Pagosa actors put on Into the Woods, Durango Herald, Nov. 21, 2009

Play benefits music students’ education

The childless baker’s wife (Jessica Krebs) and the baker (Bill Nobles) make a deal with the witch (Kathy Isberg) in Wednesday’s dress rehearsal for the Pagosa Springs’ Music Boosters’ production of “Into the Woods” at Pagosa Springs High School.

Grimm’s fairy tales get a dose of reality in a production of “Into the Woods” by Pagosa Springs’ Music Boosters. Three more performances will be at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium today through Sunday, featuring local amateur and professional actors.

Bill Nobles and Jessica Krebs lead the talented cast as the childless baker and his wife, respectively. Kathy Isberg as the witch hinted at a strong performance in rehearsals. Former professional actor Zach Nelson serves as the narrator. The soft, lovely voiced Josie Lafferty plays Cinderella, and Robert Neel plays a naïve, young Jack.

Singing, dancing and costumes are strong. Set design is by Scott Farnham and Lisa Hartley directs the orchestra.

Yet the highlight of this production, directed by longtime Music Boosters board member Dale Morris, is the way community theater brings people together. The production features 25 locals and dozens more behind the scenes helping with lighting, makeup and dressing.

Community theater provides a lot of hard work, endless volunteer hours and hopefully a lot of applause from neighbors and friends. Music Boosters hardly ever disappoints, and based upon early dress rehearsals, “Into the Woods” is shaping up to be another strong musical.

“Into the Woods” is a Steven Sondheim and James Lapine show. It debuted in 1986 and first appeared on Broadway in 1987. This challenging musical’s first act was written almost completely in iambic meter. The Music Boosters cast can pull off the syncopated presentation and the ensemble of soloists allows for a breadth of talent to be showcased.

The play interweaves many of Grimm’s fairy tales including Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstock, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, with the original story of a childless baker and his wife. The play goes beyond the happy ending and explores the reality of decisions made and the consequences resulting from individual actions. It is a play about what happens after “happily ever after.”

From left, Lucinda (Zoe Falco), Florinda (Amber Ricker) and Cinderella (Josie Lafferty) discuss going to the king’s party with Cinderella’s stepmother (Sally Neel). The play benefits music students who continue their studies in college.

“Into the Woods” is about how lives are intertwined in a community and in a family. The play explores the complicated parent-child relationship, what it means to accept responsibility, morality and what happens when a wish comes true.

One of the great things about a Music Boosters production is the scholarship program. Music Boosters buys instruments for the local schools and currently supports six students who are furthering their education in Colorado, California and New York. A night of entertainment is also a night of social consciousness. Knowing your ticket may help one of the young people on stage go to college might make the experience all the more enjoyable.
Leanne Goebel is a freelance writer specializing in the arts.

Contents copyright ©, the Durango Herald. All rights reserved.





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