Harlequin Musical Theatre is bringing an up-tempo piece of Broadway to east Auckland through its production of the hit stage show Into the Woods.
Directed by former Saint Kentigern College head of drama Emma Bishop, the production showcases a range of well-known fairy tales drawn together by a cast of hugely talented vocal performers.
The show features music and lyrics by Academy Award-winning US composer Stephen Sondheim and is based on the book of the same name by James Lapine.
At the centre of the story are the characters of the Baker and the Baker’s wife, played with true emotion by Simon Chapman and Beth Goulstone, who wish to have a baby but cannot due to having a curse placed upon them by their neighbour, the Witch.
The couple are given a list of items they need to obtain to have the curse lifted and set out in determined fashion to accomplish the task.
Along the way they encounter well-known fairy tale characters including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk and his precious cow Milky White, the Wolf, Rapunzel, Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, the Giant, and more.
There’s love, romance, betrayal, heroism, and lessons around morality, relationships, consequences, and adulthood and more than a few laughs along the way as well as moments of real tension and drama.
Rapunzel loses a section of her famous golden locks and numerous characters lose their lives in gory, but unseen, fashion.
The production features the added element of a live orchestra, positioned in a visible spot at the side of the stage.
Their presence adds a dramatic layer to the show that wouldn’t be achieved by music played over a sound system.
The ‘star of the show’ is the cast’s combined vocal power and audiences will be blown away at the calibre of the performers.
People who go along would be forgiven for thinking they’ve been transported to Broadway or London’s West End while watching Harlequin’s production of Into the Woods, a rollicking and fast-moving tale told with gusto.
- Into the Woods
Directed by Emma Bishop
Harlequin Musical Theatre, 563 Pakuranga Road
Season: June 26 to July 10