Lightning Bolt Productions' Presents INTO THE WOODS At West Boca High School 6/8-17

Lightning Bolt Productions' Presents INTO THE WOODS At West Boca High School 6/8-17Into the Woods, the multi-award-winning (Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards, Olivier Awards) musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, skillfully interweaves several classic fairy tales into one epic story that shows what happens when things get real in the fairy-tale world. Lightning Bolt Productions upcoming production of this acclaimed Broadway musical will run at the West Boca Performing Arts Center at West Boca High School* from June 8ththrough 17th.

Sondheim and Lapine's tale involves a baker and his wife who, unable to have the children they so badly desire, agree to complete a number of "errands" for a witch who promises to grant them their wish if they're successful. During their journey, they encounter Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Cinderella and Jack (of Beanstalk notoriety) - each of whom has their own wish. All the storybook characters discover that wishes granted often come with a hefty price.

Jessie Hoffman, Lightning Bolt's founder and Artistic Director, who recently directed the young company's well received production of Young Frankenstein, will once again take on dual duties for the production - as the show's director, as well as the role of Cinderella:

Jessie Hoffman

"I was introduced to Into the Woods back in middle school," Hoffman explains. "As part of our assignment for musical theater class to learn the job of a stage manager, we had to watch the professional video with the original Broadway cast, and correctly call the show for the entire opening number. The show instantly fascinated me; seeing just the opening number wasn't enough, and so I found a copy of the video and watched the whole thing. I ended up watching that video a million times. I had every role memorized.

"I quickly noticed (as is the case with many shows by Stephen Sondheim) that when it came to Into the Woods people either loved it or hated it, there was no in-between. I could never understand why. It was such a beautiful show with an incredible message and an engaging story. How could anyone listen to those lyrics, hear the meaning behind them, and not love this musical? Years later, when I was 18, I was fortunate enough to be cast in Into the Woods as Little Red - it was an amazing experience.

"Over the years, I've continued to see other productions done by various theater companies, and it's always done so well, but it's always done the same way", Hoffman says. "I had never seen the show looked at from another perspective until I stumbled across some clips from a production done in Regent's Park back in 2010 and it opened my eyes to the show in a whole new way. This production was so different, so unique, modernized yet true to what the show has always been. The heart of it was still there, but it was new and exciting.

"Seeing clips from that production inspired me and brought back the love I've always had for this show in an entirely new way," she continues. "I decided in that moment I was going to put on a production of Into the Woods that was closer to that version, while making it my own and adding my own heart to it. My goal is for people who have seen the show as many times as I have to see it in an entirely new light, and for people who have never seen the show before to fall in love with it the same way I did when I was 12 years old.

"This show literally has a character for everyone, someone each person in that audience can find themselves in and relate to. Sure, it's a story about a bunch of fairy tale characters with magical powers and beanstalks to climb but if anything, these characters are more real than any you'd find in any other musical.

"Everyone has their own "wolf" that crosses their path at some point in their life. Everyone dreams of things that aren't quite what they thought they'd be once that wish actually comes true and realizes that maybe something in-between their life before that wish and their life after is what will truly bring them happiness. Everyone experiences loss, but everyone also learns that truly, no one is alone... even if you feel like you are. Everyone has that moment in their life where they learn that "nice" is different than "good" and sometimes things aren't always what they seem, and sometimes people aren't always what they seem, but these are all just lessons that help you the next time life sends you into the woods. It's not what you go through in life that shapes who you are, it's how you choose handle it, it's realizing there truly is "more to learn of what you know", and finding the courage inside yourself to always be ready for the next journey. I hope that through my direction of this show, each audience member can find their moment in the woods that they connect to."

Along with Hoffman as Cinderella, Lightning Bolt's Into the Woods cast includes Giustino Garcia (The Narrator), Renee Elizabeth Turner (The Witch), Maxwell Miller (The Baker), Savannah Marino (The Baker's Wife), Sarah Rose Knoche (Little Red Riding Hood), Aaron Bravo (Cinderella's Prince/Wolf), Murphy Hayes (The Mysterious Man), Elijah R. Pearson-Martinez (Jack), Jessica McFadden (Jack's Mother),Joel Iglesia (Rapunzel's Prince), Irma Gloria (Rapunzel/Cinderella's Mother); Myria Jean Baum (Stepmother/Granny), Victoria Kuhns (Florinda), Shannon Motherwell (Lucinda), and Sven Ballarte (The Steward).

Phil Hinton will provide Musical Direction for Into the Woods, and Michael Biggs will serve as the show's Choreographer and Stage Manager. Assistant Stage Manager (and House Manager) is Cheryl Crout; Sound Design is by Traci Watkins, Costume and Prop Design is by Myria Jean Baum. Set Design is by Jessie Hoffman; Set Construction is by Mike Versetti, and Tech is by Jonathan Cabrera and the West Boca Performing Arts Tech Crew. Lance Blank is the Theatre Manager.

Tickets for Into the Woods are on sale now and can be purchased on line at www.lbptheatre.com or by phone at 561-886-8286. Tickets are $35; student tickets ($20 with valid ID) are also available.

Related Articles

View More Fort Lauderdale
Stories   Shows

From This Author Carol Kassie

Before you go...

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram