Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

‘Into The Woods’ a serious adventure for young actors


Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s 1987 masterpiece “Into the Woods” may incorporate fairy tales into its plot, but its themes are anything but childish. The musical’s characters wrestle with the bumpy road to maturity, what the individual owes the group and how children survive once their parents have gone.

Which makes the subject matter just about perfect for adolescents and teenagers.

“It’s that other take on fairy tales,” says Arts Live director Julie Gabel. “The plot is real life, with real life problems and issues, and we delve into that. We all have issues, we all are trying to do the right things, make the right decisions. I’m having a great time with these kids — they get it. They’re talking about these themes that the characters are grappling with, and the kids, they get it. I don’t have to explain it to them.

“And Stephen Sondheim, oh my gosh — he is so brilliant. He finds just the right words. Sometimes it’s comical, sometimes it’s super poignant, but it always just grabs you.”

The talented kids at Arts Live will be performing the “junior” version of the show, which cuts the lengthy script down to 50 minutes of material. It still means a large cast, says Gabel, and the 40-plus parts include strong roles for young women.

“What I love about the characters is that the women are not portrayed [as] helpless women who are waiting for someone to save them,” she says. “In fact, Little Red Riding Hood has a great line in one of her songs about how she won’t wait to be saved by a cape and a hood. They’re not written like stereotypical, helpless women. They’re strong, and they’re decisive, and they are the ones in a lot of the storylines that make the bold choices that end up resolving the issues.”



‘Into the Woods’

WHEN — 7 p.m. Nov. 8-10; 2 p.m. Nov. 10-11; Character Tea, 1 p.m. Nov. 10-11

WHERE — Arts Center of the Ozarks, 214 S. Main St., Springdale

COST — $10-$15

INFO — 521-4932

Categories: Family Friendly