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HHS to present spring musical ‘Into the Woods’

Zachary D'Amico

Musical director Daniel Franklin first directed Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Brothers Grimm inspired musical “Into the Woods” at Hampton High School back in 2008. 

Now, current Hampton High School students have been eagerly preparing to perform the musical once again. Mr. Franklin said he has enjoyed directing this musical for a second time. 

“I am picking up on things that I never noticed before, these subtle themes that come into play,” Mr. Franklin said. 

HHS will present the spring musical on April 22, 23, 29 and 30. 

Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Hampton High School auditorium. The building is located at 2929 McCully Rd, Allison Park.

Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased online beginning on March 29 by visiting https://www.hamptoncats.org/tickets.

“Into the Woods” follows the Baker (Kai Suyama) and his wife (Leah McConnell), Cinderella (Marissa Martinoski), and Jack (Brooks Brady). When the Baker and his wife are visited by the neighborhood Witch (Lindsay Liebro), who reveals to them that she placed a curse on their family, the two set off on a journey into the woods to reverse the curse.

“The musical focuses on the classic fairy tales that audiences are largely familiar with,” said Mr. Franklin. 

In the musical, the audience will meet Little Red Ridinghood (Danielle Butler) who is trying to visit her grandmother, in addition to the Wolf (Andrew Kaehly), the Witch’s daughter Rapunzel (Giulia Maura), and the Princes (Kaehly and Lillian Ketler) who are chasing after their loves. 

By the end of Act I, everyone has gotten their wish and will seemingly live happily ever after. But in Act II, when Jack’s beanstalk brings them a visit from an angry Giant, we see how the consequences of their actions haunt them in disastrous ways. The community must come together to save each other and their kingdom, but sacrifices must be made.

“I’m excited to work with this cast because they are really passionate about this musical,” Mr. Franklin said. “When we announced in the fall what show we were doing, they were over the moon about it.”

Two years ago, Hampton High School students were preparing to perform the musical, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” when the pandemic hit — causing the performance to be canceled. 

“That was a huge blow not only to the program, but to the students’ morale, especially those graduating seniors,” said Mr. Franklin. “Last year we vowed that we would do whatever possible, in the safest way possible, to be able to produce live theater again.”

Last year, the spring musical, “Pippin,” took place in-person during the last two weeks of the school year. When it was announced that this year’s spring musical would be “Into the Woods,” students were ecstatic.  

“They were so excited to get started on it,” Mr. Franklin said. 

Mr. Franklin noted that this year’s cast is very dedicated and is constantly trying to improve. 

“They bring it everyday to rehearsal,” he said. “You would think that each rehearsal is a live performance.”