WELLSBURG - Brooke Hills Playhouse has announced the cast for its production of the Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical, "Into the Woods," which continues today and Sunday and July 21-23 at 8 p.m. and July 24 at 2 p.m.
Reservations may be made by calling the Playhouse at (304) 737-3344.
"Into the Woods" combines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fair tales and follows them further to examine the consequences of the characters' actions.
According to director and musical director Nick Taylor of Wellsburg, the whole cast is excited to be involved in the production.
"They'd all seen the PBS production of the show, and came into the show knowing some of the music," Taylor said.
"'Into the Woods'" is a dream come true for many cast members, according to Taylor. "Many of them, once they'd been cast, told me that I'd given them their dream role."
The cast includes several individuals Taylor met while he was a student at West Liberty University. Retired drama professor John E. Reilly of Bethlehem, W.Va., whom Taylor credits as "a huge influence in my life as a director and actor" is cast as the Narrator and the Mysterious Man. Prof. Linda Cowan of West Liberty, who was Taylor's voice teacher in college, doubles as the Witch and as the production's vocal coach.
Prof. Melinda S. Kreisberg of Wheeling doubles as Cinderella's stepmother and the show's choreographer, assisted in the latter role by West Liberty student Cassie Hackbart of Masontown, W.Va., who also plays the Baker's Wife.
Taylor calls Roberta Fedoush of Weirton, the accompanist for the show, "a miracle worker" who helps to keep cast members on track.
Other cast members include Kassidy Wells of Wellsburg as Cinderella, Taylor Bryan of Weirton as her stepsister Florinda, Tess Kowalski of Burgettstown as her stepsister Lucinda and Nick Oliviera of Wellsburg as Cinderella's prince and the Big Bad Wolf.
Gabrielle Bennett of Follansbee will play Little Red Riding Hood, with Kimberly Winters of Follansbee as her Granny and as the voice of the Giant.
Branden Barish of Burgettstown will play Jack of beanstalk fame, with Marianne Cunningham of Wellsburg as his mother.
Wendy Wells of Wellsburg is cast as Rapunzel, with Cliff Welch of Bethany as her Prince. Jaccob Trifonof of Steubenville has the role of the Baker.
Other members of the ensemble include Brandon Gilmore of Washington as the Steward, Elizabeth Kyanko of Bethany as Snow White and Chelsey Barnhart of Wellsburg as Sleeping Beauty.
For information about upcoming productions in the playhouse's 40th anniversary season, visit www.brookehillsplayhouse.com.