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.
“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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