Home Arts Why, how dramatic you are, Grandma

Why, how dramatic you are, Grandma

by The Concordian October 11, 2011

Concordia’s D.B. Clark Theatre is uncharacteristically filled with music of late – Sondheim music, to be exact. Music Theatre Montreal will present their debut musical, Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods, starting Oct. 13.
The musical focuses on a Baker and his Wife who, after being cursed with childlessness by a neighbouring witch, set forth on a quest to get the special objects needed to break the spell, swindling and stealing if necessary.
Into the Woods intertwines the stories of many easily recognizable fairy-tale characters including Rapunzel, Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood to expose what happens beyond happily ever after and to serve as a lesson about community responsibility.
MTM, founded last spring by Lara Oundjian and Jonathan Keijser, neither of whom are theatre students, chose Into the Woods as its debut musical because of its general appeal to both children and adults. Children will enjoy the fairy-tale setting and adults will enjoy the darker humour and twists in the show.
The play is also a classic Sondheim musical that won several Tony awards for both its original run and its revival production. The show is well timed with Halloween and is sure to inspire some costumes, which are designed by Jillian Caldwell and Claire Stewart. “They’re whimsical, rustic, cartoony – perfect for this fairy-tale,” said Elizabeth Conway, who plays Little Red Riding Hood.
More than 100 applicants came to audition for the emerging production company last April. The producers were shocked by the amount of interest and talent the project attracted.
“This is for people who want a career in the arts but don’t have the opportunity to study it,” said Kate McGillivray, the show’s publicist.
Most of the 16-member cast is formed of students studying in various fields, but MTM did not exclude non-students or theatre students from auditioning.
“We incorporated a professional mentor program into our company, working with people like Howard Mendelsohn from the Centaur Theatre,” said Lara Oundjian, MTM co-founder as well as Into the Woods’ co-producer and production manager.
Fortunately for all Concordia students, the show was moved from McGill’s Moyse Hall to the D.B. Clarke Theatre in the Hall building.
“Because of the MUNACA strike, the school said that for safety and legality issues we couldn’t use the [Moyse] hall,” said Oundijan.
MTM is staying positive despite the setbacks and is making the best of the impromptu move. They had to change the dates of their show and their publicity strategy to get people to a different theatre.
“We’ve been working around the clock to make sure that this [show] happens in the new space,” said Oundijan.
“Concordia has been so nice to accommodate us, the least we can do is give a good show and I think [this collaboration] could encourage the bridging of the gap between McGill and Concordia,” added Conway.

Into the Woods will be playing from Oct. 13-15 and 19-21 at 7:30 p.m. at the D.B. Clarke Theatre. Student tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the door or online at www.musictheatremontreal.com.

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