Into the Woods promises a magical experience

Theatregoers are invited to journey into the whimsy and darkness of classic fairy tales with the Cayman Drama Society’s latest production Into the Woods, now being staged at the Prospect Playhouse.

The Pink Duck Publishing cast were recently treated to an exclusive preview of this fun-filled show and can report that it is a not-to-miss performance.

Written by James Lapine, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, this popular Broadway musical draws on stories from the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault, cleverly interweaving such iconic tales as Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Cinderella. Many will be familiar with the play thanks to the 2014 film by Walt Disney Pictures.

The story of Into the Woods transports audiences to a faraway kingdom on the edge of a mysterious wood. Familiar fairy tale characters embark on individual journeys through the woods in search of whatever they most desire.

The production is a true labour of love for the CDS, who have studied the play for nine years in anticipation of bringing it to the stage. After months of practice, the directors and cast have carefully crafted an experience which CDS chairman Sheree Ebanks said possesses a sense of fantasy and an illusion of magic.

“Cayman has some amazing talent. This show is no exception,” she said. “We have professionally trained singers and actors as well as complete newcomers who have risen to the challenge.” Indeed, audiences can expect to see some familiar faces as well as talented young Caymanians new to the scene.

A stellar cast

CDS stalwarts include India Dawson-James, Adam Pellow, Kayla Manderson, Dominic Wheaton, Zoe Suisz, Neil Hamaty, Melody Allenger, Liam Oko, Vanessa Hanssen, and Terri and Barrie Quappe. New to the CDS stage are Nicolas Picard, Gabby Robinson, Emma Oko, Jardae Barnes, Chad Powell, Darlene Oko, and Zoe Zambrano.

“It is musically sophisticated,” Sheree said. “One would say it is not only Stephen Sondheim's most popular work, but also one of his most difficult. I feel that this show is another illustration that although CDS is a small community theatre, we are capable of staging professional quality shows.”

The play is directed by Teri Quappe, whose parents Chuck and Barrie Quappe serve as music directors. Set designs are created by Tansi Maki, a local artist known for her mural work at locations including the George Town cruise terminal and her airbrush tattoo stations.

“There is magic, there is joy, there is heartbreak, remarks Sheree, “all rolled into the characters' journey into the woods: Cinderella trying to get to the Festival, Little Red to Grandmother's house and the Baker and his wife trying to fulfil a shopping list of items given to them by the witch. To experience the genius of Sondheim on the Cayman stage is not-to-miss!”

Show times and tickets

Into the Woods is being staged at the Prospect Playhouse from Sept. 12 through to Oct. 5 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturday. Doors open at 6 pm with the show starting at 7 pm. A matinee performance will be held on Sunday, Sept. 22. Doors open at 3 pm with the show slated to start at 4 pm. Drink specials will be on offer for all showings and the CDS recommends parental guidance due to mild violence and moderate adult themes.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for students and can be purchased at Students over 18 will require a student ID.