Tri-State Theater

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

"Into the Woods" Interview #7

   The weekend’s almost here, which means you’re almost out of chances to see CLOG’s production of the musical Into the Woods.
   Here’s another interview with the cast - let’s hear from the dashing Cameron Vance, who plays the part of Rapunzel’s Prince - but he’s in for some agony.
Q: Tell us the story behind Into the Woods. 
Cameron: Into the Woods is the story of two princes, each more handsome than the other, on their quest for true love. Dubbed Cinderella’s Prince and Rapunzel’s Prince due to failed relationships with the unappeasable Cinderella and the emotionally unstable poster child for Stockholm syndrome, Rapunzel, our heroes’ journey is deterred as multiple misguided fairy tale characters cross their paths in bullheaded attempts to fulfill their own selfish wishes. As is the way in these tales, our valiant romantics find true love after conquering their own giants and rescuing their damsels from distress – all while remaining handsome, charming, and suave.

Q: Tell us about the character you play. 
Cameron: I play the part of Rapunzel’s Prince. He’s rather one-dimensional, honestly – a trait he likely learned from his older brother, Cinderella’s Prince. He is motivated by his desire to want what he can’t easily have and fights throughout the show to step out of his brother’s shadow. Going into this production I was primarily excited for this role because I would be singing “Agony,” which is such a hilarious song, but have been more than presently surprised at the challenges this role has presented. 
Q: Why did you want to be in this musical?
Cameron: I wanted to be in Into the Woods because I’ve been intrigued by its complexities since seeing CLOG’s production in 2006. It’s such an original piece in the way it brings these classic tales to life and effortlessly intertwines their storylines to deliver something fresh and exciting to the audience. 
Q: What's your background in theatre? 
Cameron: My first taste of theatre was during my time at Capital High School. I was fortunate to attend a school with the desire and ability to put together some great pieces of musical theatre – my favorites being two Rodgers and Hammerstein classics, Oklahoma! and Cinderella. After graduating I started performing in summer shows with CLOG - Into the Woods will be my eighth show with the Guild. My enthusiasm for musical theatre has always been driven by my passion for singing, but I’ve found myself recently connecting with roles that would allow me to be tested as an actor. 
Q: What's your favorite song in the show?
Cameron: I couldn’t pick just one! Every time we do a run through of the show I find myself picking a new “favorite”. If I had to pick a top 3 it’d probably be “Giants in the Sky,” “It Takes Two,” and “Stay With Me.” “Giants in the Sky” is a beautiful song, but I love it for the story it tells and the effect it has on Jack’s character – the latter may have more to do with the choices our talented Jack (Austin Thomas) takes, but it’s a great song nonetheless! “It Takes Two” is a sweet piece that gives the Baker and his wife a chance to rekindle their love in the woods. And “Stay With Me” is beautiful because it gives the witch an opportunity to express a range of emotion, and gives the immensely talented Kristen Pennington an opportunity to show off her impressive vocal ability. 
Q: Is the music challenging?
Cameron: Yes. Yes. Yes. Stephen Sondheim is a brilliant composer and lyricist so there’s an immediate pressure to perform each piece well. His lyrics are so clever and purposefully written that remembering them and delivering them in a way that the audience will understand and appreciate their meaning is almost as difficult as keeping up with the constantly changing time signature!
Q: Tell us about the cast - there's a lot of talent on display there.
Cameron: There is so much talent on stage that it almost feels like a disservice to only recognize a handful of performers! I can definitely say that there have been times that I’ve been more than impressed by the ability of the cast to seemingly effortlessly conquer some of the most difficult pieces of music in the show - Brynna Horswell specifically comes to mind as Cinderella singing “Steps of the Palace.” Our cast consists of mostly veterans, but Kim Gibson, a newcomer to CLOG, has been a joy to work with. It has been such a joy to work with people like Kim who are constantly trying to evolve and better themselves in order to benefit the production. So many people in this show are fearless when it comes to taking risks and trying new things in order to give the audience their absolute best. 
Q: Why would you recommend this show to our readers? 
Cameron: This show has a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy. And I mentioned how handsome the princes are, right?
  Thanks, Cameron!

   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.

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