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The Arlington Players presents The Most Happy Fella

Laurel Mill Playhouse Into the Woods

By • Apr 2nd, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Laurel Mill Playhouse’s production of Into the Woods [MP3 5:45 1.6MB].

Laura: Friday night we saw the opening night performance of Laurel Mill Playhouse‘s production of Into the Woods in Laurel, Maryland.

Mike: Into the Woods is a musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. It takes a lot of the characters you’re familiar with from fairy tales and puts them together in a story, stirs it all up and you end up with a wonderful story that take you right up to the happily ever after. After the intermission, you learn what happens after the happily ever after. It’s a wonderful show and the Laurel Mill Playhouse did a pretty good job with it.

Laura: I really enjoyed this show. Laurel Mill’s stage is a bit small. They made really good use of the space. The set and everything was incredible. This cast of characters was probably about, what, 30 people or so? It was a huge cast. They all sang very well. There was a lot of camaraderie on stage. I had a good time.

Mike: I enjoyed myself, too. This show usually goes a little bit long and this, too, did feel like it was dragging a little bit, just because it’s so long. It’s just short of 3 hours long. I had a good time watching it. The actors did a good job with the characters they were playing. They were all very believable and sympathetic.

Laura: The Baker was played by R. Brett Rohrer. I really enjoyed his performance very much. He had a lot of compassion on his face and really wrestled with it. Especially in the second act when you learn the other side of happily ever after. I enjoyed his songs and his wrestling with how to deal with life once some changes happen.

Mike: The Baker’s Wife was played by Esther Covington. She did a very good job. Sympathetic, but at the same time she was wanting more from life. Finding a Prince. Not sure what to do with a Prince. At the same time being very strong to her husband, but also supportive. There were just a lot of levels on the charcter of the Baker’s Wife and I think she pulled it off very well.

Laura: The role of the Witch was played by Kristen Lehl. I really liked her performance. She was almost over the top, but it fit into the character well. She had good expressions, especially when she was yelling at Jack, the Baker and the Baker’s Wife. I really enjoyed it. She looked like she was having a good time up on stage.

Mike: Little Red Ridinghood was played by Kristen Zwobot. She was a lot of fun. She probably had the most fun character of the whole bunch. The opening scene when she gets introduced to the Baker and his Wife so that she can go off to her grandmother’s house. Setting up the scene with a little foreboding with, “Uh oh, Grandmother’s house. There’s going to be a wolf later.” I liked that character.

Laura: Jack was played by Ricky Stakem. He did a pretty good job. He seemed a little bit timid at first. He got into his part and really came through. Jack’s best friend, Milky White, the cow, was played by Michael Baeder. He did a very good job. He was stooped over for almost three hours. They had blocks to represent his front hooves that he used to walk with. I think he deserves a round of applause just for having to bend over for three hours.

Mike: Then there were two princes. Rapunzel’s Prince was played by Tim Greib and Cinderella’s Prince was played by Bobby Bradbury. They had a wonderful duet together, Agony, and they did a great job with it. They’re talking about the love of their lives and what troubles their loves are causing them.

Cinderella’s Prince, Bobby Bradbury, had another role. He played the Wolf. He had a good song with that, too, Hello Little Girl. It was menacing and fun and spooky all wrapped up together. He did a great job with that.

Laura: The costumes for Into the Woods were also very well done. The costumer was Victoria Halperin. Everything really looked like the fairy tale stories that you read about. Red Ridinghood of course had the red cape on. The wolf had a good costume. And of course the cow’s costume was wonderful.

Mike: Considering the size of the stage at the Laurel Mill Playhouse, the set was wonderful. The set was designed by Tim Greib, Alex Campbell, and Julie Silvestro Waite. It was a great use of space. There were folding panels that could easily get moved out of the way. They were very effective during the giant scene. There was a very nice special effect involving Cinderells’s Mother. I’m not going to give it away because you need to be surprised. But it was very nicely done. The whole set was not intrusive, having to change the set around for all the different scenes. The woods themselves were kind of spooky. I think they really had a good set design for that small an area for as big a cast as this was.

Laura: Into the Woods is a very good show. I do recommend you go see it. It is almost three hours long with one intermission. There are some adult situations especially in the Second Act so probably not for small children, but definitely middle school and up I think will enjoy it very much. As word gets out I recommend that you call ahead to make reservations because I think this will sell out.

Mike: Into the Woods is playing through May 6th at the Laurel Mill Playhouse in Laurel Maryland. Friday and Saturday nights at 8 PM. Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 PM. There will not be a show on Easter Sunday.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

Cast

  • Narrator: Tom Rendulic
  • Cinderella: Christine Alfano
  • Jack: Ricky Stakem
  • Jack’s Mother: Steffi Ruben
  • Milky White: Michael Baeder
  • Baker: R. Brett Rohrer
  • Baker’s Wife: Esther Covington
  • Cinderella’s Stepmother: Christy Stouffer
  • Florinda: Emily Biondi
  • Lucinda: Jessica O’Roark
  • Cinderella’s Father: Bill Jones
  • Little Red Ridinghood: Kristen Zwobot
  • Birds: Charly Stahly
  • Witch: Kristen Lehl
  • Cinderella’s Mother: Anne Cronvich
  • Mysterious Man: Tom Rendulic
  • Wolf: Bobby Bradbury
  • Granny: Anne Cronvich
  • Rapunzel: Emma Jensen
  • Rapunzel’s Prince: Tim Grieb
  • Cinderella’s Prince: Bobby Bradbury
  • Steward: Gregory Mangiapane
  • Giant: Victoria Halperin
  • Snow White: Victoria Halperin
  • Sleeping Beauty: Joellen Welch
  • Birds understudy: Marisa Balatico
  • Rapunzel understudy: Laura Cai

Orchestra

  • Flute/Piccolo: Dave Booth
  • Trumpet: Paul Ciaravella
  • Percussion: Mark Dawson
  • Clarinets: Scott Morrow

Crew

  • Director: Alex Campbell
  • Assistant Director: Tim Greib
  • Music Director: Julie Silvestro Waite
  • Costumer: Victoria Halperin
  • Producer: Maureen Rogers
  • Set Design: Alex Campbell, Tim Greib, Julie Silvestro Waite
  • Set Construction/Decoration/Painting: Alex Campbell, Tim Greib, Christine Alfano, Emma Jensen, Steffi Rubin, Julie Silvestro Waite
  • Lighting Design: Tim Greib, Alex Campbell
  • Sound Design:Brennan Kuhns
  • Lighting Technicians: Philip Hayes, Brennan Kuhns
  • Backdrop Art: Steffi Rubin, Megan Campbell
  • Props: Joellen Welch
  • Combat Choreography: Alex Campbell
  • Hair/Make-up Design: Cast
  • Program: R. Brett Rohrer
  • Publicity: Maureen Rogers, R. Brett Rohrer
  • House Manager/Box Office Manager: Norm Gordon
  • Box Office: Vicki Stahly and Volunteers
  • Concessions: Maureen Rogers
  • Web Design and Maintenance: Stewart Wills
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This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/1905.

started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

2 Responses »

  1. Laura and Mike,

    Thank you so much for the kind words about our show. I would also like to mention the outstanding orchestra that we have as well, led by our wonderful Music Director, Julie Silvestro Waite. As you know, it’s impossible to put on a musical of this magnitude without a tremendous orchestra. Live music brings so much more to a show than the typical “canned” music.

    Thanks again for supporting Laurel Mill Playhouse, and we hope that you will continue to visit our quaint theatre on Main Street.

    Sincerely,
    R. Brett Rohrer (The Baker)
    Board Member, Laurel Mill Playhouse

  2. Hello Brett, You’re right, we did forget to mention the orchestra. I’ve added them to the listing at the end of the transcript. The music was a definite plus, it did not overpower the performances, yet was still an integral part of the show. And we do have the soundtrack of the 2002 Broadway performance on our online radio station.


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