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South students tackle Sondheim in “Into The Woods” production

South students Jack Richards and Naina Prabhakar preform as the baker and the baker's wife. Photo Credit: Lucia Davila

Calvin Prenkert, Staff Writer

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This weekend, several South students will be performing in Stages Bloomington’s production of “Into the Woods.” The musical, written by James Lapine and composed by Stephen Sondheim, is based off a mixture of fairy tales written by the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. The show features favorite childhood fairy tale characters such as Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Jack from “Jack and the Beanstalk.”

 

“The hardest part about the show is the music; it’s probably Sondheim’s hardest musical because of the amount of words, rhythms and notes,” sophomore Helen Christ,who plays Cinderella in the production, said.

 

Sondheim is well known for his complex musical style, as his songs and musicals are well regarded for their demanding nature. While initially the music felt very difficult, Christ said the cast overcame the challenges due to “hard work, lots of practice and helping each other out.”

 

“Into the Woods” director Pat Gleeson is known for putting her students in situations that challenge them as actors and as people and this show is no different. In the past, Gleeson has done shows such as The Secret Garden and Seussical, each of which gave actors the unique chance to perform as widowers and elephants. For “Into the Woods”, Gleeson has her actors expanding their repertoire by playing princes, princess, bakers and wolves

 

Junior Jack Richards, who plays the baker, said he enjoyed getting to play a character who hasn’t been inside his normal comfort zone.

 

“The baker is a great character; his wishes are more complex that of a sixteen year old. Throughout the show, he expresses emotions that aren’t difficult but are harder for me to express as an actor,” Richards said.

 

“It’s such a classic show, and the music is great. The characters are very compelling,” Richards said.

 

Into the Woods runs from March 1-4 at the Warehouse. For more information on showtimes and ticket availability, check the Stages website: http://www.stagesbloomington.com/

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South students tackle Sondheim in “Into The Woods” production