Brown Helms Renaissance Players' Production of INTO THE WOODS, Opens 10/19

Brown Helms Renaissance Players' Production of INTO THE WOODS, Opens 10/19

What really happens "happily ever after"? That is among the questions answered in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, to be presented by the Renaissance Players at Dickson's Renaissance Center, October 19-28 in the Anne Deason Performance Hall. The award-winning and critically acclaimed musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales and follows them further to explore the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests.

The main characters are taken from the stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Cinderella, tied together by a more original story involving a baker and his wife and their quest to begin a family, most likely adapted from the original story of Rapunzel by The Brothers Grimm.

With music and lyrics by the Stephen Sondheim  and book by James Lapine, Into The Woods debuted in San Diego at the Old Globe Theatre in 1986, and premiered on Broadway in 1987. It ran for 764 performances and won several Tony Awards, including Best Score, Best Book and Best Actress in a Musical for Joanna Gleason. Into The Woods has been performed in all theatrical arenas including a 1988 U.S. National Tour, a television production in 1991, a 2002 Broadway revival and as part of the 2012 New York Shakespeare in the Park series.

Nathan W. Brown, who also serves as the musical director, helms the Renaissance Players' production of Into The Woods, with choreography by Bryan J. Wlas and costumes by Rachel Gallup.

Brown has worked on more than 45 productions, including Hello, Dolly!, Anything Goes, A Chorus Line, Cats, Oklahoma!, Annie, The Music Man, Children of Eden, Smoke on the Mountain and Once Upon a Mattress. Most recently he was in the Gaslight Dinner Theatre production of  9 to 5: The Musical.

Wlas has been involved with the Renaissance Center's Theatre Department since 2005 and has directed many shows including Bye Bye Birdie, Hello, Dolly!, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Once Upon a Mattress, The Homecoming, Night of the Living Dead and Annie Jr. Wlas was also in the recent Gaslight Dinner Theatre production of 9 to 5: The Musical.

While also on stage for this production, Gallup has once again taken on the enormous job of creating the wardrobe for this production, which includes elaborate fairytale costumes and props. Gallup has been involved in all of the 2012 Renaissance Players productions including  another costume-heavy show,  Disney's Beauty and the Beast Jr.,  presented in March . She will also create the costumes for  A Christmas Carol, The Musical, coming up November 30 through December 16.

The cast of Into The Woods includes Renaissance Center favorites Marilyn Fair, a 2011 Jimmy Award-winner for her portrayal of Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!, as the Baker's Wife; Wlas as the Baker; Holly Wooten as the Witch, with daughter Kaila Wooten as Little Red Riding Hood; Greg Frey as the Mysterious Man; Zane Jordan as Rapunzel's Prince and Michelle Valenti as Cinderella. Fair's son, Nick Fair plays Jack; and popular husband/wife team of Carey Thompson and Jean Thompson are also in the production.

The cast also includes Regan Featherstone as Cinderella's Prince, who made his Renaissance debut in the Gaslight Dinner Theatre production of 9 to 5: The Musical.

The Renaissance Players' production of Into The Woods runs October 19-28, with performances every Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 (adults), $12 (seniors), and $8 (children 12 and under). A 20% discount is offered for groups of 15 or more. A special Lunch and Show is slated for Saturday, October 20 at 12 noon. Lunch ticket prices are: $25 (adults), $22 (seniors) and $18 (children 12 and under) and include salad, full lunch buffet, dessert and show. Gratuity is not included.

Tickets are available online at www.rcenter.org.

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.


 
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