published Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Musical 'Into the Woods' explores what happens after 'ever after' (May 31-June 2)

Joshua Harrell, left, as The Baker, GinnyBeth Gadd, center, as The Baker’s Wife and Maddie Brashier as Little Red Riding Hood rehearse a scene from “Into the Woods.”
Joshua Harrell, left, as The Baker, GinnyBeth Gadd, center, as The Baker’s Wife and Maddie Brashier as Little Red Riding Hood rehearse a scene from “Into the Woods.”
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

What: "Into the Woods"

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 31, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1, and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2

Where: Community Theatre, Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave.

Admission: $20-$25 (plus fees)

Phone: 425-4269

Website: www.chattanoogaonstage.com

DRESS THE PART

Theatergoers who come to the performance dressed as their favorite fairy-tale character on Sunday, June 2, will be admitted half price.

If you've ever wondered what happens after "happily ever after," Closed Door Entertainment has a show for you.

"Into the Woods," a family musical where fairy-tale characters become involved in one another's stories, will be presented Friday through Sunday, May 31-June 2, as the first production in the newly renovated Robert Kirk Walker Community Theatre inside Memorial Auditorium.

"It's a lot smaller than the Tivoli [Theatre] or Memorial," says Grace Kling, who is director of movement for the show and doubles as the character Cinderella. "But it is so much more intimate. I think the audience will love how intimate it is, how they can see more of the actors' special expressions, how they can feel the music as we do."

The musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, focuses on a childless baker and his wife who cannot conceive a child until they follow the bidding of the witch next door to get a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn and a slipper as pure as gold.

In their search, they encounter Jack, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Cinderella, among others, as they seek a happily-ever-after life.

In the first act, that life is achieved, according to Kling. In the second act, when the characters realize life is not always happily ever after, "you feel their pain," she says.

Although the songs aren't as familiar as some from other musicals, they all exhibit humor, drama and are largely character-driven.

Kling says one of her favorites in the first act is "Agony," which she describes as a "hilarious" tune sung by two princes bemoaning their present fate. It is reprised in the second act, she says, "with a new twist."

"There are a lot of heartfelt moments as well," she says.

The cast of 20, going into rehearsals, was already familiar with the musical, says Kling, who portrayed Little Red Riding Hood in two previous productions.

"We were very blessed and fortunate," she says. "Every single cast members loves this show. The songs are almost second nature to them. Some of them have said how they've watched [the musical] on Netflix a million times and still absolutely love it."

Mike Lees, who was music director of a Chattanooga Theatre Centre version of the show some years ago, is music director. J.C. Smith is executive producer and set coordinator.

Contact staff writer Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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