Time for another interview with the cast of CLOG’s Into the Woods, which wraps up this weekend in Charleston.
For this interview, let’s hear from veteran performer Eric Hudnall, who plays the part of the Dad... who lacks a backbone.
Q: Tell us the story behind Into the Woods.
Eric: Basically, the story is centered around Cinderella's Father, whose first wife died in a tragic accident. Upon remarriage, he finds that his new wife and her two daughters are vile and evil of heart, and he now leads a life of despair. Turning to alcohol to cope with his problems, he has become completely despondent and uncaring to his daughter from his first marriage. Basically, he uses the Woods as an escape from his problems and a way out of his bad relationships. And he wears a huge hat. Actually, the story has very little to do with Cinderella's Father, but he is in it, I promise.
Q: Tell us about the character you play.
Eric: I play Cinderella's Father. He is pretty much useless. Terrified of his second wife and her children, he has come to the point in his life where alcohol is the only remedy for his problems.
Q: Why did you want to be in this musical?
Eric: I wanted to be in Into the Woods because it is Stephen Sondheim. My musical training is more of a classical nature and this music is about as close to operatic as you will find in musical theatre.
Q: What's your background in theatre?
Eric: I appeared in several productions at West Virginia Wesleyan College, as a student there, most notably, Kiss Me, Kate and And They Dance Real Slow in Jackson. During that time, and immediately thereafter, I appeared in a number of Operas with the West Virginia Symphony, including, The Marriage of Figaro, Die Fledermaus, Faust, La Boheme, Carmen and Ill Pagliacci. My first Guild production was Kiss Me, Kate in 2000. I took a long break from the stage following that show, and did not appear in another CLOG production until the November 2013 Clay Center Co-Production of Les Miserables. Since that time, i have appeared in Fiddler on the Roof, as Mendel, and Miracle on 34th Street, The Musical, as the male lead, Fred Gaily. I also stage managed two shows for CLOG last summer, Catch Me If You Can and The Wedding Singer, and I now serve as Vice-President of the CLOG Board.
Q: What's your favorite song in the show?
Eric: “No One Is Alone.” It has a beautiful melody and message. Musically, the way it begins as a solo, becomes a duet and finishes as a quartet appeals to my operatic background.
Q: Tell us about the cast.
Eric: What's there not to love about this cast? They are a great bunch. It is filled with seasoned veterans, who know what to do independently of direction, but at the same time are not averse to being directed. In fact, if you look at the cast, there are no less than 10 members of the cast, out of the 19, who have previously performed in leading roles with the Guild. That should speak volumes to the quality of this production.
Q: Why would you recommend this show to our readers?
Eric: From the talented cast, to the amazing set, this is not something you want to miss.
Into the Woods is presented by the Charleston Light Opera Guild on May 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre at Civic Center Drive in Charleston, W.Va. Tickets are $25 for reserved seating. Tickets available at charlestonlightoperaguild.org or call 304-343-2287.