Arcada’s ‘Into the Woods’ features adult, kid casts
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media June 22, 2012 2:22PM
‘Into the Woods’
♦ June 29-July 8
♦ Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles
♦ Tickets, $10-$15
♦ (630) 962-7000
Updated: June 22, 2012 2:22PM
Jacqueline Schultz wanted kids to be able to play with the grown-ups at the summer production of “Into the Woods.”
Schultz, who is the producer and choreographer behind Natural Talent Productions’ “Into the Woods,” is staging two versions of the same musical. The difference being, one cast is comprised entirely of children.
Natural Talent Productions, in collaboration with Onesti Entertainment, brings Steven Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” to the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. Shows will be at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturday, at 3 p.m. Saturdays, and at 1 and 6 p.m. Sundays June 29-30 and July 1-8.
The play will appeal to fans of comedy, romance and fantasy, she said.
“Into the Woods” takes familiar characters like Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, and puts them in all new settings and situations.
“All of these characters and stories intertwine,” she said. “It’s really creatively written. Certain parts of certain stories affect the other ones. Characters are brought into each other’s stories and it makes one big story.
“Act one is very funny. It’s very tongue-in-cheek and I consider it a fairy tale farce,” she said. “Act two is very touching. It’s very moving and has a lot of deep morals. It’s sort of like ‘Shrek’ in the sense that adults and children will enjoy it. The adults will understand the jokes and the children will not, but it’s still appropriate.”
Shultz is a huge fan of Bernadette Peters, and this was a show she had performed on Broadway, she said.
“I also really liked the fact that there is an adult original version as well as a junior version written by the same writers to kind of give children the opportunity to perform in their own version of the show,” she said. “So what did was (create) an entire cast of adults and an entire cast of children. They are rehearsing the same show but are putting on separate productions. So we’re doing two shows at the same time.”
Her casts have risen to the occasion with aplomb, she said.
“My casts are incredible,” she said. “This is not me being biased, but I think we are going to put out something that is very high quality and very professional. From the singing to the costumes, everything is very professional. I can’t wait for the audience to see what we’ve done.”
The last two shows she’s done have been adult shows. While she really wanted to stage “Into the Woods,” she also really wanted to do a children’s show as a change of pace.
“It’s great because it gives kids the opportunity to play all of the lead roles and not have to miss out on them,” she said. “They rehearse on the same nights to the kids can watch the adults perform. It’s really fun; I love it. I’m hoping to do the same thing for my next show.”