“Anything can happen in the woods,” sing the characters from your favourite fairy tales.
This is also the promise, and premise, of the much-loved Tony-Award winning musical Into the Woods.
A childless baker and his wife must dispel the curse placed on their family by an oddly familiar wicked witch. They set out on a journey into the woods where they encounter Rapunzel and her mother, Cinderella, Jack (of notable Beanstalk fame), Little Red Riding Hood and other classic fairy tale characters.
Their stories become entangled in unexpected ways leading the audience to discover what happens after happily ever after.
With music and lyrics by the legendary Stephen Sondheim and a darkly humorous book by James Lapine, the show has slowly grown in popularity to become a classic. Its popularity even spawned a star-studded film version in 2014.
The show’s first act follows each character’s individual decision-making. While sometimes harrowing, the happy ending still seems just around the corner. A
It’s in the second act where the impact of their actions on the entire community are laid bare. Writing in the ‘80s, just as the theater community was being decimated by the ‘giant’ that was the AIDS epidemic, it is often suggested that Sondheim created Into the Woods as a parable for the disease and its aftermath.
Talk is Free Theatre, in partnership with its youth mentorship program, brings this classic to life in a lightly staged, but fully sung, version from November 14-316 at the Georgian Theatre.
Tickets are available online here.