Fairy tales have the “once upon a time” and the “happily ever after.” But sometimes, they go beyond the traditional happy ending.
“Into the Woods” follows the arc of a granted wish and then explores what happens afterward. Macon Little Theatre presents the beloved musical beginning Friday.
“There’s wonderful humor involved as well as some really poignant moments,” said Sylvia Haynie, who is directing the play. “The show is about so many more things than just what you would pick up from the surface, as fairy tales often are. ... It poses as many questions as it does answers and it asks us to think about what happens when we go out and encounter world, what happens when we get what we wish for, and what does it take to really make a person happy.”
The play was originally staged in 1986 but then released as a movie in 2014.
“Partly in response to the popularity of the film, we felt like it was a perfect time to bring it to the stage locally and give people the opportunity to see some things that are different,” Haynie said. “Many of the things are the same. Many of the songs they’ll recognize from the film, but this is true to the original score and it has some songs in it that the movie chose to omit. Also it’s extremely popular with actors. So we were looking for something that our acting community would be interested in participating in as well.”
“Into the Woods” follows well-known characters like Cinderella, the Baker, the Baker’s Wife, Jack and Little Red Riding Hood as their wishes are granted.
“All of them head toward the conclusion that we are familiar with and then the second act actually shows up as continuation of what happens when you get your wish,” Haynie said. “It follows the story beyond the happy ending of the stories that we see. Each of the characters is facing loss in Act 2.”
The local production features a cast of 22 including Patrick Hamilton as the Baker, Weldon Ledbetter as the Baker’s Wife and Rachel Chabot as Cinderella.
“It’s been one of my favorites, maybe my favorite piece in existence, and I’m so excited to have such a talented group of local performers who bring it to life,” Haynie said.
The directing team also includes Laura Voss as musical director and Jenny Morris as choreographer.
Haynie said the set and costumes are “very unexpected and very delightful” and were inspired by a recent production of “Into the Woods” at the Roundabout Theatre in New York. Hamilton designed the set and Will Washburn did the costumes.
“This is a beloved show. I can’t think of a single theater person who doesn’t just love it,” Haynie said. “It’s rich with meaning and great roles. The characters are so interesting and three dimensional and of course there’s the music, which is both demanding for singers but rewarding in a way that few musicals are.”
“Into the Woods”
When: 8 p.m. July 10-11, 15-18; 2:30 p.m. July 12 and 19
Where: Macon Little Theatre, 4220 Forsyth Road
Cost: $20 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students
Information: 478-477-3342; www.maconlittletheatre.org