BWW Interviews: Part Four of Our Interview Series with the Cast of INTO THE WOODS

Photo by Siggi Ragnar.

BroadwayWorld is thrilled to share with you the final installment of our interview series featuring the cast of Woodlawn Theatre's current production of Into the Woods.

One of Sondheim's most enchanting works, Into the Woods follows the stories of 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. With the words 'once upon a time,' the story begins. We follow Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack (of beanstalk fame) encountering the consequences traditional fairytales conveniently ignore.

Into the Woods plays The Woodlawn Theatre, located at 1920 Fredericksburg Road, now through March 16. Tickets are on sale now at or by calling the box office at 210-267-8388. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sundays 3 pm. Tickets cost $15 - $23 with discounts for students, military and SATCO members.

Today, we bring you our interview with cast members Joseph Urick and Melissa Zarb-Cousin who play The Wolf/Cinderella's Prince and Cinderella, respectively.

BWW: What made you decide to audition?

JU: Into the Woods has been a very dear play to my heart for many years. This role was actually what got me interested in musical theatre in general, so this is kind of a bucket list gig for me!

MZC: Into the Woods is one of those "have to do" shows. I thought it couldn't hurt to try, so I auditioned.

BWW: How familiar were you with the show prior to rehearsals?

JU: Very. I've been following this show for many years.

MZC: Very familiar. I was first introduced to it my freshman year of high school. We got to watch the video. I remember giggling at the anatomically correct wolf bits. If anyone has ever seen the Bernadette Peter's version, you know what I am talking about.

Melissa Zarb-Cousin as Cinderella. Photo by Siggi Ragnar.

BWW: Why do you think Into the Woods is as beloved as it is?

JU: Because of the universality of the stories. These are characters that we are all familiar with, and it's nice that they are not just the Disney carbon cutouts, but rather, they pay homage to the original Brother's Grimm text! I also think this show is popular because it answers two very important questions: "What if these stories were to meet?" and "What happens after 'Happily Ever After'?"

MZC: It is timeless, and it can hit close to home, so to speak. It is easy to identify with one or many of the characters. The music is incredibly moving and the book is very honest. There is no sugar coating.

BWW: What has it been like to bring this show to life?

JU: It's been really nice. The rehearsal process has been nothing but exemplary and professional. I really feel like San Antonio, for not having the amount of regional or equity houses that other cities have, still presents a high caliber style of theatre that both theatre people and non-theatre people can appreciate.

MZC: It has been a dream. I really enjoy being with my castmates, who all happen to be super talented. I've enjoyed watching everyone go about his or her own individual journey with this process. I've certainly enjoyed my own journey... it has been full of ups and downs, certainties and uncertainties, feelings of absolute joy versus overwhelming insecurities. It's all a part of the process.

Travis Trevino as Rapunzel's Prince. Photo by Siggi Ragnar.

BWW: Into the Woods is a huge ensemble piece. Which character do you identify with the most?

JU: Ironically, Cinderella's Prince. I feel that as a young lad, I was always out looking for the next best thing, the next adventure, and never took the time to really care for what I got once I had it. So, it's been nice to almost face those personal demons and purge them, in an odd way.

MZC: I would have never imagined this, but, after getting to know her pretty well, Cinderella. She is a product of her environment, but, despite obstacles, she pursues her dreams. She finds strength in the woods. I think she makes the most profound transformation in the show.

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