Pacific Opera Project to Present Outdoor Production Of INTO THE WOODS At Descanso Gardens

POP's production features Julia Aks as Cinderella, Emily Dyer as The Baker's Wife, Annie Fitch as The Witch, Jack Wilkins as The Baker, and more.

By: May. 26, 2022

Pacific Opera Project to Present Outdoor Production Of INTO THE WOODS At Descanso Gardens

Pacific Opera Project will end its 2021-22 "Fairytale Season" with a site-specific production of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods at Descanso Gardens, one of Southern California's premiere outdoor spaces, with six performances on July 8 to 10 and July 15 to 17, all at 7:30pm.

The Tony Award-winning book and score follow a 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 a 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. Sondheim's iconic score includes On the Steps of the Palace, Agony, and The Last Midnight.

POP's production features Julia Aks as Cinderella, Emily Dyer as The Baker's Wife, Annie Fitch as The Witch, Jack Wilkins as The Baker, Dallas Perry as Jack, Amy Lawrence as Little Red, Phil Meyer as the Narrator, Jake Stamatis as Cinderella's Prince/Wolf, Chris Hunter as Rapunzel's Prince, Holly Sedillos as Rapunzel, William Grundler as The Steward/Milky White, Charlotte Munson as Jack's Mother, Minta Mullins as Stepmother, Morgan Paige as Lucinda, Lenessa Age as Florinda, Rachel Freed as Granny/Cinderella's Mother, and Jefferson Lanz as Cinderella's Father. Into the Woods is directed by Josh Shaw, music directed by Desiree LaVertu, choreographed by Amy Lawrence, and costumed by Maggie Green.

"It's Into the Woods, actually in the woods - what else could you possibly want?" said POP Artistic Director Josh Shaw. "We are so excited to bring this iconic musical to one of Los Angeles's most iconic locations, Descanso Gardens."

Performance Information

Pacific Opera Project Presents Into the Woods
Descanso Gardens | 1418 Descanso Drive | Los Angeles, CA 91011

Friday, July 8, 2022 at 7:30pm
Saturday, July 9, 2022 at 7:30pm
Sunday, July 10, 2022 at 7:30pm
Friday, July 15, 2022 at 7:30pm
Saturday, July 16, 2022 at 7:30pm
Sunday, July 17, 2022 at 7:30pm

Tickets: General seating: $25 Descanco members/$30 Descanco non-members available at

Julia Aks (Cinderella)
Emily Dyer (The Baker's Wife)
Annie Fitch (The Witch)
Jack Wilkins (The Baker)
Dallas Perry (Jack)
Amy Lawrence (Little Red)
Phil Meyer (Narrator)
Jake Stamatis (Cinderella's Prince/Wolf)
Chris Hunter (Rapunzel's Prince)
Holly Sedillos (Rapunzel)
William Grundler (The Steward/Milky White)
Charlotte Munson (Jack's Mother)
Minta Mullins (Stepmother)
Lenessa Age (Florinda)
Morgan Paige (Lucinda)
Rachel Freed (Granny/Cinderella's Mother)
Jefferson Lanz (Cinderella's Father)

Director: Josh Shaw
Assistant Director: Carson Gilmore
Music Director: Desiree LaVertu
Choreographer: Amy Lawrence
Costumer: Maggie Green

Lead Sponsors: Scott Fraser and Cathy Jurca

About Pacific Opera Project

Founded in 2011 by Artistic Director Josh Shaw and Music Director Stephen Karr, Los Angeles's Pacific Opera Project (POP) is dedicated to providing quality opera that is innovative, affordable, and entertaining in order to build a broader audience for the art form. LA Magazine writes "If you think you hate opera, you've probably never seen a Pacific Opera Project show." POP's regularly sold out performances take place in a wide variety of venues, from outdoors, to small clubs, big amphitheaters, and warehouses. LA Weekly named POP the "Best Opera Company in Los Angeles" in 2018, writing "making opera cool, affordable, accessible and enticing to young audiences is easier said than done. It's also something every opera company in the country is trying desperately to do... [Pacific Opera Project] is not trying desperately to be hip. It just is." In 2020, POP was awarded The American Prize in Opera Performance.

POP has presented more than 40 innovative new productions to date, including revolutionary drive-in productions of COVID fan tutte and the US staged premieres of two Gluck operas in November 2020, about which Opera Magazine wrote "Despite this plague year of postponements, POP has refused to bow to the pandemic or its restrictions...There is surely no opera company in this Covid-ravaged country with a better average for 2020." Other critically acclaimed productions include Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio set as an episode of Star Trek; a "fan-tastic" (LA Daily News) Harajuku-themed Mikado; a Dick Tracy Don Giovanni; a Magic Flute inspired by 1990s video games, called "one of the freshest takes on Mozart's 1791 classic I have come across" (Operawire); and many more. POP's signature take on Puccini's La bohème, "AKA The Hipsters," set in modern day Los Angeles, has become a holiday tradition, returning year after year to sold-out audiences and called "riotous" (LA Weekly) and "an undeniably fun night at the theater that should not be missed" (Stage Raw). POP gave the world premiere of Brooke deRosa's The Monkey's Paw in 2017.

In 2019, POP presented its most ambitious project to date: the first ever true-to-story bilingual Madama Butterfly performed in LA's Little Tokyo. A co-production with Houston's Opera in the Heights, the production featured a new libretto written by POP Artistic Director Josh Shaw and Opera in the Heights Artistic Director Eiki Isomura, presenting Puccini's story as if it actually happened and attempting to answer the question: "How would Butterfly and Pinkerton communicate?" All Japanese roles were sung in Japanese by Japanese-American artists and all American roles were sung in English. San Francisco Classical Voice described the production as "on a visual scale beyond anything it has taken on before - a sumptuously costumed, fully staged, bilingual co-production... Pacific Opera Project deserves a great deal of credit for making this concept into a reality... innovative, creative, and immensely successful."

POP presented the 2018 West Coast premiere of Giacomo Rossini's rarely performed 1816 opera, La gazzetta "The Newspaper." The first performances in the US were given in Boston at the New England Conservatory in 2013, and POP's production was only the second in North America. Opera Today raved about the premiere, writing "Director Josh Shaw has invested the proceedings with enough good comic ideas for at least three productions. Shaw has set the show in 1960's Paris, with eye-popping set elements and brilliant uses of color which add to the manic feel... Mr. Shaw has fashioned a take-no-prisoners approach to the staging, which was rife with clever touches... Pacific Opera Project has evidently hit on a winning formula for a night out, serving up food, drink and an operatic discovery in equal measure."

POP has been dedicated to reaching young audiences with performance and education since its inception, regularly performing for school-aged groups in family-friendly productions of The Mikado, The Barber of Seville, Sweeney Todd, Cosi fan tutte, Gianni Schicchi, L'enfant et les sortilèges, and La bohème. POP has ongoing internships with Occidental College and collaborates with their Glee Club every other year, as well as internships with The Waverly School and Orange County School of the Arts. POP also partners with the Burbank Boys and Girls Club. During the COVID-19 pandemic, POP created interactive Education Packs appropriate for kindergarten to eighth grade students to accompany videos of POP's productions of The Magic Flute and Madama Butterfly. Learn more at



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