THOMASVILLE- Leave the neighborhood and head “into the woods” this weekend, as Thomasville on Stage and Company presents their spring musical.
Directed by Bill Bass, Jr., Into the Woods tells the story of a Baker (Caleb Goodman) and his wife (Jordan Forehand), who wish to have a child; Cinderella (Laura Hiers), who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jack (Marion Rose Young), who wishes his cow (Kimsey Hodge) would give him milk.
However, drama ensues when the Baker and his wife realize they cannot have a child due to a Witch’s (Jaci Niks) curse. The couple set off on a journey to break the curse, but it will take them deep into the woods.
The 2.5 hour production has been quite the undertaking for both the cast and Bass Jr., who is a first-time musical director.
“Directing a musical is a lot different than directing a straight play,” Bass Jr. said. “When you’re not yourself musically inclined, a lot of what you do is look for little places you can help out and give advice. It’s different in that there is a lot of music rehearsals that have nothing to do with the play.”
Bass Jr. said the cast and ensemble has spent many weeks practicing songs and their counts.
“It’s been much more difficult and more demanding,” he explained. “We’ve been working on this for over two months.”
Bass Jr. said the songs change keys and tone multiple times and require the actors and actresses to have a great deal of range.
Due to the demands the musical would require, Bass Jr., said he envisioned a mostly veteran cast, who he knew could take on the challenge.
“This is by far the longest musical we’ve ever done and the longest production I’ve ever directed, and I’ve directed and been a part of over 30 productions,” he said. “When I began casting I looked for veteran actors, who I knew would show up and practice, because I knew it was going to be hard.”
Bass Jr. said he has been pleased with everyone’s commitment so far, especially those who have stepped up to the plate to take on a more difficult and challenging role than they have in past productions.
Crowd members can expect to see the likes of Luke DiGanci as Cinderella’s father, Stephanie Sheffield as Cinderella’s mother and Cameron Parker as Cinderellas’ prince.
Parris Murry and Jazymn Barber will play the role of Cinderella’s stepsisters, Florinda and Lucinda, while Adena Bowen will play her stepmother.
Other fairy tale characters include Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother, played by Ava Bass and Mandy Russo. DiGanci takes on a dual role, as he also plays the wolf.
Jack’s mother is played by Erin Fielding, while the giant’s wife is played by Pat Orr.
Sheffield will quickly shimmy out of her role as Cinderella’s mother to also play Rapunzel, while Ransom Young plays her prince.
Narrating this twisty tale is Michael Price.
Bass Jr. hopes everyone will come and see these actors and actresses and all the hard work they’ve put into the show, but said more than anything the show is for the arts, so even if no one is in the crowd, it has helped develop the cast members’ range and added to the theatre’s repertoire.
The show opened on Friday night, but will have two additional weekends of performances.
It will run through the 21st with productions on Fridays, Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Adult tickets are $20, while student tickets are $15. They can be purchased online or by calling the Box Office.