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“Into The Woods” A Thought-Provoking Musical

ACT Review

Archbold Community Theatre shows its strengths, and weaknesses, with its production of the Stephen Sondheim classic, “Into The Woods.”

ACT strengths are in its casts, sets, costumes, and pit orchestras.

ACT’s one biggest pitfall, especially in Archbold High School’s outstanding auditorium, is sound.

It’s a bugaboo that has plagued ACT for several productions.

When microphones don’t work, squeal with feedback, or pickup unwanted sounds, they take away from all the hard work ACT’s unpaid volunteer staff put in its shows.

Bad sound harms the integrity of the play, as audiences miss bits of key dialogue and song lyrics.

ACT leaders are aware of the problem, and are taking steps to replace old wireless microphones with new equipment.

It’s a project that needs to be done, and deserves the support of those who enjoy live theatre.

Thought-Provoking

“Into The Woods,” is a thought-provoking musical production that mixes lessons about modern life with familiar and popular fairy tales.

It’s a tale of life beyond “Happily Ever After,” examining the morality of the actions taken by the characters in fairy tales.

For example, was Jack right to steal gold from the giants at the top of his beanstalk?

Was it morally defensible to chop down the beanstalk, causing the giant to fall and be killed?

It also presents fairytale characters with modern situations.

Cinderella finds her prince, marries him, and discovers she doesn’t enjoy the role of princess. Then, when the prince dallies with another woman, she leaves him.

The show premiered in 1986; perhaps it reflects some of the social trends of the 1980s, when some felt the ends justified whatever means were necessary.

It is an entertaining show, but it’s certainly not light fare; some will leave scratching their heads, debating what they have seen.

Cast

Other than the aforementioned sound issues, ACT’s production of “Into The Woods” is very well done.

The cast comes from a wide area of Northwest Ohio. Actors from as far away as Adrian, Mich., Toledo, and Bowling Green take to the stage.

All are good, but Kimberly Bright, a Bowling Green resident, is particularly outstanding as Cinderella.

Mixed with those from outside the immediate area are locals and ACT veterans.

Caleb Wyse does an excellent job with Jack, from Jack and the Beanstalk.

His Jack is a tad slow, with his emotions near the surface.

Moriah Rosales, an AHS student, does nice work as Rapunzel. She’s called upon to be the victim of bad parenting, and does it well.

Lorenzo McKeever, Wauseon, plays– or more correctly, overplays– Cinderella’s prince.

The role calls for him to take his character to the next level, and he does an excellent job; his powerful voice is an asset as well.

Elizabeth Bower, Toledo, and Adrienne Schmucker, Pettisville, play Cinderella’s evil stepsisters. Both are good at being bad.

No Faults

ACT sets for “Into The Woods” are excellent; it’s doubtful a professional company can do better.

Veteran director Michelle Johnson, Wauseon, and her assistant, Michael D. Short, Archbold, make sure the actors use the set to their fullest extent possible.

ACT offers three more opportunities to see its summer production on the AHS stage: Friday and Saturday, July 20-21, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, July 22 at 2 pm.– David Pugh

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Don’t be afraid of showing affection. Be warm and tender, thoughtful and affec tionate. Men are more helped by sympathy than by service.–Sir John Lubbock



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