Cappies Review: Into the Woods at Bishop Ireton High School

Cappies Review

Get prepared to be transported into a spellbinding fusion of classic fairy tales in Bishop Ireton's showcase of “Into the Woods.”

"Into the Woods" is a musical with lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. It premiered on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre on Nov. 5, 1987, directed by Lapine. The musical weaves together various well-known fairy tale characters, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (of the beanstalk), and Rapunzel, among others, into a single narrative. Set in a magical forest, the characters' stories intertwine as they pursue their individual wishes and encounter unexpected challenges along the way.

From the moment the curtain opened, the audience was immediately transported into the whimsical fantasy world of storybooks and magic. At the heart of this tale, The Baker (Donovan Furey) and The Baker's Wife (Lauren Allen) were tasked to delve into the heart of the woods and find the items tasked to lift their curse. Allen and Furey cohesively worked together throughout the show to demonstrate the highs and lows of their marriage as they navigated the entanglement of the other storybook characters.

At the helm of this production was the spectacular Elina Viana portraying The Witch. Viana captured the heart of the audience with her magnetic energy and superb vocals adding depth to the classic wickedness of the Witch. From the "Witch's Lament" to the show stopping "Last Midnight," Viana perfectly navigated through each song with clarity and an astounding tone, exploring the complexities of the character as an actor and a vocalist.

The whimsical fantasy feel of the show could not have been possible without the addition of the colorful fictional set produced by Joseph Murray, Charlotte Rayder, Caroline Reams, and Sarah Petz. From the colorful storybook bridge to the glittery wishing tree in center stage, the audience could immediately tell they were no longer in the theater but rather in the nostalgic fairytale characters' setting.

In addition to the stunning set design, the magic of the set would not have been possible without the addition of the special effects executed by Anna Wisneski and Cherri Hansford. From the numerous hidden fog machines to the incorporation of hidden dry ice, each addition gave enchantment throughout the entirety of the show, not allowing the audience to take their eyes off the stage for a moment.

With this unforgettable performance, breathtaking visuals, and timeless themes, Bishop Ireton's production of Into the Woods leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of all who journey into the woods.