Arts theater review

An enchanting trip Into the Woods

Musical Theatre Guild performs Sondheim’s beloved fairytale musical

Into the Woods

Performed by MIT Musical Theatre Guild

Directed by Kirsten Olson ‘14

La Sala De Puerto Rico

Runs November 19–21 at 8 p.m.

For their fall production, MIT Musical Theatre Guild’s (MTG) took on Into the Woods, one of Stephen Sondheim’s most treasured musicals. It’s got fairy tale characters, an endless stream of wishes, and a charming sense of humor. The musical follows a childless baker and his wife, and their quest to break a witch’s curse, where they must journey through the mysterious woods to obtain a set of items for the witch. During their adventure through the woods, their paths intertwine with those of the characters from Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, and Rapunzel, and the plot thickens once the characters begin arguing over questions like “What is right?” and “What should I do with this giant in my backyard?”

The score is tremendously clever, with crafty wordplay and recurring themes that will have you singing the phrase “I wish” in rising seconds and humming bits and pieces of the show for days. A highlight of the show was Elisa Boles ’18 as the Witch. From “Prologue” to “Last Midnight,” she hit every note with passion and power, and her character exploded with humor and crazed impatience.

Brandon Sanchez ’18 also had a notable performance, provocatively singing “Hello Little Girl” in the role of the famished Wolf with clear intonation and an impressive voice. In his role as the charismatic Cinderella’s Prince, Sanchez sang a hilarious rendition of “Agony” in a duet with Andrew Koche ’16 as Rapunzel’s Prince.

Other noteworthy songs included “Giants in the Sky” (sung by David Favela ’18 as Jack), and the technically tricky “Your Fault,” which wove together the voices of Favela, Caroline Walsh ’17 (as Little Red), Natasha Batten ’19 (as Cinderella), and Trevor Long ’19 (as the Baker) into an energetic tune toward the end of the second act.

Highlights of the set included Rapunzel’s castle, which doubled as Cinderella’s mother’s grave, and the modular houses that were able to be used in both the forest and the village scenes. I was also a huge fan of the cow, Milky White, complete with a tail and udders.

Running just under three hours, the show is not for those with short attention spans. As a study break, or simply for the enjoyment of watching a fantastic Sondheim musical, catch one of the last couple showings of Into the Woods to enjoy an enchanting trip into the woods.