The witch, played by Cady Aulicino, calls up to Rapunzel, played by Kelsey King, in Sycamore High School’s recent production of “Into the Woods.”
Photographer: Jeff Bryant/ BryantGallery.com
Everybody had their favorite fairy tales but imagine all of your familiar childhood stories mixed into one big fairy tale. Sycamore High School’s production of "Into the Woods" was just that and more.
Explained by the narrator, three groups of characters are introduced; Cinderella and her evil stepmother and sisters, the Baker and his Wife, and Jack, his Mother, and their cow Milky White, with each having a wish they desperately want to come true. Of course there is also the evil witch that weaves the story to make all of these tales knit together. Meeting other familiar fairy tale characters along the way, their stories become combined and intertwined, leading to a not so happy ending.
Anchored on a strong, smaller, and very talented cast, there were generally no weak links in the singing or acting aspects of the show to take away from the overall talent of the cast. It was obvious that everyone on stage had a very good understanding of their character and their role in this intricate story. All characters were obviously conscious of the syncopation both in their lines and in their songs, which was a highly important characteristic of this musical, and were careful to be heard without being off beat or overpowering.
A very strong and confident vocal and acting performance was given by John Carroll as the Baker. He had sweet chemistry with Tess Plona as the Baker’s wife, who played her role as a wife who isn’t sure if she wants more with remarkable believability and finesse. After act one, when the audience believes that everyone found their happy ending, but when the plot thickens and the happy ending falls apart in act two, Carroll and Plona took their roles to another level in all aspects.
There were two characters that played particularly well off each other, the two brother princes. One prince pursuing Cinderella and the other Rapunzel, they both pranced and bounded about stage. When expressing their agony of having beautiful maidens just out of their reach, viewers clearly enjoyed their antics and exaggerated actions.
This show's intricate story flowed well with a rotating stage, and a fly system, so that the stories literally intertwined and flowed from one story to another. These fairy tales and their characters were also brought to life through their costumes, which were designed so that they were still recognizable by character, but also grouped within the show by story. Jack and his Mother wore green colored clothing, while Cinderella’s family wore pink, and the Baker and his Wife wore shades of tan.
Differing from the well-known fairy tales that most are familiar with, this show was a refreshing and talented display of a fairy tale that is enchanting to all, despite the not so happily ever after we would all expect.
Emily Russo is a member of Taylor High School’s Cappies, "Critics and Awards Program," the international program that recognizes and celebrates high school theater. Through Cappies journalism students are trained as critics, attend shows at other schools and write reviews. KyPost.com publishes the best of those reviews in support of high school theater. Twenty-three high schools in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky participate in Cappies. For more visit www.cappies.com/cin .
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