Into the Woods
by J*Company

Cinderella. Little Red Ridinghood. Jack and the Beanstalk. Rapunzel. Not to mention wicked witches, giants, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty. And in J*Company’s production, we also catch glimpses of Shrek and Fiona, Beauty and the Beast, seven dwarfs, and several other characters that have haunted our fairy tale woods for centuries upon centuries. And in Stephen Sondheim’s brilliant musical Into the Woods, they are characters that revolve around a Baker and his wife trying to have a child, and learning about themselves and the importance of community along the way.

Daniel Myers and Ali Viterbi star as the Baker and his wife. Ali Viterbi has a great genuineness about her as the wife with a seemingly innate sense for the safety of her little baby, as seen in the many subtle movements she makes as dangers surround them. She also shines in a Moment with a charmingly insincere prince (Michael Dashefsky, who playfully touches Ali’s nose as he calls her a “peasant”). Daniel Myers is your consummate nice guy with a good understated sense of humor, and his solo No More as his world collapses around him is truly heartfelt. Daniel and Ali work together well as a couple, including a cute and playful It Takes Two duet.

The nice couple are plagued by an evil neighbor, the vain and brutally pragmatic witch next door who has cursed the Baker’s household and won’t remove that curse until she is given a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, a slipper as pure as gold, and hair as yellow as corn. Adriana Yedidsion is the cackling, cooing, and several-other-little-noises-making Witch. During the first act a large mask kind of muffles her voice, but in the second act we really get to enjoy her vocals and use of facial expressions. She brings one of this production’s best scenes to a close, which is beautifully staged by Director Joey Landwehr. As four of the villagers argue about who to blame for all the destruction, the Witch embarrasses and shames them with her ominous Last Midnight.

Erica Malachowski gives an excellent performance as Cinderella with both serious moments and a few humorous ditzy “blonde” moments, not to mention some beautiful singing. Jonathan Edzant makes for a good daydreaming, head-in-the-clouds Jack whose best friend is Milky White (given life by Ben Sutton and his puppet). Rebecca Myers is a Little Red Ridinghood with a big temper and a big knife she’s not afraid to use. Trevor Bowles is a hit as the hungry wolf even after his microphone fell off (then chases off after the three little pigs).

Elsewhere there are several good performances, some of which include Joshua White as a snob of a steward, Maddie Houts as a feisty grandma to Little Red, Robbie Friedman as a charismatic Mysterious Man, and Naomi McPherson as a crazed Rapunzel who makes some of the same noises that her adoptive mom (the Witch) makes – the woman who drove her crazy. But there’s a little hope for a happily ever after for crazy Rapunzel when mom loses her magical powers. The Witch tries to no avail to strike a spell on her disobedient Rapunzel and her prince (Sam Jacobs), making the pair cringe a couple times in anticipation of pains that never manifest. “You good?” Rapunzel asks. “I’m good,” her prince replies. “You good?” Rapunzel looks at herself one more time. “Yup.” And the two walk happily away from a furious Witch who isn’t happy with the happily ever after ending of Act One.

But no one should be too furious or happy. Because that’s the thing about the woods. Just like life itself, the woods are unpredictable, and a happy day in Act One can always be followed by a sad day in Act Two when our fairy tale characters will be forced to run away or stand together against the difficult moments that the world can present to us.

Performed December 4 - 14, 2008

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~
Snow White: Kelsey Barnhill
Wolf: Trevor Bowles
Cinderella's Prince: Michael Dashefsky
Jack: Jonathan Edzant
Mysterious Man: Robbie Friedman
Sleeping Beauty: Hannah Houts
Giant: Maddie Houts
Granny: Maddie Houts
Rapunzel's Prince: Sam Jacobs
Cinderella's Stepmother: Gabrielle Jarrett
Jack's Mother: Shaina Krevat
Florinda: Danielle Levin
Cinderella: Erica Malachowski
Cinderella's Mother: Meeshi Malachowski
Rapunzel: Naomi McPherson
Cinderella's Father: Kevin McRee
Baker: Daniel Myers
Little Red Ridinghood: Rebecca Myers
Lucinda: Danielle Smotrich
Narrator: Danny Stein
Milky White: Ben Sutton
Baker's Wife: Ali Viterbi
Steward: Joshua White
Witch: Adriana Yedidsion

Royal Court/Other Fairytales/Spirits of the Wood:
Keila Ashkenasi
Sam Beatty
Evan Bramberg
Adam Burnier
Kyle Cottrell
Tyler Ellison
Rachel Friedman
Brianna Hebert
Morgan Hubers
Sadie Kennedy
Hailey Mashburn
Christine Sale
Katie Sale
Hunter Schwarz

Director: Joey Landwehr
Musical Director: Tim McKnight
Choreographer: Deven P. Brawley
Stage Manager: Veronica Jensen-Chavez
Lighting Designer: Chris Givens
Sound Designer: Jon Morales
Costume & Wig Designer: Lisa Forrest and Richard May


Home   |   Awards   |   Reviews   |   News   |   Actors   |   Headshots   |   Theatres   |   Calendars   |   Newsletters   |   Membership
Auditions   |   Workshops   |   Drama Instruction   |   Playwrights/Scripts   |   Vendors   |   Links   |   Advertising   |   About Us