DECATUR — “Be careful what you wish for” is a lesson often learned through fairy tales and parables.
“Into the Woods” is a Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine Tony-award winning musical produced in 1986. “It is a tale of many of the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales,” Brad Barding said. “It is interwoven into one musical. We all interact with each other.”
Barding will have a double duty as director and on stage as The Baker. He said the musical was a project he had wanted to perform since he first became familiar with it as a child.
“Bringing the community together with such a large cast, with such diverse backgrounds, is a wonderful thing to do,” he said.
The family friendly show is made up of 23 cast members. Familiar characters on stage include Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel. “It is not necessarily just for children, but not just for adults either,” Barding said.
Like most fairy tales, “Into the Woods” has moral lessons. Each character learns about themselves, such as growing up, acceptance and wish fulfillment. “Sometimes what you wish for is not exactly what you end up getting,” Barding said.
“Or necessarily what you wanted,” said Jayla Lee.
Lee will be on stage as the Witch, who is not the main antagonist. She may not be evil. “But she’s right,” Lee said.
“Into the Woods” is the first Decatur Underground Theatre performance for Hannah Lake. As Cinderella, she has enjoyed her time getting to know the cast and characters. “There’s enough back story that give everybody insight on what each character is about,” she said.
Although the audience may have a favorite story, those characters take on new roles. Cinderella wants to become a princess and go to the ball. “She suddenly realizes that’s kind of boring,” Barding said.
DeMar Jackson, as Jack, meets the other characters through their travels in the woods. He said the directors selected characters that fit the personalities of the cast. “I fit this role so much,” he said.
“I am equally sarcastic as I need to be,” Lee said.
Amanda Keck, the Baker’s Wife, said the cast has equal love of theater. “It’s not just the people on stage but the people backstage as well,” she said. “To see all the hard work that’s put into it, not just the singing and the acting, is really a good thing for the community."
Barding said “Into the Woods” is fun for the cast, which shows in the performance. “When you hear them sing it is like you are at a professional stage show,” he said.
Although the musical may be entertaining, the director reminds the audience there is a lesson. “Learning to accept that what you want, can not always be what you think you want,” Barding said.