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Westport Country Playhouse Opens Season With “Into the Woods”

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Into the Woods Laren Kennedy, Erik Liberman and Danielle Ferland

A 25th anniversary production of the imaginative, fractured-fairy tale musical “Into the Woods” by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim will be staged at the theater where Sondheim was an apprentice in 1950, Westport Country Playhouse, in Westport, CT, May 1 through May 26.  Directed by Mark Lamos, the Playhouse’s artistic director, the musical will open the historic theater’s 82nd season. It is co-produced with Baltimore’s CENTERSTAGE.

A multiple Tony Award winner, “Into the Woods” takes the audience to a beguiling and dark place inspired by the Grimm fairy tales. Among the classic characters that wander the woods searching for fulfillment of their wishes are Cinderella and her wicked stepsisters, Little Red Ridinghood and the Wolf, Rapunzel and her Prince, and Jack of beanstalk fame.  As their fanciful tales intertwine, they are forced to confront the harsh reality of what actually happens after “happily ever after.”

Director Mark Lamos, who also serves as Westport Country Playhouse artistic director, has helmed Playhouse productions of “Twelfth Night, or What You Will”; “Lips Together, Teeth Apart”; “Happy Days”; “She Loves Me”; “The Breath of Life”; “That Championship Season”; and “Of Mice and Men.” His extensive New York credits include “Our Country’s Good,” for which he received a Tony Award nomination. A former artistic director at Hartford Stage, he received the 1989 Tony Award for the theater’s body of work.

The performance schedule is Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.  Special series feature A Taste of Tuesday, Previews, LGBT Night Out, Opening Night, Thursday TalkBack, Sunday Symposium and Backstage Pass. In addition, the Playhouse will offer an open captioned performance on Sunday, May 13, 3 p.m., for the hearing impaired.

For more information or tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online 24/7 at www.westportplayhouse.org.

About the Playhouse

Westport Country Playhouse is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, professional theater under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos and management leadership of Michael Ross.  The Playhouse creates five live theater experiences, produced at the highest level, from April through November. Its vital mix of works—dramatic, comedic, occasionally exploratory and unusual—expands the audience’s sense of what theater can be.  The depth and scope of its productions display the foremost theatrical literature from the past—recent as well as distant—in addition to musicals and premieres of new plays.  During the summer, the Playhouse is home to the Woodward Internship Program, renowned for the training of aspiring theater professionals.  Winter at the Playhouse, from November through March, offers events outside of the main season—Family Festivities presentations, Script in Hand play readings and a Holiday Festival.  In addition, businesses and organizations are encouraged to rent the handsome facility for their meetings, receptions and fundraisers.

As an historic venue, Westport Country Playhouse has had many different lives leading up to the present. Originally built in 1835 as a tannery manufacturing hatters’ leathers, it became a steam-powered cider mill in 1880, later to be abandoned in the 1920s.  Splendidly transformed into a theater in 1931, it initially served as a try-out house for Broadway transfers, evolving into an established stop on the New England straw hat circuit of summer stock theaters through the end of the 20th century.  Following a multi-million dollar renovation completed in 2005, the Playhouse became a state-of-the-art producing theater, preserving its original charm and character.

Categories: General

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