WTC presents a musical fairy tale with a twist

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  • Whitefish Theatre Co.’s cast for “Into The Woods” includes, in back, Mikey Winn, Sophie Sieh, Rob Koelzer, Joy James, and Erin Grayce; front, Rachel Wambeke and Solomon Franchi. (Photo courtesy of Whitefish Theatre Co.)

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    Rob Koelzer as the Baker, Joy James as the Baker’s Wife and Erin Grayce as the Witch in WTC’s “Into The Woods.” (Photo courtesy of Whitefish Theatre Co.)

  • Whitefish Theatre Co.’s cast for “Into The Woods” includes, in back, Mikey Winn, Sophie Sieh, Rob Koelzer, Joy James, and Erin Grayce; front, Rachel Wambeke and Solomon Franchi. (Photo courtesy of Whitefish Theatre Co.)

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    Rob Koelzer as the Baker, Joy James as the Baker’s Wife and Erin Grayce as the Witch in WTC’s “Into The Woods.” (Photo courtesy of Whitefish Theatre Co.)

A musical twist on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, the Whitefish Theatre Company presents the musical “Into the Woods” as its holiday show this month at the O’Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish.

This imaginative and enchanting show opens with a sneak preview night on Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. Performances continue on Dec. 6, 7, 12, 13, and 14 at 7:30 p.m. and on Dec. 8 and 15 at 4 p.m.

An ambivalent Cinderella? A rebellious Rapunzel? A Prince Charming with a roving eye? A Witch who raps? They are all among the cockeyed characters in James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s fractured fairy tale “Into The Woods” that intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm stories.

When a Baker and his Wife learn they’ve been cursed with childlessness by the Witch next door, they embark on a quest to break the spell, swindling and lying to Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack (of beanstalk fame). But when everyone’s wishes are granted, the consequences of their self-centered actions come to haunt them. What begins as a lively irreverent fantasy becomes a moving life lesson about working together, the stories we tell our children, and the real meaning of “happily ever after.”

“This is a huge show in every sense of the word,” says Director Kim Krueger. “Huge characters, costumes, set, and special effects. It is also huge on laughs and heart and very real life lessons. Overall, the show is just magical and is really going to be a special treat for the eyes and the spirit.”

“Into The Woods” debuted on Broadway in 1987 and garnered many awards during its initial Broadway run including Best Actress in a Musical and Best Original Book and Score. The show has spawned numerous national tours and revivals and remains one of the American Theatre’s best-loved musicals to produce. Sondheim’s lush score and Lapine’s book conjure a world where “giants can be good and witches can be right” and the production has been called “whimsical and outlandish, enchanting and thoughtful.”

The cast is comprised of 20 actors from around the Flathead Valley. Rob Koelzer plays the Baker, Joy James plays the Baker’s Wife, Erin Grayce plays the Witch, Sophie Sieh plays Cinderella, Solomon Franchi plays Jack, Rachel Wambeke plays Little Red Riding Hood, Desiree Albonetti Roberson plays Rapunzel, Mikey Winn plays the Wolf and Cinderella’s Prince, Justin Linder as Rapunzel’s Prince, Nicki Corne’ plays Cinderella’s Stepmother, Angie Green and Jill Dieser play Cinderella’s Stepsisters, and Amy Beth Chisholm plays the Narrator. Other characters include Shayla Paradeis as Cinderella’s Mother, Granny and Sleeping Beauty, Joel Welle as Cinderella’s Father, Amy Spicer as Jack’s Mother, Tony Hernandez as the Mysterious Man, Christopher DeJohn as the Steward, Laurel Peterson as the Giant voice, and Ruby Davis as Snow White.

Krueger says “The music is very challenging but with the amazingly talented cast we have and under the music direction of Karla West, let’s just say we have slayed the Giant!”

Karla West is the Music Director of this production, performing live with musicians Nina Robert, Dinah Weimer, and Sarina Hart. Also contributing to the design of “Into The Woods” are Robbie Moody, Lighting and Sound Designer, Scott Plotkin, Stage Manager, and Kara Bauer, Props Master. The exceptionally detailed costumes are designed by Sarah Bell and her talented cast of dedicated seamstresses who’ve worked tirelessly to make over 50 costumes for the show.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors, and $10 for students with reserved seating. Tickets for the sneak preview performance on Dec. 5 are sold only at the door and are $12 for adults and $10 for students.

Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office, 1 Central Ave., Whitefish, or by calling 862-5371. Box office hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before performance times. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.whitefishtheatreco.org.

The show is sponsored by the Whitefish Credit Union.

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