Last year, Corona High was treated to the experience of The 25th Annual Putnam Count Spelling Bee, a musical directed by Ms. Brockie of the theatre department and Ms. Eden of the choir department, and performed by the talented students who had worked for months to make it a successful performance. This year, they did it once again with the famous Sondheim musical, Into the Woods.
Into the Woods tells the familiar stories of different fairy tale characters, as well as a new story about a baker and his wife who are cursed by a witch so they may never have a child. The original 1988 Broadway production was called “strikingly original”by the New York Times and won two Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical. It has been largely praised for the way it handles a multitude of topics, such as growing up, parenting, and right versus wrong.
“There’s a lot of funny stuff, but there is also a lot of serious stuff,” states Senior Gio Solano, who played the part of the Baker. “I think some kids are going to be able to relate because they see their parents having these kind of arguments, and then they have these kind of arguments with themselves.”
The musical mainly focuses around a Baker and his Wife (played by Senior Kellina Doerr), who has been cursed by the Witch who lives next door (played by Senior Mackenzie Frankl) to be unable to have children. She then tells them that if they collect a series of items (“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 three days before midnight. Their quest into the woods to find these items and therefore grant their wish of having a child brings them into the lives of several other fairy tale characters, such as Little Red Riding Hood ( Freshman Eva Galdamez), Jack in the Beanstalk (Freshman Joel Martinez), Rapunzel(Senior Katie Southard), and Cinderella(Junior Hannah Van Patten), each with a wish and a dream of their own.
Overall, the musical was a pleasure to watch, with memorable songs such as “Into the Woods” (part of the Prologue and Finale) and “No One Is Alone”. The characters are memorable and engaging; the Baker struggles to learn from his own father’s mistakes in order to raise any future children he might have as best he can, along with the help of his Wife, who is the real strong character in the musical; Little Red Riding Hood describes in her song “I Know Things Now” about how her encounter with the Wolf (Senior Kyle Wilson) has changed her, whether for the better or for worse; Cinderella struggles to remain herself while traveling through her fairytale, not sure where she belongs, being the kitchen maid or the princess (“On The Steps of the Palace”); and the Witch, who at first seems like the unsympathetic antagonist, reveals herself to be the only character capable of always telling the truth (“The Last Midnight”).
When asked what his favorite number was, Joel Martinez, who played Jack, replied, “Giants in the Sky. Also, The Last Midnight, the Witch’s song. But they’re all good, I love all of the songs.”
The musical ran from April 17-19 and 24-26, with a special Children’s Matinee and Character Meet & Greet on the 19th.