It's opening for INTO THE WOODS at TheatreZone in Naples, FL! And what a ride into the woods it has been. From looking at the photo, you may notice there are no fairytale books and there are no woods. Artistic Director Mark Danni created a fun new adaptation of Sondheim's INTO THE WOODS and set the piece in a child's bedroom with the added characters of a small boy and his father (the storyteller/narrator). The story comes to life inside his bedroom (think of The Drowsy Chaperone) and it worked great in the space.
With musical direction by Michael Horsley (resident music director at The Muny in St. Louis), I got the chance to work with many Broadway vets and professional actors from Florida. The cast included Billy Sharpe as The Baker, Laura Needle as The Baker's Wife, Megan Jimenez as The Witch, and more.
Playing the role of the Stepmother was a wonderful treat for me. I love playing big character roles, but it was even more fun to play with my two darling step-daughters. Why, you may ask? Because they were played by men! Also in this version, Mark Danni had the brilliant idea of doubling the Princes as the Stepsisters (Steven Geyer and Gerritt Vandermeer). And it happened with great hilarity and fun.
I'll miss my quick jaunt through the woods, but hope to be able to play in this show again in years to come.
Danae DeShazer is an actress, singer, and dancer living in Sarasota, FL.