Theatre UNI presents 'Into the Woods'

18th and 19th century popular literature has shaped our thinking about children ever since its creation. Every fairy tale from "Cinderella" and "Rapunzel" to "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Jack in the Bean Stalk" has been in our popular literature today, except with a twist for our modern point-of-view. What happens when all of your dreams come true, yet it is not enough? What if Prince Charming isn't really all that charming? What if slaying the giant upsets the giant's wife? TheatreUNI's production of "Into the Woods" takes a deeper look at these questions and the classic tales in a unique way.

Into the Woods

"Into the Woods" is a musical that intertwines the plots of several fairy tales to explore the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests.

Intrigued? "Into the Woods" is a musical that intertwines the plots of several fairy tales to explore the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests. It is tied together by a story involving a childless baker and his wife and their quest to become a family. Their interesting interactions with a witch who has placed a curse on them, and between other storybook characters along their journey makes this musical surprising and mysterious all the way to the end. However, "the way out isn't always the same as the way in.

Stephen Sondheim, an American composer and lyricist known for more than a half-century of contributions to musical theatre, created the music and lyrics for the "Into the Woods" musical. The musical originally debuted in San Diego at the Old Globe Theatre in 1986 and premiered on Broadway, winning several Tony Awards, including "Best Score," "Best Book (written by James Lapine)" and "Best Actress in the Musical (Joanna Gleason)." In 2014, a Disney film adaptation brought the musical to life on the big screen.

Being such a highly acclaimed production is why the TheatreUNI decided to take on the challenge of doing such difficult music and communicating dramatic theatre at the same time, which "Into the Woods" does harmoniously. "We felt there was great value in doing a show with a big musical footprint and orchestra in an acoustically fine theatre," said Eric Lange, theatre department head and artistic director at the Strayer-Wood Theatre. "Also, Sondheim is probably the most famous composer of musical theatre today."

Jay Edelnant, professor of theatre, is the director of the TheatreUNI's production of "Into the Woods," and Rebecca Burkhardt is the music director. The production covers multiple themes, including the risk of leaving what you know for the danger of the outside world, how parents and children struggle to understand one another, growing up, morality and the responsibility to one's community. Since some of these concepts are more mature in nature, the performance is recommended for children 14 and older.

Do not miss this amazing performance. You can join in the adventure and go "Into the Woods" at 7 p.m., Friday, April 22, or at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23, at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) on campus. Ticket prices are between $17 and $48 and are available at the Strayer-Wood Theatre box office or any other campus UNItix location, by calling 319-273-4849 or can be purchased online at the GBPAC website.