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The Ways of a Fairytale… Into the Woods at the Old Globe Theatre


The Ways of a Fairytale… Into the Woods at the Old Globe Theatre

Article by Alejandra Enciso Guzmán

Considered one of the greatest of all time, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Tony Award-winning musical Into the Woods, returned last week to its birthplace, The Old Globe nearly three decades after its world premiere. The production is an inventive reimagining by Fiasco Theater, an ensemble company created by graduates of the Brown University/Trinity Rep M.F.A. acting program. Directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, in a production that originated last year at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey.

I had the opportunity to talk to Jessie Austrian, Fiasco Co-Artistic Director and actress in the piece, playing the bakers wife. “I love her. She is really fierce and she is not perfect, she is human and makes mistakes. I love that about her, it makes sense to me” explained the also Company Manager, about her character.

“We want to be creating and directing theater. We set out to do Into the Woods with the sort of question or hypothesis of can we do/rehearse this play the same way we do our Shakespeare productions? Which is, as an ensemble” added Jessie regarding the approach between Fiascos piece and the 1986 Broadway original which had a cast of about 16 actors and a full orchestra. This contemporary version, has 10 actors and a pianist. There are also differences between last year’s staging and this one. “The acting is deeper and fuller and we are less panicked… I think audiences are able to hear the play more because we are giving it away more”.

Into the Woods places classical fairytale characters like Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Jack and the beanstalk into this picaresque story ‘remix’ that is brilliant. And this brilliance as well as Sondheim and Lapine, is Fiasco Theater.

Act one takes the audience into known territory, going down memory lane. The full cast on the stage all the time, each one taking turns to tell their part of the story and portraying more than one character. Noah Brody who plays Lucinda, the Wolf and Cinderella’s Prince as well as Andy Grotelueschen who is Milky White, Florinda and Rapunzel’s Prince are hilarious.

A great aspect of this version is the simplicity of it all, enhancing the craft of these artists. Second act much briefer than the first, does a full 180 both with the story and the rhythm. Emily Young as Little Red Ridinghood and Rapunzel is a barrel of laughs intermittent with her enchanting, potent musical voice.

Running at the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center until Sunday august 10th, Into the Woods is a guarantee of fun, laughs and even food for thought.

“It is infectious, enjoyus and hopefully we will make audiences think about and discuss the importance of telling stories; and the positive and negative consequences that come from telling stories”. Concluded Jessie Austrian.

Ticket prices start at $29.00 . There will be a post-show forum on Tuesday, July 29 to discuss the play with members of the cast following the performance. This activity is free.

There will also be an autism friendly performance on Saturday, Aug. 9 at 2:00 p.m. A sensory-friendly performance for children and adults on the autism spectrum and their families.

PLEASE get to Balboa Park with amp time to find parking. For more information visit:

Vanguard Culture

Vanguard Culture is an online media entity designed for culturally savvy, socially conscious individuals. We provide original interviews and reviews of the people, places, and events that make up San Diego’s thriving arts and culture community, as well as curated snapshots of the week’s best, most inspiring and unique cultural and culinary events. We believe in making a difference in the world, supporting San Diego’s vibrant visual and performing arts community and bringing awareness to important social and community causes.

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