‘Into the Woods’ is sure to entertain

Published 10:47 am Tuesday, April 5, 2016

By Sarai Blincoe

Longwood University

Once upon a time, a baker and his wife were having a very, very bad day — they hadn’t a bun in the oven, in more ways than one.

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But what else should they expect when they live in a land of fairy tales and their next-door neighbor is a witch?

Promised a child in return for a milky white cow, a blood red cape, a golden slipper, and a lock of hair the color of corn (because golden yellow was already taken?), the Baker family’s quest for four mysterious items binds the fairy tales of Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault into the award-winning musical “Into the Woods.”

The first act of this latest production by the Waterworks Players takes the Baker (Jared Dawdy) and his wife (Alexandra Woods) into the woods and into the path of Little Red Riding Hood (Leah Parr), Cinderella (Sherri Davenport), Rapunzel (Jeffree Hudson) and Jack of Beanstalk fame (Maurice Ellis).

They say the woods are just trees and the trees are just wood, but the lush scenery harbors many dangers for the heroes and heroines of the fairy tale land.

A ravenous wolf (Gerald Ratté) pursues Little Red and a mysterious man (Jordan Wiley) is at times hindering, at other times helping, the Baker Family quest.

To those used to the Disney take on make believe, the end of the first act will feel just right, with all of the characters singing their happily-ever-afters that they have always dreamed of throughout their lives.

But first act whimsy and happiness becomes second act woe when Jack’s giant comes down the beanstalk and squishes her way through the inhabitants of the land.

Roxanne Cook plays the witch, who at the crux of the controversy is also a source of comedic relief.

Audiences are sure to enjoy the sibling rivalry between Cinderella’s Prince (Greg Tsigaridas) and Rapunzel’s Prince (Kevin Koons), whose dilemma of too many damsels can only be described as a fairy-world problem.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, this lengthy (running time is 2.5 hours) but lively exploration of what it means to wish is sure to entertain. 

Directed by Dudley Sauvé and narrated by Dave Culler, “Into the Woods” runs on Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 9 p.m. with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are $18 per person and can be purchased in advance at www.waterworksplayers.org or by calling (434) 392-3452.