf. He is a dancer and moves in really interesting ways. He will bring a fun and unexpected vibe to this character."
Carlin Szilagyi '20, who steps into Cinderella's shoes, had this to say about joining the vibrant cast.
"Into The Woods is by far one of the hardest shows for high school performers, but when taken on by such a talented cast like ours, opening night will be nothing less than spectacular," said Szilagyi. "The music is challenging, intelligent and witty, and the story makes it a timeless yet relevant piece. Being part of such an small, intimate cast has given all of us a chance to shine, and we feel like we've created a family. For a little over two months, we spend up to two hours every night on stage working together to create the true magic of musical theatre. I am so lucky to be able to be a part of such a supportive, talented and passionate cast. We can't wait to bring these fairytales to life on stage."
But beyond the fairytale characters and vibrant numbers is a story that's both endearing and thought provoking — be careful what you wish for.
Tickets can be purchased at the door and are $5 for students, $8 for parents, and free for WRA faculty and staff. Children who come in costume on Sunday will be admitted for free.
Cast, in order of appearance:
Narrator | Noah Frato-Sweeney '20
Cinderella | Carlin Szilagyi '20
Jack | Suraj Dakapaggari '20
Jack's Mother | Isabelle Murray '19
The Baker | Daniel Mandel '19
The Baker's Wife | Aubrey Lanham '20
Cinderella's Stepmother | Jill Reef '21
Florinda | Joey Houska '20
Lucinda | Olivia Turk '21
Cinderella's Father | Noah Luch '20
Little Red Riding Hood | Lauren Dempsey '21
Wolf | Tano Nguyen '19
Wolf #2 | James Doh '20
The Witch | Harley Fisher '19
Cinderella's Mother | Regina Aguilar '20
Mysterious Man | Josh Rogers '19
Granny | Valandria Smith-Lash '19
Rapunzel | Olivia Robinson '20
Cinderella's Prince | Nathan Beskid '20
Rapunzel's Prince | Ethan Shockey '20
Steward | Jihyeon Je '19
Giant | Cassidy Crane '19
Snow White | Meimei Tannehill '19
Sleeping Beauty | Libby Hoffman '20