WMU News

WMU stages Tony Award-winning musical

Oct. 6, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- The WMU University Theatre opens its 2000-01 season with "Into the Woods." The show opens Oct. 12 and runs through Oct. 21 with one matinee and six evening performances in Laura V. Shaw Theatre.

In this Tony Award-winning musical, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, the brilliant creators of "Passion" and "Sunday in the Park with George," give a twist to familiar fairy tales and bring the land of make-believe to a new understanding of right and wrong.

"Stephen Sondheim sets the standard in the music theater world," says director Todd Neal, Director of Music Theatre Performance at Western Michigan University. "We are up to the challange. The students have an exciting sound and energy."

Neal begins his second year with the Department of Theatre after his successful "Children of Eden" production last winter. He is once again collaborating with music director David Little, WMU associate professor of music. Little received his doctorate in music from Indiana University and is head of the vocal area in the School of Music. Senior music theater performance major Betsy Blake joins the team as choreographer in her final season before graduation.

The student cast features freshman Erich Sommerfeldt as the Narrator/Mysterious Man, senior Erica Baker as Cinderella, senior Leonard Sullivan as Jack, senior Joe Calarco as the Baker, senior Anjanette Hall as the Baker's Wife, sophomore Katie Kerrins as Little Red Ridinghood, and senior Dana Piccoli as the Witch.

The talented production team includes faculty members Kevin Abbott (scenic design) and Gwendolyn Nagle (co-costume design) as well as students Patricia Nichols (lighting design), Ellen Pittman Stockbridge (co-costume design), Andrew Nagel (sound design), Alexandre Corazzola and Jason Resler (properties design) and Andrea Mitchell (stage manager).

"Into the Woods" runs Thursday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Oct. 15, and Thursday, Oct. 19, through Saturday, Oct. 21. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m.; the Sunday, Oct. 15, show is a 2 p.m. matinee.

There will be a Thursday, Oct. 12, opening night reception sponsored by the University Theatre Guild, with refreshments provided by Bravo! Restaurant and Cafe.

As a courtesy to those with hearing impairments, a sign language-interpreted performance will take place Thursday, Oct. 19.

Ticket prices are $14 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $5 for students. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Gilmore Theatre Ticket Office at 616 387-6222. The ticket office is open weekdays from noon to 5 p.m. and two hours prior to performances.

Media contact: Shauna Thieman; 616 387-6222; shauna.thieman@wmich.edu

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