The following is a release from BAMTheatre:
BAMTheatre will kick off its summer performance season with Stephen Sondheim’s classic Into the Woods, July 12 to July 14 at Lyons Township High School in LaGrange. Preview performances are scheduled for Sunday, July 8.
Winner of three Tony Awards for its original 1987 Broadway debut, including Best Score and Best Book (by James Lapine), the intriguing musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales and follows them further to explore the consequences of characters’ wishes and quests. Central characters are taken from the stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and Cinderella, tied together by the original tale of a baker and his wife and their desire to begin a family.
In keeping with BAMTheatre’s reputation for innovative staging, the production will be staged in reverse of the traditional stage concept. The audience will be seated on the stage, looking out into the forest in which the story unfolds.
Featured college and high school-aged performers in the double cast include: Andrew Spatafora of Hinsdale (Baker); Daniel Cassin of Clarendon Hills (Baker); Taylor Bright of Willowbrook (Cinderella); Laura Sportiello of Naperville (Cinderella); Claire Drews of Downers Grove (Baker’s Wife); Katie Collins of Hinsdale (Baker’s Wife); Brenna Conroy of Hinsdale (Little Red Riding Hood); Holly Sheltens of Clarendon Hills (Little Red Riding Hood); Tyler Leahy of Clarendon Hills (Jack); Christopher Siemann of Naperville (Jack); Ashley Fister of Mokena (Witch); Maura Carr of Darien (Witch), and Julie Peterson of Elmhurst (Jack’s Mother).
Also, in a departure from the original Broadway casting of the show, the BAM production will feature two “brother-sister” pairs of narrators played by local children: Chance Deckard of Clarendon Hills; Kate Turner of Hinsdale; Zack Newman of Naperville, and Emma Gordon of Clarendon Hills.
“This is our summer of exploring the fatherly bond on stage,” said BAM artistic director Melanie Lamoureux, noting that the theme so evident in Into the Woods will carry through to BAM’s youth production of The Little Mermaid (Aug. 9-12 at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park). “For Into the Woods, we have the special treat of a real-life father-son duo in our cast. Rick Spatafora of Hinsdale is making his BAM debut as ‘The Mysterious Man,’ alongside his son, and eight-year BAM veteran, Andrew Spatafora, who plays ‘The Baker.’”
Now one of the largest educational theater groups in the Chicago area, BAM was founded in 2001 by Lamoureux and two 13-year-old friends. Looking for a summertime diversion, the girls gathered a dozen-plus neighborhood kids and put on their own version of Annie, without a script or set. They named the group BAM, pulling the first initials of each of the three founders. This May, more than 300 students auditioned to be part of BAMTheatre’s 2012 summer productions.
Performances of Into the Woods are scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, July 12, and Friday, July 13, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, in the Reber Center of Lyons Township High School’s North Campus, 100 S. Brainard Ave., LaGrange. Preview shows are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 8. Tickets are available online at www.bamtheatre.com. Ticket prices are $18 in advance and $20 at the door.