“Into the woods you go again, you have to every now and then!” Bayou City Theatrics, Houston’s newest musical theatre company, begins their 2013 Winter Series, after a very successful run of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show in October, with Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. The production will run January 11 through 19 at Midtown Art Center.
Bayou City Theatrics’ mission states that the company wishes to “entertain, enrich and unite Houston arts patrons and artists.” Their vision includes “the production and performance of high-art, conceptualized pieces of musical theatre” and promises to offer Houston “fresh, diverse and professional art.” Their production of Into the Woods surely stays within these parameters as it is a version “unlike any other,” states Colton Berry, the company’s Artistic Director.
“Our Into the Woods is a highly conceptualized piece, utilizing an innovative design that brings the woods to life,” Berry continues. “Our story is guided along by a young narrator who retells classic fairy tales in a new light. As he tells his story, the woods around him comes to life to create the story in front of your eyes. Our design features pieces of nature in every direction; leaves, twigs, flowers, vines replace lace, fabrics, buttons, props and set.”
The production also involves a cast of some of the finest performers in Houston. Wendy Taylor, a seasoned vocalist and two-time American Idol finalist, plays the Witch, a role once filled by Bernadette Peters, Vanessa Williams, and Donna Murphy in Broadway incarnations. Houston star of the stage, Danica Johnston, steps into the shoes of the Baker’s Wife alongside an unbelievably talented newcomer, Matt Johnson, as the Baker. Cinderella is played by the incredible Erin Wasmund, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack (of Beanstalk fame) are played by the hilarious, yet heartfelt Ronna Mansfield and Scott Lupton, respectively. Locked in her tower is Kelly Waguespack, as Rapunzel and Luke Hamilton and Colton Berry do double duty as both the charming Princes and the devious Wolves. Faith Taylor steps into the real-world, single-mother character of Jack’s Mother whilst Douglas Dorsten creates a larger-than-life incarnation of Cinderella’s wicked Stepmother. Arianna Bermudez and Miatta Lebile play the ‘beautiful of face, but vile and black of heart,’ Florinda and Lucinda, Cinderella’s Stepsisters. John Carmona ads a definite level of mystery to the story as the Mysterious Man, while Willie Alba keeps within his line of duty as the Prince’s Steward. Heather Hall fills many roles with her numerous talents including the ghost of Cinderella’s Mother, Little Red’s Granny and a handful of others. Guiding the incredible cast along their journey is the wide-eyed and energetic Blake Hartley-Heatherington as the Narrator.
“Whether you’re a fan of musical theatre, Stephen Sondheim, fairy tales, beautiful music or just an incredibly enjoyable experience at the theatre, our Into the Woods is for you,” ads Berry.
Into the Woods (book by James Lapine and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim) runs Friday and Saturday nights, January 11, 12, 18 and 19, at 8:00 p.m. as well as 3:00 p.m. matinees on Sunday, January 13 and Saturday, January 19 at Midtown Art Center. Please visitwww.BayouCityTheatrics.com for more info.