SPARE’s Into The Woods: ‘Just About Ready!’
The director of SPARE’s summer production of Into The Woods says the show is almost ready for live audiences.
“We’re just over a week away from our show weekend,” said Brian Ives, “and the show’s different pieces are coming together really nicely.”
Sets are being finished up in preparation for tomorrow’s loadin and the start of technical rehearsals, the orchestra is wrapping up preparations – and of course, the show’s cast is nearing the end of their rehearsal period.
“This cast is such an inspiration,” said Ives, “and we’re all just about ready to put it all together next week!”
Cast members like Marisa Valent, who plays Cinderella, say rehearsals have been rewarding.
“I love Katie, our music director. This is the first time I’ve ever worked with her, but she’s super fun to work with and she really gets stuff done,” said Valent. “And it’s amazing to be part of such a big and diverse cast, just with ages and types of personalities.”
Tony DeLousia, who plays the Baker in the production, says the show has pushed him in ways others have not. He singled out the show’s music as a key part of that challenge.
“I love the music aspect of it,” he said, “ and our first week was all music rehearsals. The Baker’s such a fun part to do, musically – there’s a lot of syncopation.”
Valent says the show’s cast is fun to work with, and she enjoys seeing her castmates grow into their characters. She mentioned the show’s Jack – yes, that Jack, of beanstalk fame – as a prime example.
“Giants In The Sky, Jack’s song, is my favorite song in the entire show,” she said, “and Chris DaCosta is amazing, so it’s really fun to listen to him sing that.”
SPARE Productions was founded in 2012 as a place for local college students to perform while on school breaks. Since then, the company has expanded to include members of all ages.
DeLousia says he loves the group’s atmosphere, both in rehearsals and out.
“It’s a fun group to be with,” he said. “Through all the years – starting with our 2013 cabaret – just how we put shows together, and how great they turn out, it’s a fun time.”
SPARE has mounted six productions to date: a mix of plays, musicals, and cabarets. The company also provides masterclasses and other opportunities for its members to expand their theatrical horizons.
Ives says SPARE’s Into The Woods is different from last winter’s Disney movie, but central elements – wishes and their consequences – translate very well from the stage to real world.
“The show’s characters all go into the woods to fulfill their wishes,” said Ives. “It works out well for some of them – and not so well for others.”
Ives says SPARE’s version explores the boundary between the woods and world the characters normally live in – something he says is reflected in the real world, especially for SPARE’s performers.
“We have a lot high school and college students in the cast,” he said, “and for them, life is all about crossing that boundary, every day. Trying new things is what they thrive on.”
Valent says that dynamic is part of what makes SPARE Productions unique.
“I think SPARE is awesome because it brings together people of the high school and college ages from all over the Binghamton area,” she said, “and it lets people act in shows in a time where they might not be able to act.”
Performances will be 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 10 and Saturday July 11 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 12 in Binghamton High School's Helen Foley Theater. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for students and seniors. For tickets and information, visit www.spareproductions.org or call (607) 5429057.
Special thanks to Larry Kassan and the Binghamton City School District for their support and assistance with this project.
This project is made possible with public funds from the Chenango Arts Council’s Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the NYS Council on the Arts, with support from Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature.
Funding is provided in part by a project grant from the Broome County Arts Council’s United Cultural Fund.
INTO THE WOODS
Is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 Phone: 2125414684 Fax: 2123974684 www.MTIShows.com