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Review: 'Into the Woods' takes audience on epic journey through woods


by Amy Morrill
Immersed within luscious green woods the audience sat back and watched as curses were lifted and princes were found. The intricate set and intimate setting of Into the Woods brought the audience and actors together on this journey through the woods.
The amazing set, costumes, and performances in Theatre Ink’s production of Into the Woods, directed by seniors Jen Gately and Sonia Joffe, made the show an enjoyable experience for audience members. The show will run tonight through Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Little Theatre.
The plot centers around a baker and his wife, played by juniors Gabe Jasper and Isinsu Bastepe, respectively, who embark on a quest to lift a curse that a witch, played by senior Elise Hausman, cast upon the couple. The two journey into the forest to lift the curse, meeting many classic fairytale characters on the way such as Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, each with his or her own wish to fulfill.
The opening number introduced a playful melody that would played again and again throughout the musical.
Later, the witch sings to her daughter, Rapunzel, in a heartbreaking song about motherhood called “Stay With Me,” pleading that she stays with her mother “while she is still a child.” Using dynamics to show off her powerful voice, Hausman evoked sympathy for her character from the audience with this moving number.
The first act of the musical finished with a classic fairytale ending, as each character had fulfilled his or her wish—the baker’s wife was pregnant, Cinderella was married to the Prince, Little Red Riding Hood had arrived home safely, Jack and his mom were rich, and Rapunzel met her prince.
However, as soon as Act II begins, the mood of the play dramatically shifts. While the characters still have their wishes, there are some “minor inconveniences,” according to the narrator played by senior Jackson Bunis, the most alarming of which threatens to take away all that had been achieved in the Act I.
The characters must venture into the woods yet again, and the plot follows a similar pattern as the first act—a welcome surprise to the audience.
The play ends in a bittersweet way, leaving the audience sad yet hopeful for the characters’ futures.
To end the show, the whole cast joined together to sing “Children Will Listen,” a beautiful song with soaring vocals and breathtaking harmonies. Just as the characters join together one last time, the song also joins catchy melodies from the entire musical.
Overall, Into the Woods was a unique musical that proved that happy endings do not always happen. With suspense, love, and heartbreak, the musical is enchanting to watch for all.

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