Like so many events suspended by the pandemic over the last two years, Church Hill Theatre is catching up with its production schedule by offering Stephen Sondheim’s hit musical “Into the Woods.” The musical opens this Friday, June 10, and will run for three successive weekends.
Cast members from Columbia, Maryland, and Dover, Delaware have been drawn to the Sondheim production, which first opened on Broadway in 1987 to wide acclaim and three Tony Awards.
“I think some of the roles in this play were on actor’s bucket lists, so quickly did they respond to the casting call,” say CHT Board Director Tom Rhodes.
If you don’t know “Into the Woods” you might think it’s a showcase telling of Grimm fairy tales set to Sondheim’s musical and lyric genius. You’d be wrong by half. By intermission, when you think things are all wrapped up—Rapunzel gets her prince, Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother survive—there’s a hint of dissonance in the air. The second act curtain rises on entirely new and dark terrain, what NYT critic Alexis Soloski called “the ethics of ambition,” and it’s nothing less than the questioning of life choices and the resulting consequences.
“Into the Woods,” based on the book by James Lapine, returns to our challenging American landscape when daily, the country weighs the consequences of choices and questions whether we have the moral aptitude to make the right choices, to begin with.
The Spy caught up with Director and Treasurer Sylvia Maloney and Board President Tom Rhodes to talk about how the pandemic affected their production schedules, the theatre’s renovations, and staging of “Into the Woods.”
It promises to be fun with an edge, and it’s pure Sondheim for all ages. The Spy looks forward to seeing it.
This video is approximately six minutes in length. For tickets and more about Church Hill Theatre, go here. Masks will be required.