Into the Theater

Production Into the Woods showcases Monarch’s talent


Ali Harford

Junior Emilie Wilder Ross as the Witch reminds junior Jack Vander Veer and senior Elise Falkenstein as the Bakers to collect their

Ali Harford, Staff Reporter

Into the Woods, the 1987 musical including lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine has been put on by Monarch’s daring thespians. The musical is a glorious mash-up of favorite fairy tales with characters Cinderella, Jack and Little Red Riding Hood, sewn together by a Baker and his wife, who need to fix a witch’s curse in order to have a child.

Monarch’s audacious Spring production of Into the Woods excelled on opening night, despite the show being one of the longest time wise and extraordinarily demanding of its actors due to the fact that since almost all of the characters played a main role, there was no room for understudies, and the show had around 20 musical numbers in total.

The play stars junior Emilie Wilder Ross as the Witch, junior Jack Vander Veer as Mr. Baker, senior Elise Falkenstein as Mrs. Baker, junior Solomon Abell as Jack and freshman Mikayla Aiken as Little Red. Ross’s performance couldn’t be topped with her outstanding acting skills and hauntingly good singing, with solo “Stay With Me,” in which she coaxes her growing daughter, Rapunzel (played by Sydney McDonald) into staying in her isolated tower. Vander Veer used his comedic acting skills to inject the play with his own bits of humor, coupled by the hilarious acting of junior Will Bangs and sophomore Devon Hudiburg, who played the cow Milky White. Monarch’s singing talent shone through with Falkenstein’s and Vander Veer’s flawless harmonizing, Aiken’s lovely voice, and Abell’s ability to hit any note the music demanded of him. Chiara Bignetti, who played Cinderella, and Sydney McDonald, who played Rapunzel, wrapped up the play with their impeccable singing talent, their alto voices sounding as though they were taken out of a real fairytale.

Overall, Monarch’s Into the Woods production was everything that the musical is supposed to be: hilarious, gut-wrenchingly sad at times and the plot stayed interesting throughout.


See Monarch’s Into the Woods tonight at 7 pm or Saturday at 2pm or 7pm.