Giants! Princesses! Heroes! Bakers! Agony! Wolves! Birds! All of this and more in the Cooper City High School production of “Into The Woods,” showcasing Thursday, March 1 to Saturday, March 3 and set in the world of classic fairy tales like Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel. “Into The Woods” sets up a scenario wherein a world of gentry and giants, a Baker and his wife’s quest to start a family is the main plot of the musical, with the stories of Cinderella and Jack intertwining with the Baker’s journey.
With powerful performances backed up by the great work of the Cooper City Sound of Pride’s live renditions of the accompanying music, the musical manages to provide a real sense of grandeur and fantasy. Amongst a sea of great thespians, these performances stood out even further. Sophia Pera, as the Baker’s Wife, had an amazing voice that captivated and mesmerized the audience. Reese Abrahamoff’s mix of talented singing and well-timed comedy provided a memorable performance that made his character, Jack, one of the most likable of the entire cast while enhancing his dynamic with Nathan Jakovich as the cow Milky White.
The standout role of the whole show, with an angelic voice and an impassioned performance of Cinderella, dream seeking servant turned runaway princess, was Annabelle Rosa, who brought her great acting and singing talent from last year’s Little Shop of Horrors back for another leading role.
In addition to the performances, the design of the show also stood out. The elaborate, high-reaching stage was ambitious and impressive, clearly showing a lot of craftsmanship and ingenuity, as well as having the added benefit of hiding the orchestra from being in the back of every scene. The lighting of the show, with its deep greens and striking reds, emphasized the danger and unknown of the forest and added another layer of visual spectacle to the musical, making the set even more vibrant and letting the characters stand out when they need to.
Another thing that helped these characters stand out, or in the case of the Mysterious Man, blend in, was the excellent costuming. Making the grandeur of palace life splendid and the poverty of the Baker and Jack noticeable, the crown jewel of the entire magnificent costuming goes to the robes of the Witch, transforming her from a hunched over, raggedy and blind hag to a beautiful enchantress, and the Mysterious Man, who had on an amazing costume which doubled as camouflage, allowing for Batman-esque escapes.
And while this show succeeds on many fronts, an effectively lit, well-staged and spectacularly-acted musical, it is not a perfect show. It faced some technical difficulties, mostly in the sound department, with the actor’s audio at times cutting out and the orchestra drowning out any unprojected voices. While it made listening to some songs difficult, particularly the duet “Agony,” the show was still very well done and enjoyable.
Into The Woods proves once again that the Cooper City High School drama department is made up of talented, brilliant students with passion, creativity, and raw energy. This is a show that could stand on par with professionals, and it clearly stands out as a testament to the greatness of Cooper’s own Troupe 0784.
Disclaimer: The Lariat staff writer Annabelle Rosa was featured in this performance
- Great performances
- Clever set
- Good Lighting
- Stunning costuming
- Sound issues
Photo by Sarah Khan