Elon University/Today at Elon/Department of Performing Arts Presents ‘Into the Woods’ Feb. 11-13

The work will be performed at the McCrary Theater on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is directed by Fred Rubeck, choreographed by Faythe Kelly with Christopher Rayis as musical director.

Elon University’s Department of Performing Arts will perform its production of the Broadway hit “Into the Woods” Feb. 11-13 at the Arts Center’s McCrary Theater.

Stephen Sondheim’s funny, clever and poignant Tony Award-winning work reimagined classic fairy tales woven into a new story exploring the nature of desire and reality. Since opening on Broadway, “Into the Woods” has thrilled audiences around the world, in part because it so honestly examines the nature of human desire.

The production is directed by performing arts teacher Fred Rubeck and choreographed by Faythe Kelly. The music is conducted by Christopher Rayis. The complete list of actors and creators is available in the online program.

Rubeck offers this note on production:

I had hoped to make Into the Woods since I first heard the original Broadway recording over thirty years ago. At the time, I admired the ingenuity of the concept (it was long before Shrek!) and the mind-blowing depth of its wordplay (about the cow, Milky White: “as she withers with her” Who in the world imagines lyrics like that?!?) Sondheim had me hooked ever since I first saw Sweeney Todd years ago – it cemented the deal. I quickly began to discover the breadth and depth of Mr. Stephen Sondheim’s contributions to theater history. The recent passing of Mr. Sondheim saddens us all. Although this production was planned for months before his demise, today I hope that our version of Into the Woods can serve as a humble memorial to his theatrical genius. There will never be another.

I remember hearing critics at the time refer to Into the Woods as a sort of allegory for the AIDS crisis. Anyone familiar with the era can easily find references to that time and the struggles that so many people endured. But I think tying the piece to this era exclusively reduces its value as a work of art. Couldn’t this musical speak to a nation deeply shaken by the unthinkable attacks of September 11? Couldn’t the “giant” we are fighting today be a global pandemic?

Part of the genius of this work is its ability to connect with audiences of any era on a human level. It’s not a documentary about a baker and his wife – it’s not about health crises or murderous attacks. Into the Woods asks each of us to reflect on what we dream and wish for; meditate on the joy and madness of our dreams; ask what we fear, and what will we do to get what we want; and how are we going to handle reality the next morning?

What is your wish? What giant are you fighting?
I wish you all the best on your journey with us tonight.

Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are available online at elon.universitytickets.com.

About Madeline J. Carter

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