VAIL — Weave together four Grimm’s fairy tales with a Broadway show tunes and you have “Into the Woods,” the Vail Mountain School’s spring musical.
“We were looking for a musical that’s enjoyable for the audience, the cast and crew and can be performed by a wide age range,” Karlie Carter said.
Carter teaches drama and music at VMS and is directing this musical.
“Into the Woods” combines four Grimm’s fairy tales: Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood. It’s a Stephen Sondheim musical based on the book by James Lapine.
It won all sorts of Tony Awards, including Best Score and Best Book.
Funny and serious, with a good message
“Into the Woods” weaves together the four plots as it explores the characters’ wishes and quests. The musical is tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife and their quest to begin a family and a witch’s curse that’s keeping it from happening.
The baker’s father stole some magic beans from the witch and the witch curses his family for as her revenge.
The play has it all: You have your wish to have the curse reversed, your cape red as blood, your cow as white as milk.
For various reasons, every character goes into the woods.
“You learn what people are like and what they’ll do to get their wish,” Carter said.
It’s funny and serious and has a wonderful message, Carter said.
The baker (Thomas Litchev) and his wife (Emily Bell) go into the woods to try to lift the witch’s spell.
“My character is very smart and wants to help her husband along the way,” Bell said. “She’s very funny, and loving toward her husband. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to play this role.”
‘Excited for opening night’
The cast has 39 kids, third grade through high school. A different cast performs each night. The students designed the sets and are also the tech team running the lights, music, etc.
“My favorite thing about ‘Into the Woods’ is how all of the stories are intermingled with each other,” Litchev said. “My character is determined to follow through on the things to which he puts his mind.”
Sophie Daniel and Sabrina D’Andrea play the witch. The witch sings the ballad “Stay with Me,” but almost no one does because, well … she’s a witch.
Cinderella is played by Camille Chicoine and Colby Wilson, and they both knock their signature song, “On the Steps of the Palace,” out of the park.
Jack is played by Chloe Pesso and Luke McKeever.
Bess Daniel and Byn Iskenderian are Little Red Riding Hood. Their solo, “I Know Things Now,” delightfully captures lessons learned.
“‘Into the Woods’ is such a great musical!” Bell said. “I’m so excited for many things. All of the amazing actors and actresses in the show are like family to me. We are all very excited for opening night.”
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935, and firstname.lastname@example.org.