SAXTONS RIVER—A cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, and a slipper as pure as gold.
A tall order for the Baker (Andrew Flaherty) if he wants the Witch (Carolee Williams) to remove the childlessness curse she has put on his family.
From Grandma’s attic, the Baker and his wife begin their journey to find a happy ending in the Main Street Arts production of the musical “Into the Woods,” which opens Friday, Nov. 10 for a two-weekend run. Along the way, other familiar storybook characters appear seeking their own heart’s desires.
Director David Stern has described his concept of the show as a “very unusual” production, with this version asking more of the audience and performers and giving more in return.
The music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine weave together the plots of old favorites by the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault as they wander through the woods of their fantasies.
“Sondheim wrote an imaginative play for adults,” Stern said. “We begin with adults really playing as children, without the complexities of adult life.”
While the first act follows the familiar fairy tale lines, the second act explores the adult themes of struggling parents, loss, grief, suffering in general, and the insight gained from them.
For that reason, Stern recommends parents use their judgment and consider bringing children to the first act only.
The cast includes Morganna Ekkens (Baker’s Wife), Brandon Norman (Mysterious Man, Narrator), Andrew Flaherty (Baker), Robin Keefe (Cinderella), Dom DiBenedetto (Cinderella’s Prince), Victor Brandt (Steward), Libby McCawley (mother to Jack and Cinderella), Zac Binney (Rapunzel’s Prince), and Sally Regentine (Granny, Florinda). Musical director Ken Olsson also plays the Wolf and Cinderella’s Father.
Rounding out the cast are Abbie Ladd (Giant, Lucinda), Cassie Dunn (Little Red), Henry O’Connell (Jack), Carolee Williams (Witch), Sophie Bady-Kaye (Rapunzel, Milky White), and Amy Cann (Stepmother).
Dunn, Bady-Kaye, and O’Connell come to MSA with a strong theater background at the New England Youth Theatre in Brattleboro.
Others involved in the show are Liz Guzynski and Lyn Stanford, who built the set, and stage managers Barbie Kurkul and Ronnie Friedman.