Fairy-tale lovers, delight! Into the Woods at The Island Theater in Fleming Island is the perfect family-friendly live theater experience to share with your children this Fall. Quirky, delightful, and entertaining from beginning to end, you’ll enjoy the show just as much as the kids as you revisit fairytale favorites with a fresh twist.
The woods are a pretty crowded place these days and everyone has their own competing interests and desires, each intertwined in a complicated plot line complete with fabulous musical numbers and choreography. Meet Cinderella, who desires a reprieve from domestic drudgery to attend the King’s Festival. Dim-witted Jack and his mother are dirt poor and he struggles with the need to sell his one and only friend—dried up cow Milky White—or face sure starvation. The baker and his wife wish for a child and it’s their tale—the backstory of the Rapunzel saga—and their subsequent quest to undo the curse on their family name—that brings all the stories together.
Throw in a Narrator, The Witch, Little Red Riding Hood, Granny, the Wolf, Cinderella’s drunkard father, her Stepmother, Stepsisters, two princes, and more and there’s a whole lot happening on stage. I absolutely love how it all tied together and how multiple choruses often mingled to create one harmony! Into the Woods is one of Stephen Sondheim’s most difficult musicals and the cast at The Island Theater did a fabulous job pulling it off. It’s incredibly complicated and an absolute delight to watch unfold on stage.
Depending on the day you visit the Island Theater, you may see either a teen or an adult cast. I visited on the teen cast’s opening night and enjoyed every moment of it. These kids are incredibly talented! It was a fun night to bring my children to the theater. They are fairy tale enthusiasts who enjoyed the story very much. It was also inspiring to see the show performed so well by young men and women their age and just slightly older. It’s important to introduce kids to quality theater and instill a love for the arts; this was a perfect opportunity to do so! Community theater is an affordable way to experience the arts and support theater education as well. Into the Woods is the perfect chance to introduce your kids to theater. It’s truly enjoyable for the entire family. The evening show may run too late for young kids, but mid-day Sunday shows make it accessible to those with an early bedtime.
Ranya Pisechko was simply fabulous as The Witch—she’s not at all scary, so no need to worry about that if you’re bringing kids. I really enjoyed Madison Johnson as Cinderella, Logan Enyedi as Jack, Christopher Wadenpfuhl as the Baker, Danielle Summerton as the Baker’s Wife, Autumn Henry as Little Red Riding Hood, Megan Cunningham as Rapunzel, and Ben Sandlin as Mysterious Man. We loved Garrett Bleau as Wolf and both princes, Landon Amburgey and Brian Pontarolo. Olivia Williams was absolutely precious as Milky White! There was too much talent on stage to list them all—each and every cast member was phenomenal! They worked together seamlessly to create on-stage magic that truly defied description.
Directed by Tricia Williams and choreographed by Stephanie Navarro, Into the Woods runs from October 25- November 10. Based on a book by James Lapine and with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods is feisty, fun, and fabulous all around. It’s downright hilarious and simultaneously thought-provoking. Children will love the costumed characters and constant action; adults may catch deeper themes such as complicated parent/child relationships, the loss of a parent, learning to accept responsibility for one’s actions, the challenges of growing up, the consequences of misguided wishes, and the deep-rooted desire so many of us feel for a sense of belonging.
You’ve got three weekends to enjoy this show, so grab some tickets and add it to your calendar now. Into the woods it’s time to go…. You won’t regret it!
Check out https://www.theislandtheater.com/into-the-woods-tickets for showtime and ticket information. The Island Theater, 1860 Town Hall Circle Suite 54, Fleming Island, Fl 32003.