Once upon a time, in a far-off kingdom - well, at Mount Notre Dame High School recently - all the old fairy tales came to life. Stephen Sondheim'senchanting musical Into the Woods is a clever mingling of stories from childhood.
A familiar witch promises to help a baker and his wife have a child, but in return they must bring her four special-potion ingredients. The childless couple must go into the woods to reverse the witch's curse, and they encounter Little Red Riding Hood, Jack the giant killer, Cinderella and Rapunzel.
Jenny Braun played the baker's wife with confidence.
Ben Hunt, as Jack, carried off the dimness and naivete of his character with good humor and a pleasant singing voice. He also established an excellent rapport with his faithful pet cow, Milky White, performed by Katie O'Donnell. O'Donnell added to the charm of the production with her cow bell and big false lashes that accented her cow eyes.
The two princes, portrayed by Steve Greiner and Felix Backherms, maintained an excellent affinity in their comedic song, "Agony."
The stylized set configuration, designed by Clare Strasser, brightened up the sometimes-dark show with bright green tattered scarves dangling from the trees made of 2-by-4s. There was no live orchestra, so the actors were challenged with maintaining perfect timing as well as following the recording.
The Witch, portrayed by Alicia Knollman, reminded the audience that one must be careful of what one teaches a child, for although children may not obey, they still listen.
Valerie Gerlock Fairfield High School
EXCERPTS: Carolyn Toth played Little Red Riding Hood with spunk and determination. Her characterization of the well-known wanderer added an element of child-like ferocity through wide-eyed stares and knowing grins. Her knife-wielding encounters provided a humorous contrast between the character's appearance and stereotype and her actual behavior.
Jonathan Bell St. Xavier High School
There were many standout performances. The rich, clear voice of The Baker (Liam Cronin), for example, was showcased in the second act.
Brooke Rucidlo Turpin High School
Cinderella, played by Liz Rettig, dazzled the audience with her soft, sweet voice.
Lindsay Flick Fairfield High School
The intricate music and difficult harmonies in this show were well-executed by this vocally talented cast. The harmonies and blend of voices were beautiful, making the company numbers a true delight.
Clare Hingsbergen McAuley High School
Visually, the show was very pleasant; a simple and representational set worked very well to depict towers, forests and talking trees. Choreography, done by Katie O'Donnell (who also played the cow, Milky White) was cute and well-executed.
Laura McOsker Loveland High School
Especially during "The Last Midnight," lighting in the show was commendable. During the song, a red light surrounds the witch right before she disappears. Consistently, the difficult light work was done well.
Eileen Tull Indian Hill High School
Angela Bender, as Rapunzel, never once dropped any energy in her delineation of the long haired, helpless romantic trapped in a tower.
Katie Bruestle Fairfield High School
Along with being the set designer, Clare Strasser also designed the costumes and makeup. It was obvious that Strasser plays a key part in this production team.
Nathan Elam Fairfield High School
Alicia Knollman's voice was strong and her acting fit the part perfectly. Her rendition of the song "Last Midnight" was impressive.
Andrew Childers Elder High School
The Greater Cincinnati chapter of Cappies, or Critics and Awards Program, is in its third season, with students writing reviews of other high schools' productions. Today, Mount Notre Dame's "Into The Woods." For information and show schedules, see www.cappies.com
Some areas brace, others aren't bugged by cicadas
Downtown festivities won't be deterred
Owners of young trees rush to purchase mesh
Hey, Carl! Got any Reds tickets?
Tot Lot arrests now at four
One-hued wonder is 1 year old today
IN THE TRISTATE
Two suffer minor injuries in boat crash on Ohio River
Clever set design turns stage 'Into the Woods'
Woman shot, boyfriend sought
Lot sizes to limit 'teardowns'
Finding awaited on CPS contract
Campaign censure tabled
Badge passes, father to son
Hamilton home burns
Two teens ill after tattoos
Exchange mercury thermometer
Deaths of former students unsettling at Lemon-Monroe
'Legacy of love' honored
Norwood likely to ask for tax increase
Ohio State trustees increase tuition 13.4%, citing state cuts
Toledo priest denies murdering nun in 1980
Counties get electronic vote OK
Agencies seek $23M tax hike
Bill would ban military-style weapons
Public Safety briefs
Crowley: Clooney leads race so far - in fund-raising
Churches celebrate new homes
Singer releases inaugural album
Sr. Mary Berenice Byron served college library
Mary Cunnick, 84, teacher at Withrow
State worker didn't bother to process checks for $480K
Pence tells Fletcher foes to 'get on board'
Guide shows area at its best
Ludlow plea-bargain case over
Did you witness Norwood UFO?
Ky. News briefs