Fairy-tale musical on stage
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Northwestern theatre professor Jeff Barker is directing the show, written by James Lapine with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
The musical opens with members of a common kingdom expressing their hearts’ desires. “Be careful what you wish for,” though, seems to be one of the themes as Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack (of Jack and the Beanstalk) seek to make their dreams come true—oftentimes at the expense of another’s wish fulfillment.
As each classic character pursues her or his destiny, their storylines are interrupted by a baker and his wife with their own longing: to have a child. Their neighbor, a witch who has cursed their house, lists the ingredients for a potion that will lift the curse: a white cow, a red cape, yellow hair and a golden slipper.
So into the woods they all go, foiling each others’ pursuits as they try to travel their own paths alone.
Barker says the show is also a “tribute to parenthood—an exploration of the essential human relationships to be found in families of varying kinds. They’re fairytales,” he says, “but we take them seriously.”
The design for the show, steampunk, blends fairytale with science fiction for an effect that is more fantasy than storybook. Northwestern design professor Jonathan Sabo—along with sophomore Kylie Steinbach, Shoreview, Minn.—has created an industrial-woodsy set, and costume designer Sarah Kuiken, in her inaugural design effort for NWC, has outfitted the cast as punk-industrials from the Victorian (or steam) era.
The 20-member cast includes Northwestern theatre professor Karen Bohm Barker as the witch and local students Elizabeth Lawrensen, a junior from Orange City, as Cinderella’s mother and sophomore Daniel Sikkema, Hospers, as Little Red’s wolf.
Senior Beth Kosters, Sibley, Iowa, will play Cinderella; Greta Hays, a senior from Chicago, will play Little Red Riding Hood; junior Renee Ausborn, Lytton, is Rapunzel; and Austin Mc Combs, a senior from Lynden, Wash., has the role of Jack. Sophomore Andrew Stam, Oskaloosa, Iowa, and junior Heather Craven, Kansas City, Mo., will play the baker and his wife.
Tickets for Into the Woods are $7 for adults and $4 for students. The DeWitt Theatre box office opens Feb. 8 for Theatre Patrons; it is open Feb. 9–27 for the general public.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting the box office between 4 and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday or between noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday. The box office can also be reached by phone, 712-707-7098, or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.