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Fairy tales coming to life, together

Placer High presents musical ‘Into the Woods’
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal features editor
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Does anyone really live “happily ever after”? Placer High School’s drama department is getting ready for a nine-show production of “Into the Woods.” The popular musical, written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, mingles the stories of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales and explores the familiar side of these tales but also the consequences that follow once characters’ wishes come true. “If anybody comes to the show thinking they’re going to see a lot of cute fairy tales, they’re going to get a slap to the face,” said Jessi Fry, a freshman playing Little Red Riding Hood. In other words, you won’t find any Disney-style storytelling in “Into the Woods.” “Although the characters are classic fairy-tale characters, ‘Into the Woods’ is definitely not a ‘little kids show,’” said Josh Brown, director. Brown is excited to see Placer High take on his favorite musical for many reasons. “I love how James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim intertwine the characters we all know so well, and set their stories to a beautiful score with smart, funny lyrics,” he said. “I love how they delve into the thought process behind some of the classic fairy tale moments: What was Cinderella thinking as she ran from her prince? What was going through Jack’s mind as he raced down the beanstalk?” Brown said he also likes that “Into the Woods” delves into the darker side of fairy tales. “Was everything really perfect once Rapunzel escaped her tower?” he said. “Did Cinderella really live happily ever after in the palace after the slipper fit?” This is also one of the reasons Fry likes the story. “You see true sadness, you see different dynamics,” she said. The “Into the Woods” journey began eight months ago, and auditions were held in December. Cast and crew are quite excited about the sound of this show, brought to life by an orchestra of 12 professional musicians. “We didn’t want to do ‘Into the Woods’ unless we could do the beautiful score justice,” Brown said. Senior Trevor Burke plays Jack, the beanstock-climbing boy. He likes “Into the Woods” because of its many lead-character roles who get to interact with each other. “Almost everyone has a scene with everybody, which is nice because you get to act with a lot of different people,” he said. Sophomore Chaileen Smith plays Cinderella in the show. She’s having fun with her character. “I lost my mom, my dad’s a drunk and he’s married to an evil lady,” she said. Smith is also having fun with the music. “It’s taught us that not all musicals are easy, and I like the challenge,” she said. Brown said anybody and everybody ages 10 and older are sure to enjoy “Into the Woods.” “Anybody can find it humorous, can find it clever,” said Fry. Reach Loryll Nicolaisen at lorylln@goldcountrymedia.com. __________ ‘Into the Woods’ What: Placer High School musical production When: 7 p.m. March 24-26, March 31, April 1, April 8-9; 2 p.m. March 26 and April 9 Where: Placer High School Auditorium, 275 Orange St. Cost: $12 general, $8 for students, seniors, children Info: (530) 745-5805