Mu Performing Arts announces complete casting for its summer production of Into The Woods. Previews performance run July 17-19, with the opening July 20 and playing through Aug. 5, 2012 at Park Square Theatre, Saint Paul.
This multiple Tony Award winning modern classic with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine takes familiar fairy tales and turns them on their heads. Sondheim’s memorable score includes crowd-pleasing musical numbers such as “Hello, Little Girl,” “Agony,” “Giants in the Sky” and “No One is Alone.”
Mu concludes its landmark 20th Anniversary Season, by diving further into its musical theater initiative. Into the Woods marks the Midwest’s first production of the show by a nationally recognized Asian American theater company. Director Rick Shiomi explains how the casting, costumes, and staging have been re-imagined from an Asian American perspective:
“Ever after… like you’ve never seen it before,” said Mu Director Rick Shiomi. “We are transporting the musical from the woods of Europe to the forests of Asia. Imagine Jack and his mother in Hmong attire, Little Red in a Cambodian skirt, Cinderella in a Filipino gown and the Baker and his wife in Korean hanboks. It will be a striking variation on the original and yet, since the stories are so universal (many of these fairy tales have Asian equivalents) they will feel as funny and real, sad and sweet, beautiful and moving as ever, but in a totally different context.”
Randy Reyes (Little Shop of Horrors, Flower Drum Song, Yellowface, The Romance of Magno Rubio) leads an outstanding company of local Asian American actors as the Baker, who along with his wife (Sheena Janson), seek to break a witch’s evil curse. Reyes serves as Artistic Associate at Mu as well as appearing regularly at the Guthrie Theater (M. Butterfly, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Government Inspector) and Ten Thousand Things (Il Campiello, As You Like It). Janson, whose sultry voice brought new life to Audrey II in Mu’s production of Little Shop of Horrors, was also featured as Marcy Park in Theatre Latte Da’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Sara Ochs (Little Shop, Flower Drum Song) portrays Cinderella and Katie Bradley (CTC’s Mulan, Jr., Little Shop, Four Destinies) brings her formidable talents to the role of the Witch. Taking on the Wolf and Rapunzel’s Prince, audiences may recognize Eric Sharp from Park Square Theatre’s recent seasons (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Odyssey, Oliver Twist) as well as his regular appearances with Mu.Suzie Juul (Park Square’s Ragtime) will play Little Red Riding Hood. Alex Galick (Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them), appears as Prince Charming and talented newcomer Maxwell Thao (Stages Theatre Co.’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon) rounds out the principal cast as Jack.
The twelve member ensemble includes Jeannie Lander, Tom Thao, Lara Trujillo, Meghan Kreidler, Danice Cabanela, Alice McGlave, Tom Lee, Jennifer Kelley, Natalie Chung, Michael Sung Ho, Kim Egan, and Brianna Heu, many of whom are making their Mu Performing Arts debut.
The artistic team includes Denise Prosek (Music Director), Maria Kelly (Choreographer), Jennifer Weir(Assistant Director), Gunther Gullickson (Scenic Designer), Karin Olson, Lighting Designer, Tom Sandelands (Sound designer), Paula Lee (Costume Designer), Sarah Salisbury (Props Designer) andLisa Smith (Stage Manager).
Into the Woods begins preview performances on July 17, opens on July 20 and continues through August 5 at Park Square Theatre (20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul, MN 55102). Single tickets start at $25 (adults) / $10 (students and children under 18) and are now on sale through the Park Square Theatre box office at 651-291-7005 or by visiting www.muperformingarts.org.