Saturday, July 16, 2011

Update #2: "Into the Woods" in Normal

So, yes, I'm a little late on the opening of this one, too. But the good news about "Into the Woods," a Normal Parks and Recreation Summer Music Theatre production, is that it's continuing next week. That means you still have a chance to see Cinderella win (and lose) her prince, Rapunzel let down her golden locks, Jack get up to his Beanstalk hijinks, Little Red Riding Hood run into the Wolf, the Baker and his Wife take on the evil Witch next door, and everybody who can survive in this dark fairytale land learn that "happily ever after" isn't necessarily all that happy, but no one is alone, not even in the woods.

"Into the Woods" is a popular and much-beloved show, featuring music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. The score is wonderful (it's Sondheim, isn't it?) with a lot to say about parenting and community and the frailty of romance and love. My favorite song in the show is "Agony," the duet by the two princes (who were, after all, raised to be charming, not sincere) lamenting the annoyance factor in always going after girls who are stuck in unreachable towers or behind impenetrable thickets of briar. Or enclosed in glass. Or guarded by dwarves. It's a tough life.

Like all Normal Parks and Rec Summer Theatre productions, "Into the Wood" is performed by high school students at the Connie J. Link Amphitheater at 611 S. Linden Street in Normal. The Amphitheater itself is tucked in behind the maintenance buildings at that address, near the Constitution Trail. Park there and walk over to the Amphitheater with your lawn chairs, or bring a blanket to sit on the ground.

Performances continue tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 pm, as well as next week, July 21-24, at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available on-site ($4 for adults, $2 for students, while seniors and children under the age of 5 are free), and there are apparently concessions for around a dollar. Details here.

Note: Nothing about this production says "Into the Woods Jr," the shorter, more kid-friendly version. But I have my suspicions they are indeed doing "Jr." I guess I won't know unless I go out there and see. As billed, I can only assume it is the three-hour, full "Into the Woods."


  1. Let's hope it's the "junior" version, or that little brothers and sisters of the actors bring their sleeping bags! It's great fun to sit on blankets or in lawn chairs on the green slope to see plays in this amphitheatre!!

  2. If you go and find out which version, let me know!