First Look At PIT Productions' INTO THE WOODS National Tour Cast In Action
"This production is certainly no fairytale musical," said Jeremy Baker, dramaturge and translator of INTO THE WOODS. Yes, the well-known Broadway musical with Stephen Sondheim's music about Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Rapunzel and Jack (from the Beanstalk) which has recently been transformed into a Disney movie, is no fairytale musical. This and more was explained during INTO THE WOODS's press presentation earlier today.
INTO THE WOODS is the second production of PIT Productions. Contrary to most other professional productions who use less live pit musicians due to budget cuts, this company chooses to use the original orchestra size. This means that 15 musicians will be performing every night. This suits the vision of the director, Gijs de Lange, very well: "Music is the motor of the show." This explains why he has chosen to put the whole orchestra on stage, instead of in the pit. "The audience can see the music and will gain insight into the music," he explains. "I got to know the show by listening to a cast recording. The clarity and transparency of the music took my attention. I want to see this clearness back on stage." When watching other productions of INTO THE WOODS, he was distracted by everything happening on stage. Therefore this production will be simple: the forest will be portrayed by ropes, Rapunzel's tower won't be built; everything happens on the floor with minimum set changes.
Another notable aim of the creative team is to make the fairy tale figures contemporary persons. They all wish for something, but aren't happy in the end. This fits perfectly in these turbulent times according to Jeremy Baker: "You wish for political change, you get Donald Trump. You wish for independence and get isolation: Brexit." The feeling that is evoked by these events in real life is to be portrayed by the actors.
The cast of this production consists of an unusually large number of actors well-known for roles on national television and in movies . Some examples of cast members: Paul Groot (SHREK, Koefnoen) as Wolf, Cinderella's Prince and Father, Elise Schaap (HIJ GELOOFT IN MIJ) as Little Red Ridinghood, Lone van Roosendaal (CATS, MAMMA MIA!) as the Baker's Wife, René van Kooten (SWEENEY TODD, JERSEY BOYS) as Rapunzel's Prince and Steward and Laus Steenbeeke (THE LION KING, Flodder).
When asked why he wanted to perform in this production, Laus Steenbeeke answers: "I've seen the movie, which was insanely cool." He only found out the musical was "even cooler" when he read the script and listened to the cast recording. In addition to this, he says that "the cast is amazing." One of the most challenging parts of this production is the musicality that the actors need to display: "Music is leading in this production, which is great fun. It does mean that we, the actors, need to sing on a higher level than usual. This will be amazing to listen to for the audience."
During the presentation, the cast performed two songs from the musical: "Hello, Little Girl", a song with the Wolf and Little Red Ridinghood and the last part of the finale: "Into the Woods (Finale Reprise)" of which a part can be seen in the video above. A description of one of the performances by Laus: "That's going to be a great one!" Hopefully, that will be true for the whole musical!
The first preview of INTO THE WOODS is on February 10. The official opening night is on February 20 at the Oude Luxor Theater Rotterdam. For more information, visit the official website of the production: http://intothewoods.nu/.