5.3 C
Friday, April 3, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

The school is alive with the sound of … Sondheim


News Briefs

Woolwich nixes traffic islands Displeased with the troublesome pedestrian islands installed during the Region of Waterloo’s reconstruction of Church Street...

Elmira company producing hand sanitizer as virus hits

Usually focused on your taste buds rather than your finger tips, Elmira-based Murphy’s Law Distillery has branched out...

A message from the publisher

Clearly, these are challenging times for all of us. Our world is more interconnected than ever, making facing...

Avoid all non-essential public gatherings, health officials advise

There is no safe number when it comes to public gatherings, says the region’s acting medical officer of...


light rain
5.3 ° C
7.2 °
3.3 °
81 %
90 %
6 °
10 °
12 °
15 °
14 °

Long before Shrek and his abrasive donkey made fairy tale spoofs trendy, Stephen Sondheim set Broadway ablaze with Into the Woods, a humorously grim take on Grimm. While Sondheim’s peculiar, often atonal melodies are beloved by theatre connoisseurs, his work is more challenging and unusual than that of, say, Andrew Lloyd Weber.

Park Manor students go Into the Woods and get into character. A Wolf (Avery Klooster) lures Little Red Riding Hood (Maddie McCormick) astray.[Will Sloan / The Observer]
Park Manor students go Into the Woods and get into character. A Wolf (Avery Klooster) lures Little Red Riding Hood (Maddie McCormick) astray. [Will Sloan / The Observer]
It was this sense of challenge that made the play a good prospect for Park Manor Public School: Into the Woods will be the school’s first play in two years.

“It’s definitely been a challenge,” said staff member Natalie Massicotte, one of the directors. “[The students] have found it’s not just the pretty-sounding music that they might be accustomed to. I think they’ve definitely risen to the challenge.”

She continued, “Nobody had ever really heard of Sondheim before, so it was kind of nice that we were able to open up their view on musical theatre. It’s a nice new experience for everyone, and luckily enough, the movie hasn’t come out yet, so it’s still a fresh idea.”

The school will be taking on an abridged version of the show adapted for middle school productions – in this telling, the first-act “Happy Ending” really is the happy ending. Still, the complicated music and labyrinthine plot (encompassing Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack, his beanstalk, and many other familiar characters) have given the students plenty to live up to.

“At first, we were all a little bit intimidated by the piece, and just understanding fully what all of the different parts of putting on a play would be. We didn’t have a play last year, so for a lot of the students, this was their first opportunity to be in something like this.

Rehearsals started in January, with the cast now meeting for practice three mornings each week. Over time, the group has made Sondheim’s classic its own, Massicotte said. “At first everybody was a little bit timid, but now they’ll try things on their own, and characters will come into their own.”

She continued, “We knew we had some students coming up who had really great talent, so we knew they would be able to handle it. … It’s amazing to see the commitment we’ve had. There are 35 students in the cast, and every morning they’re there right at 7:30 ready to go.”

Into the Woods plays at Park Manor Public School (18 Mockingbird Dr.) on April 29, 30, and May 1. For ticket information, contact Connie Maier at Park Manor PS.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


Sketches of our town

Slowing down and taking in our surroundings – the proverbial stopping to smell the roses – is oft discussed but seldom acted on. The measures put in place to slow the coronavirus...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Keeping the lights on at Elmira biogas plant

With much of the province shut down, demand for electricity has dropped, but it’s business as usual for the biogas plant in...
- Advertisement -