INTO THE WOODS to Begin 1/11 at Main Street Theater

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INTO THE WOODS to Begin 1/11 at Main Street Theater
Kregg Alan Dailey as The Wolf and Kasi Hollowell as Little Red.
Photo courtesy RicOrnelProductions.com.

Main Street Theater begins 2014 with Into the Woods, James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim's exploration of everyone's favorite fairytale characters. Main Street Theater's production will return the material to its storytelling roots with a small company and simple accompaniment on its intimate Rice Village stage.

Says director Andrew Ruthven, "I knew we needed to focus on the stories being told, who is telling them, and why. Into the Woods tells the story of three groups of people wanting more than they have and ultimately getting 'everything they wish for!' But later, they discover that getting what you wish can come with a price, and only by coming together as a community do we finally get our happily ever after."

With previews January 11, 12, and 15, Into the Woods opens January 16 and runs through February 16 at Main Street Theater - Rice Village, 2540 Times Blvd. Performances are on Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are $39 - $20 (previews are $10), depending on date and section, and are on sale in person at the Main Street Theater Box Office, 2540 Times Blvd., via phone at 713.524.6706, or online at MainStreetTheater.com. Recommended for audiences 13 and up.

Into the Woods brings beloved characters together for a timeless yet relevant piece which has become a rare modern classic. The story follows The Baker and his wife who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of The Witch's curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone's wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results. In 1988, Into the Woods won Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical.

About Stephen Sondheim (composer/lyricist) and James Lapine (librettist): Stephen Sondheim is a prolific composer and lyricist known for his vast contributions to American musical theater for more than 50 years. He is the winner of an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards (more than any other composer) including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and the Laurence Olivier Award. His most well-known works (as composer and lyricist) include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and Into the Woods. He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy, and Candide (1974). Sondheim has written material for movies, including the 1981 Warren Beatty film Reds, for which he contributed the song "Goodbye For Now". He also wrote five songs for the 1990 movie Dick Tracy, including "Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)" which won the Academy Award for Best Song.

Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine collaborated on numerous projects over ten years. Their first collaboration was Sunday in the Park with George (1984), in which Sondheim's music elicits the pointillist painting technique of its subject Georges Seurat. In 1985, they won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Sunday in the Park with George. The show had its first revival on Broadway in 2008. The Sondheim-Lapine collaboration also produced Into the Woods (1987) and Passion (1994), which was adapted from the Italian film Passione D'Amore by Ettore Scola.

Andrew Ruthven is the director. Musical direction is by Claudia Dyle. The cast includes Rutherford Cravens, Christina Stroup, David Wald, Kregg Alan Dailey, Crystal O'Brien, Scott Gibbs, Marco Camacho, Amy Garner Buchanan, Lauren Dolk, Amanda Passanante, Judy Frow, Kasi Hollowell, and Kathryn Porterfeld.

The design team includes Ryan McGettigan (set design), Macy Perrone (costume design), John Smetak (lighting design), Janel J. Badrina (sound design), and Rodney Walsworth (properties design). Debs Ramser is the production stage manager.

Main Street Theater was founded in 1975. The organization produces plays at two locations, 2540 Times Boulevard in Rice Village and 4617 Montrose Boulevard at Chelsea Market. Our MainStage is in its 39th season and its 14th season operating under an Actors' Equity Association union contract. The MainStage features new works (including numerous world and regional premieres), rediscovered classics, passionate revivals, works by female playwrights, and neglected musicals in the intimate setting of our Rice Village location. Our Theater for Youth is Houston's most-attended theater for young audiences, serving over 135,000 children and families from the greater Houston area in school performances, weekend family matinees and tours to schools and community centers across the state of Texas. Plays are selected based on literature children are reading at home or at school. Our Education Department offers students a performing arts playground where professional theater artists serve as mentors. In support of Main Street Theater's mission, our Education Department provides a significant resource in the community for education in theater and classical theater for children, families and educators and provides classes and camps (on and off-site) as well as programs in residential treatment facilities for Harris County youth.

Main Street Theater is a founding member of the Fresh Arts Coalition, which recently merged with Spacetaker here in Houston, a founding member of Houston Arts Partners, and a constituent of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national service organization for not-for-profit theaters. Main Street Theater is also a member of Actors' Equity Association and of Theatre for Young Audiences/USA (formerly ASSITEJ), the world theatre network of theatre for children and young people. Main Street Theater is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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