Las Vegas, N.M. – The Highlands University HU Singers will present the musical Into the Woods April 29 and April 30 at 7 p.m. and May 1 at 3 p.m. in the university’s historic Ilfeld Auditorium, 900 University Ave.
Into the Woods intertwines plots and characters from the Brothers Grimm fairy tales Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White.
Andre García-Nuthmann, director of Highlands University’s choral and vocal program, is the music director for the production and will accompany on piano. Theater faculty member Don Evans is the artistic director for the production.
“I believe Into the Woods is the legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s greatest work,” García-Nuthmann said. “His synthesis of these fairytales are more true to the original Grimm stories than the sanitized Disney versions. Sondheim exposes the vulnerable and weaker sides of the characters, humanizing them in a powerful way.”
García-Nuthmann said Sondheim is a sublime writer whose words are paramount and the driving force of the musical.
“The music itself gives the illusion of simplicity in the melodies and yet is complex rhythmically and harmonically. It’s beautiful and moving,” García-Nuthmann said.
Into the Woods features solo performances by graduating vocal performance seniors Karliz de Marco, a soprano, Daniel Torres, bass and M.J. Rivera, a tenor.
“The quality of these three students’ talent and work ethic is impressive. Mentoring them and seeing them develop as accomplished vocalists has has been extremely satisfying. I’m convinced that if they continue working as hard as they do now, each will have a brilliant career,” García-Nuthmann said.
The cast for Into the Woods includes:
- Narrator – Joe Cooney
- Cinderella – Karliz de Marco
- Jack – M.J. Rivera
- Jack’s Mother – Jane Chavez
- Baker – Luke Sandoval
- Baker’s Wife – Jamie García
- Cinderella’s Stepmother – Kitty Sinclair
- Florinda – Molly Mortensen
- Lucinda – Amelia Zoërnig
- Cinderella’s Father – Daniel Sam
- Mysterious Man – Joe Cooney
- Little Red Riding Hood – Brandi Aragon
- Witch – Lisa Cisneros
- Cinderella’s Mother – Victoria Evans
- Wolf – Brett Gilland
- Granny – Jaylene García
- Steward – Brett Gilland
- Rapunzel – Victoria Valdez
- Rapunzel’s Prince – Stevin Alvino
- Cinderella’s Prince – Daniel Torres
- Giant – Victoria Evans
- Sleeping Beauty – Sierra Atencio
- Snow White – Nazeri Greene
García-Nuthmann said the cast also showcases capable young vocalists from Robertson High School.
“Victoria Valdez, Amelia Zoërnig, Sierra Atencio and Nazeri Greene show such promise. I hope they continue to develop their vocal talents,” García-Nuthmann said.
Tickets for the HU Singers’ production of Into the Woods are $8 for general admission. Students with valid ID are free.
Into the Woods debuted on Broadway in 1987, winning a number of Tony Awards. Over the years, it has been widely produced including a Broadway revival in 2002 and a London revival in 2010.
Into the Woods reached a wider audience in 2014, when a film adaptation starring Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp, among others, earned three Academy Award nominations and three Golden Globe nominations