Into The Woods
October 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 2009

Cast (in order of appearance)
NarratorBrian Vigorito
CinderellaGwen Vigorito
JackJustin Doncsecz
Jack's MotherCarole Silvoy
BakerRichard Gunkle
Baker's WifeAlicia Pfaff
Cinderella's StepmotherSyd Stauffer
FlorindaStacy Gabel
LucindaLauren Albers
Cinderella's FatherPhil Markley
Little Red Riding HoodAndrea Cobb
WitchElizabeth Marsh
Cinderella's MotherKelly Schmidt
Mysterious Man/WolfMichael Pesavento
Granny/GiantWendy Borst
RapunzelKatie Meo
Rapunzel's PrinceHunter Chadeayne
Cinderella's PrinceGregory Paradis
StewardNate Kuhns
Snow WhiteSara Faubert
Sleeping BeautySabrina Mastonardo
Milky WhitePaul C. Bonnicci
Production Staff
DirectorRody Gilkeson
Music DirectorNancy Shumaker

Cast Photos
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Playhouse 'Into The Woods' cast rises to Sondheim's musical challenge

By Kathy Lauer-Williams
October 14, 2009

A talented cast of 23 does Stephen Sondheim proud in Pennsylvania Playhouse's version of the twisted fairy tale musical ''Into The Woods.''

The modern parable, which showcases Sondheim's intricate melodies and complex lyrics, didn't daunt the many voices of the playhouse's cast, as words and music flew like aural darts throughout the 23/4-hour show.

Backed by a small but effective orchestra, the show moved briskly under the direction of Rody Gilkeson.

The only quibble is that the actors could have been amplified more, since you need to hear every word clearly to appreciate Sondheim's humorous wordplay.

In the first act, the characters go through the familiar Grimm Fairy Tale storylines ending with ''happily ever after.''

The darker second act explores the consequences of each character's actions -- some of which are dire -- as the characters lie, cheat, fight and even kill.

As the most human of the fairy tale characters, Richard Gunkle and Alicia Pfaff as the baker and his wife are believable as a desperate childless couple and endearing in their quest to break the spell that prevents them from having a child.

Pfaff is appealing and feisty, even when she gives in to her impulses, and shines on her musical numbers. Gunkle is heartbreaking on the wistful song ''No More,'' which he sings to his infant son.

Cinderella, played by Gwen Vigorito, displays her character's uncertainty. Her duet with Pfaff on ''A Very Nice Prince'' is one of the show's highlights.

The sets complement the storybook quality of the show by turning the stage into a lush forest with hidden glades and groves aided by evocative lighting.

As the two not-so-perfect princes charming, Hunter Chadeayne and Gregory Paradis are scene stealers in their hilarious duet ''Agony.'' They sing how the quest for love can be more fulfilling than what waits at the end.

Andrea Cobb is effective as Red Riding Hood, who is not your typical sweet little girl. Traumatized by her experiences, she becomes an almost feral child who is quick to brandish her knife.

Justin Doncsecz is charming as the naive Jack and Carole Silvoy brings her powerhouse voice to the role of Jack's mother.

A standout in a small role is Paul Bonnici as Milky White the cow, who elicits many laughs with only the simple line ''moo.''

The wolf is wonderfully wicked and oily as played by Michael Pesavento, who shines on ''Hello Little Girl.''

As the witch, Elizabeth Marsh-Gilkeson is the voice of reason, although not always reasonable.

Katie Meo's Rapunzel, not surprisingly, is a little unhinged after all those years in the tower.

Copyright © 2009, The Morning Call

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