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San Francisco Playhouse Presents INTO THE WOODS, Now thru 9/6

San Francisco Playhouse (Artistic Director Bill English & Producing Director Susi Damilano) concludes its provocative eleventh season with Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics) and James Lapine (book). The production runs today, June 24th to September 6th, 2014, with an official opening set for June 28.

What happens after "happily ever after?" Fractured fairy tales of a darker hue provide the context for Into the Woods, which deconstructs the Brothers Grimm by way of "The Twilight Zone." While the faces and names are familiar, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack in the Beanstalk and company inhabit a sylvan neighborhood in which witches and bakers are next-door neighbors, handsome princes from once-parallel fables are competitive (and equally vain) brothers, and all the stories intersect through unexpected new plot twists. Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's beloved musical intertwines classic fairytales with a contemporary edge to tell stories of wishes granted and "the price" paid.

Susi Damilano (Director), Dave Dobrusky (Music Director) and Kimberly Richards (Choreographer) will team up to bring a fresh twist to this familiar tale by adding a time-travelling boy, Ian DeVaynes to the Bay Area cast that features: Louis Parnell* (Narrator), Safiya Fredericks* (Witch), El Beh (Baker's Wife), Keith Pinto* (Baker), Tim Homsley* (Jack), Joan Mankin* (Jack's Mom), Monique Hafen* (Cinderella), Becka Fink (Cinderella's Stepmom), identical twins, Lily and Michelle Drexler (Cinderella's Stepsisters), Noelani Neal (Rapunzel), Corinne Proctor (Red), Ryan McCrary and Jeffrey Adams (Princes/Wolves) and John Paul Gonzales (Steward).

James Lapine (Book) has also worked with Stephen Sondheim on Sunday in the Park with George, Passion and Sondheim on Sondheim. He directed the first revival of Merrily We Roll Along at LaJolla Playhouse in 1985. With William Finn he has collaborated on Falsettos, A New Brain, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Little Miss Sunshine. Other Broadway credits: The Diary of Anne Frank, Golden Child, Amour. He has written the plays: Table Settings, Twelve Dreams, Luck, Pluck & Virtue, The Moment When, Fran's Bed and Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing.

Stephen Sondheim (Music and Lyrics) wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night (1954), A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum (1962), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), The Frogs (1974), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Assassins (1991), Passion (1994) and Road Show (2008) as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959) and Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965) and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Anthologies of his work include Side By Side with Sondheim (1976), Marry Me a Little (1981), You're Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), Putting it Together (1993/99) and Sondheim on Sondheim (2010). He composed the scores of the films "Stavisky" (1974) and "Reds" (1981) and songs for "Dick Tracy" (1990) and the television production "Evening Primrose" (1966). His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: "Finishing the Hat" (2010) and "Look, I Made A Hat" (2011). In 2010 the Broadway theatre formerly known as Henry Miller's Theatre was renamed in his honor.

Susi Damilano (Director) is co-founder and Producing Director of the San Francisco Playhouse where she directed A Behanding in Spokane, Den of Thieves, Wirehead* and the West Coast Premieres of Honey Brown Eyes*, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Coronado, The Mystery Plays, Roulette and the world premiere of Daniel Heath's Seven Days. (*nominated for SFBATCC Directing award.). Also an actor, she is a five-time recipient of the Bay Area Theatre Critic Circle Award for Principle Female Performance in Abigail's Party, Harper Regan, Bug, Six Degrees of Separation, and Reckless. At San Francisco Playhouse she has also appeared in: Coraline, Slasher, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Landscape of the Body, First Person Shooter, Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, The Crucible, Kimberly Akimbo, Our Town and The Smell of the Kill.

Dave Dobrusky (Music Director) returns to San Francisco Playhouse for his fifth production as Musical Director. Others include Camelot, Putting It Together, Man of LaMancha, and My Fair Lady. When not working with the Playhouse, Dave is the Resident Music Director at 42nd Street Moon Theatre where he has played, arranged, orchestrated and conducted almost 100 classic / forgotten musicals, including cast recordings of Cole Porter's Leave It to Me and Jerome Kern's The Cabaret Girl. Dave is from Albuquerque, studied at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and has appeared with many Broadway divas including Rebecca Luker, Faith Prince, Emily Skinner, Nancy Dussault, and Andrea

Kimberly Richards* (Choreography) launched her versatile career forty years ago as an actress, aerialist, choreographer, comedienne, dancer, director, and illusionist. She co-starred (with Louis Parnell) in the SF Playhouse's first production, It Had to Be You. Her choreography for the Playhouse: Animals Out of Paper, Coronado, Dead Man's Cell Phone, First Day of School, Landscapes of the Body, and Abe Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party (with Tom Segal), which won Best of Fringe at the 2009 NY Fringe Festival, and My Fair Lady for which she won the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award. Other Bay Area choreography includes Miss Sally's Speakeasy Revue (Belrose); Private Eyes (DreamStackers); Tommy (One World Productions); Heaven, The Mineola Twins, Popcorn, and Pterodactyls (SF Actors Theater). Kimberly's Las Vegas choreography includes Lady and the Outlaws (Country Club Casino), and Too Hot to Handle (Flamingo). Since 2001 she performs the hit one-woman show Late Nite Catechism across the continent.

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