Venture ‘Into the Woods’ with Centre Stage’s upcoming musical

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Taylor Marlatt plays the role of the misunderstood witch in "Into the Woods." Photo by Will Crooks.

“Witches can be right, giants can be good.” Greenvillians can embark on a magical journey to see well-known fairytales intertwine in Tony Award-winning musical “Into the Woods” at Centre Stage.

The musical by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim tells the tale of a baker and his wife who are childless due to the curse of a once-beautiful witch. The couple take a trip to the forest for magical ingredients to reverse the spell. 

Throughout their musical journey, they meet Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, charming princes, and Jack. Soon, the couple discover everyone is wishing for something.

“In the process, we find out that what is wished for is not always what we want, and that there is always a story after ‘happily ever after,’” director Christopher Rose says.

The main theme of “Into the Woods” is captured in Act II when characters sing “you are not alone” to one another, says Rose, calling the truth a double-edged sword.

“On one hand there is comfort in the words. We have people around us who can support us in our endeavors and in life’s highs and lows,” Rose says, “but on the flip side, it means we have a responsibility that is greater than ourselves. We cannot act in a spirit of radical individualism, because we ‘are not alone.’”

“Into the Woods” aims to deliver delightful music packed with meaning. “Sondheim’s works are so lush and so endlessly filled with cleverly hidden themes, nuances, and symbolism that one could fill books with the treasures to be found,” Rose says.

Playing the role of the witch, Taylor Marlatt describes her character as a complicated lady. “Of course it is easy to immediately perceive her as ‘wicked’ and ‘evil,’ but there’s so much more to her than what is on the surface,” she says.

The witch is portrayed as an eccentric character who makes bad choices, but she’s hurt from the wrong done to her by others. “She’s insecure, obsessive, and ultimately the most honest character in the show,” Marlatt says. “I like to think of her as a semimoral compass. She just goes about everything the wrong way.”

Audiences are meant to feel that they’ve been transported into the woods on an epic journey.

“Because our space is so intimate, audiences will truly feel like they’re a part of the story made up of some of the finest talent in Greenville,” she says. “The voices are pristine, the set is breathtaking, and the acting is top-notch.”

‘Into the Woods’

When: March 14-April 7
Where: Centre Stage, 501 River St., Greenville
Tickets: $22-$35
Info: www.centrestage.org

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