Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Fall musical, “Into the Woods” was a great success on campus



This past weekend, our campus community had the chance to watch the Trinity College Music Department’s adaptation of the muscial, “Into the Woods.” Not only were all the five performances well attended, but they were also very well received. The Austin Arts Center’s Garmany hall provided an intimate setting for the audiences to be enticed by the fairy-tale atmosphere invoked by the performance.

“Into the Woods” is a musical originally written by James Lamine, with music and lyrics by Stephen Soundheim. It has been performed on Broadway and at other significant theatres, and has also won several awards. With that said, it was a great oppurtunity for members of our college community to participate in its adaptation, as performers or spectators. 

“Into the Woods” is an adventurous story that interweaves the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales, with a new twist. In the production, the plot is set in a child’s bedroom, with her mother reading her a bedtime story that comes to life, thus morphing the room into the woods.  The main characters are taken from “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Rapunzel,” and “Cinderella,” as well as several others and given the familiarity of most audiences with these characters, the story becomes all the more moving. The characters from the fairy tales are tied together by the main plot that depicts a  baker and his wife who learn that they have been cursed with childlessness by the witch next door. They consequently embark on a search for the special objects needed to redeem themselves from the curse by lying to and stealing from Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Rapunzel, and Jack. While, everyone’s wish is granted at the end of Act One and a happy ending is achieved, the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later, in the second act. This portion of the story is narrated as the nightmare of the young girl. In this nightmare, she sees a Giant stepping on some of the beloved characters. Eventually, the remaining characters slay the Giant, and each of the previously killed characters returns to illustrate the lesson they learned from their bad choices. The survivors plan to rebuild their lives together, and the Baker’s wife returns as a spirit to give her husband one final lesson to “Tell their child the story of the Woods; actions have consequences — even for future generations.” As the baker begins to tell the story the witch appears, with the final moral, warning him to be careful what he passes on to  the  children  At the very end, the cast came together for a last reprise of the title song, concluding that we all must venture Into the Woods , but never to forget the past.

The story was very well directed by musical director Professor Gerald Moshell, and Stage director, senior Erik Bloomquist. While the audience remained mesmerized by the performance given its story line, and the lyrics and the instrumental performances played a major role in engaging the audience. Bloomquist did an excellent job, reflected by the effectiveness of the stage directions  in depicting humor in the performance, and in drawing out the audiences’ fascination given the number of disappearing acts.

The cast consisted of Paloma Irizarry, Kathryn Durkin, Malcom Moon, Brandon Serafino, Marisa Tornello, Rae Rossetti, Jackie Pennell, Tina Lipson, Maggie Munoz, Ann Satine, Jamie Brandel, Sarah Wallingford, Luke Hickox, Mac McCarthy, Nicole Sagullo, Ebban Maeda, and John Stiller. They each played their roles extremely well, and stood out individually not only for being good singers, but also excellent actors. Their level of coordination throughout the performance also reflected a great deal of skill.

While every scene in the musical was extremely memorable. some of the most noteworthy scenes that induced the most laughter and fascination were those involving  McCarthys’ portrayal of the wolf from Red Riding hood, as well as the scenes involving interactions between the two princes from Cinderella and Rapunzel (portrayed by Mac McCarthy ‘14 and Luke Hickox’ 14) Moons’ portrayal of the naive Jack, (from Jack and the Beanstalk) Durkin’s potryal of Cinderella, Serafino and Tornellos’ adorable depiction of the baker and the bakers wife were also extremely captivating to the audience.

Perhaps the only complaint that most people seemed to have was the length of the show, but the quality of performance compensated for this.  The performance provide an ideal mental break for students at the end of the stressful midterms week, and facilitated an always welcome revisit to childhood stories and fantasies for the audience.



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