You can see for yourself this weekend, as CLOG tackles the show at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre starting this weekend!
We have some excellent interviews with the cast of the show to share - today’s, let’s hear from everyone’s favorite wicked stepmother (on stage, that is) - Elizabeth Brown:
Q: Tell us the story behind Into the Woods.
Elizabeth: It's a mash-up of traditional fairy tales and their characters with an original story about a childless Baker and his wife, and their quests to get their wishes fulfilled. They meet up with each other in the woods and they interact with each other in good and sometimes not so good ways. In the process, they learn about friendships, loss, and once they get their wishes, they find out what happens after "happy ever after."
Q: Tell us about the character you play.
Elizabeth: I play Cinderella's Stepmother. I hadn't actually considered this part during auditions but it's given me a chance to be wicked on stage, which is completely different from the roles I usually play. It is actually quite fun to be mean and definitely an opportunity to grow as an actor.
Q: Why did you want to be in this musical?
Elizabeth: I grew up listening to this music as a child and I loved the show ever since. I was in CLOG's 2006 production of Into the Woods, playing the Baker's Wife, so I jumped at the chance to do the show again! I think that the music and the themes strike a chord with everyone, and I think most people can relate to the struggles that the characters face, especially in the second Act.
Q: What's your background in theatre?
Elizabeth: I literally grew up in the Charleston Light Opera Guild, having started performing with them at age 12. I've performed a few times with other organizations in Charleston and Huntington as well. Singing and dancing are my comfort zones, but I have continued to work on the acting skills over the years and hope someday to be brave enough to try a straight play.
Q: What's your favorite song in the show?
Elizabeth: I have so many favorites. I love "No One is Alone" because it is powerful and speaks to the frailty of the human experience, especially when we experience loss or feel like we are alone in the world. That whole scene toward the end of Act 2 is probably my favorite in the show.
Q: Is the music challenging?
Elizabeth: Extremely! We spent an entire month working on music. It takes a talented and dedicated group of musicians to be able to master Sondheim. Our cast is exactly that, which made it a joy to bring this wonderful music to life.
Q: Tell us about the cast - there's a lot of talent on display there.
Elizabeth: This is one of the most talented casts I've had the privilege to work with. Most are CLOG veterans, although we have a newcomer to the group, which is always wonderful! Rehearsals are a pleasure because everyone is prepared and ready to work hard, although we have so much fun at the same time. The best part is that everyone is positive and supportive to each other. No drama off the stage!
Q: Why would you recommend this show to our readers?
Elizabeth: I think this is a show that everyone can relate to. Kids will enjoy the comedy and the fairy tale characters brought to life. Adults will appreciate the complexity of the music and the storylines, along with the deeper meaning behind the plot. The costumes are spectacular and the tunes will leave you humming. It's a great way to escape reality for a few hours and be transported to another realm!
Into the Woods is presented by the Charleston Light Opera Guild on May 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and May 10 at 3 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre at Civic Center Drive in Charleston, W.Va. Tickets are $25 for reserved seating. Tickets are available at charlestonlightoperaguild.org or call 304-343-2287.