I grew up on the tales of The Arabian Nights and Arthurian Legend, the Grimm Tales and folklore that tells of ghosts, fairies, witches and spells. I dove into the pages and let the world around me fall away until I could see the epic stories right before my eyes. When the world of magic beckoned me again, this time allowing me to see it quite literally, how could I resist?
The lobby of The Campus Theatre became a wood itself, lined with trees and vegetation. Speckled throughout that wood you can even find the ingredients to a potion, telltale signs of the spell about to be weaved on the stage.
The set, music, and actors transport the audience in rapid succession between a wealthy house with a wicked step family and beset-upon young woman, a mess of a home to a poor woman and her ginger-haired son with a pet cow, and a bakery visited by a girl in a red cape. Do any of these places or characters sound familiar? They should.
As the baker and his wife set off into the woods at the urging of a witch to break a curse on their house, they run into Cinderella, Jack, Little Red Riding Hood, a wolf, princess, and adventures so perilous they are pushed to their limits with tests of their will and strength.
If you think Act One might sound too familiar to send you rushing to the theatre, don’t be so quick to think you’ve got this show’s number. Act Two turns the entire thing on its head, bringing a perspective that is often ignored to the, let’s be honest, two-dimensional tales of our childhood. Things are hardly as black-and-white as the morality tales like to pretend they are.
The show is wonderfully acted, and the music is enchanting. The moving set works well to send us to the variety of locales necessary for this show, including the perilously tall tower of a certain long-haired princess. Humor and ingenuity color this show as the creative re-imagining of the fairy tales that Into the Woods is meant to be, with touching scenes that I may or may not have gotten a little misty-eyed during.
Into the Woods is the third top-selling production of MTD, bested only by Les Miserables and The Addams Family. It has still set a record for MTD, though, according to Kristy Vivian. It is the fastest selling first show of any season MTD has yet performed.
See Into the Woods from Music Theatre of Denton at the Campus Theatre located at 214 W. Hickory St. The production runs March 4-March 13, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the MTD website or by calling the Campus Theatre box office at (940) 382-1915.