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Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods at the LPCA, Review

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Fairy Tales Come to Life at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts

Into the Woods, Review

Into the Woods. Photo Courtesy LPCAHave you ever wondered what happens after the “Happily Ever After’s” are written in fairy tales? If so, Into the Woods emphasizes that we should be careful what we wish for, and our choices can often have powerful consequences.

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Into the Woods, so that should be a good indication of the catchy songs to come. The story starts with familiar Grimm’s fairy tale characters—Cinderella with her evil stepmother and stepsisters; Jack (from Jack and the Beanstalk) and his mother; Little Red Riding Hood; Rapunzel; a “wicked” witch; and two Princes Charming. These stories are tied together with the primary storyline of a baker and his wife, who were cursed by the witch and cannot begin a family unless they complete her quest for certain items. One would think that all of these characters and the multiple storylines would get confusing, but the reliability of the first act and the structure of the musical makes the storyline go smoothly. It also prevents the common impatience that sometimes accompanies the mid-point of the first act; instead, the tales remains fresh to the audience because of this format. Everyone knows what happens to these characters in their respective stories; what gives the play a unique twist is the second act, where we see the repercussions from the character’s choices made in the first act.

Into the Woods. Photo Courtesy LPCAOnce again, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the actors, including the singing ability of each performer. Special kudos goes to the witch, (Veronica Montes) who shrieked and hobbled across the stage convincingly. The young ladies who portrayed Cinderella and Rapunzel, (Sunny Rozakis and McCayla Quinn) were also impressive.

The set design was amazing, (as it is with all LPCA productions) with the aforementioned woods as the primary setting. The misty lighting, combined with such set pieces like Rapunzel’s tower, made the setting three-dimensional and realistic.

What really makes the show interesting is the second act. This is where the traditional stories are turned on their head and re-interpreted after the well-known fairy-tale ends. I won’t mention what happens in the second act, but I encourage those who like fairy tales and musicals to go see this one at the LPCA. It is truly one of the best well-designed and innovative premises for a musical, and the cast and crew put on an excellent show as always.

The last three shows are May 25th and May 26th at 8 pm, and a matinee on Sunday May 27th at 2 pm. Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for kids. For more information on the LPCA, visit their website at

Christie Sausa is a Contributor to The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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