New non-profit theatre company Evalino Productions sold out all scheduled performances of Into The Woods Jr.

Emsley Paul as "Milky White," Jack and the Beanstock's Cow. Photo by Marco Airaghi.

Emsley Paul as “Milky White,” Jack and the Beanstock’s Cow, in Evalino Productions’ “Into the Woods”, Directed by John Sartor. Photo by Marco Airaghi.

By Dr. Anton Anderssen

The new non-profit theatre company Evalino Productions sold out all scheduled performances in just one week after announcing “Into The Woods Jr.” at Canton’s Village Theatre.   “Extra performances were added, totalling 8, to meet the unprecedented demand,” said Artistic Director John Sartor, who coached 47 children in this fairy-tale musical. There are very few tickets left for the added performances.

Opening night was a smash success. Unfortunately, there was higher demand for tickets than seats in the Biltmore Studio at Canton’s Village Theatre.

Evalino Productions’ Into The Woods opened to a sold-out audience

“Into the Woods, Jr. is an abridged version of the Broadway Musical; for the most part it is a re-working of the first half of the show, and timed to be around one hour long,” said Director of Development, Mrs. Rebecca Turza Paul. “The second part of the Broadway version is dark and sinister, which makes it too disturbing for an all-children cast.”

Angela Calleja was genuine as the baker’s wife, with a lovely voice that impressed the audience to no end. Leigh-Anne Risher Valdez created an over-the-top wardrobe of costumes for the 47 children – these were some of the most gorgeous costumes ever seen at the Biltmore Studio at Canton’s Village Theatre.

We loved the little cow, Emsley Paul. She was absolutely adorable. We couldn’t keep our eyes off her – she commanded our attention from the moment she appeared on stage. And the stage was wonderful – built and designed by the two directors. What made the show pop was using a professional soundtrack; Evalino Productions insists on professional quality artistry as part of its vision.

The success of the show largely comes from John Sartor and Becky Turza Paul, who are well-known, and highly respected in the community theatre arena. Sartor can attract top-rated talent, and Turza Paul treats the cast in a very kind way. There have been complaints about other production companies which treated cast members in very disrespectful ways, and the performers were sick of it. Once Sartor announced he would form a production company, the talent came rushing in.

Evalino Productions will also be presenting “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Disney’s Frozen Jr,” and “A Chorus Line” in its first year.  It’s an ambitious endeavour, but the two leaders have reputations that will bring in both the talent and the ticket sales.

The following photos of Into The Woods Jr., Directed by John Sartor, are courtesy of Belinda Hodge.




Oak Cast                                                                               Elm Cast

Baker…Duncan McCardell                                   Baker… Duncan McCardell

Baker’s Wife…Angela Calleja                              Baker’s Wife… Abigail Labbe

Cinderella… Caroline Valdes                                Cinderella… Lucy Dineen

Witch…Cassidy Taylor                                           Witch… Josi Middaugh

Jack…Fiona McCardell                                           Jack… Michael Dineen

Jack’s Mother… Brianna Hodge                         Jack’s Mother… Nora Smith

Little Red Riding Hood…                                       Little Red Riding Hood…

Julianna Lee                                                 Temperance Gorman

Rapunzel… Lydia Cuthbert                                  Rapunzel… Laura Figliuolo

Milky White…Emsley Paul                                   Milky White… E’Leena Bullock

Cinderella’s Mother… Katie Temple                  Cinderella’s Mother…Kaylee Brackney

Mysterious Man… Layla Furnas                         Mysterious Man… Josh Reyes

Cinderella’s Prince… Evan Sartor                       Cinderella’s Prince… Joseph Plant

Rapunzel’s Prince… Cade Lenard                       Rapunzel’s Prince… Reed Koesel

Florinda… Abby Westhoff                                   Florinda… Alessandra Martin

Lucinda… Aubrey Evans                                       Lucinda… Lauren Martin

Stepmother… Autumn Paul                                Stepmother… Tabitha Miller

Granny… Payton Kitchen                                     Granny…Verity Gorman

Steward… Andrew Lee                                         Steward… Mary Smith

Wolf… Zachary Farnsworth                                 Wolf… Sammy Gharbia

Stepfather…Grant Cuthbert                                Stepfather… Ian Frew

Narrator… Isabella Edmonds-Hogan                Narrator… Logan Larocque

Princess… Mariam Nasser                                    Princess… Holly Saulsberry

Princess… Marianna Vespa                                 Princess… Maddy Gorczyca

Princess… Neha Singh                                           Princess… Lauren Adis

Princess… Madison Street

Evalino Productions will be operating out of the The Village Theatre at Cherry Hill producing Children and Adult Productions in the Studio and Main Stage. For further info, see their Facebook page.

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Dr. Anton Anderssen
Dr. Anton Anderssen has been published by USA Today, CBSnewsDetroit, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Mensa Bulletin, Broadway World, eTurboNews, Hawaii Tourism Association, HawaiiNews.Online, Michigan Journal, Examiner News and other news outlets. He won the 2009 first prize in journalism from the Detroit Working writers organization, founded 1900 as The Detroit Press Club. He graduated With Highest Distinction from Indiana University (Comparative Literature), earned a Juris Doctor degree (Wayne State University), attended post-doctorate graduate classes in anthropology (University of Michigan), and earned a post-doctorate graduate degree in cultural anthropology (Wayne State University). He is a former concert pianist with Indiana University School of Music and the Detroit Institute of Arts. He is a member of Mensa and several other high IQ organizations including Triple Nine Society, ISPE and The Prometheus Society. He specializes in high culture, and is of Scandinavian, British and Castilian heritage. He is The Supreme Historian for Knights of Equity, founded in 1895. He holds the legal title Lord of Hartforth in North Yorkshire, England, and is the direct blood descendant of the first Lord of Hartforth, documented in the Domesday Survey of 1086. He is the direct blood descendant of Plantagenet Kings of England and the Lords Kennedy of Scotland. He lives in Waikiki, Hawaii, Michigan, The Italian Riviera, London England, The Italian Alps, and Milan Italy. He is a docent at The Iolani Palace in Honolulu Hawaii, the only official royal residence in the United States.