Get ready for an evening of fairytales and music as Cherry Hill East presents ‘Into the Woods” as its spring musical beginning Friday, March 3.
The show follows a number of beloved fairy tales, including Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella, whose characters go into the woods in search of something they want or need. As the tale progresses, they learn that sometimes what you wish for isn’t what they expected.
“What makes it unique, it doesn’t end up happily ever after, like everyone is happy,” said East senior and stage manager Angelina Wang. “ … Sometimes what you want comes true and it might not be the best outcome that you perceive it to be.”
Another unique aspect of the show is that it is through-composed, meaning there is singing and underscoring of the pit for basically the entire show.
“So we have a three-hour-long show of music that’s almost nonstop,” said vocal director Heather Lockart. “That’s really hard, because you don’t have breaks where there’s dialogue in scenes. The scenes are all a part of the music, too, so that’s like twice the music of your average show.”
Preparation for the show began about two months earlier than others, to help the actors build stamina and a stronger vocal foundation and not strain their voices. Another challenge has been getting back into the groove of six-day-a-week rehearsals.
“I think one thing that I’ve seen (in) our whole actors and stage managers, you can never slack off,” Wang explained. “Especially with something that’s so intricate and so fast-paced, you have to know your lines after we block it. You have to be on top of the blocking and you have to know everything that’s happening in order to continue to move on and move forward.”
Co-director Sandi Makofsky said one of the reasons the school chose “Into the Woods” – in addition to its nationwide familiarity and great music – was what it asks of the cast and musicians. They had to start rehearsals about two months earlier than usual to prepare vocally and better learn the songs.
“It’s challenging acting wise and vocally, and it’s through-composed,” she noted. “ … We thought we were ready for something like this, and we thought the community would appreciate it as well.”
“The music is really difficult and you want to get it right, because it plays such a big part in telling the story,” said Aviv Haroz, a junior who plays the Baker. “Figuring out all the nuances of how fast the music goes and all the different scenes and how it plays into the story line and what that means to each character individually, I think that part is really important to get through to the audience.”
Two casts will perform: the red on March 3, 5 and 11, and the white on March 3, 10 and 12. All performances will be in the Cherry Hill East auditorium. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays.
Tickets are being sold at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/69983.