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Broadway hit to be staged in Malta

The American Centre will be sponsoring the Drama Troupe for its forthcoming production of Into The Woods which will be staged at the Manoel Theatre between February 4 - 6.

The sponsorship grant was signed by Erik Holm-Olsen, public affairs officer at The American Centre, and Marica Portelli, for the Drama Troupe.

The Tony Award-winning American musical was written by Stephen Sondheim in collaboration with James Lapine. In Malta, Mr Sondheim is better known for musicals such as West Side Story, for which he wrote the lyrics, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Into The Woods is very new to Malta. It made a big impact in Broadway where it ran for several months and received three Tony Awards including Best Score and Best Book. This musical is a seamless fusion of fairytales - including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Jack and the Beanstalk - that is bound to leave an impact on young and old alike.

A baker and his wife journey into the woods in search of a cow, a red cape, a pair of golden slippers and some magic beans - all necessary to lift the curse that has left them childless. They meet up with a beguiling cast of characters that will leave the audience laughing out loud, fighting back tears and ultimately transformed by the whole experience.

Into The Woods is a music lovers' delight from start to finish. For this reason, some of Malta's best musical theatre performers have been brought together. Isabel Warrington will be playing the role originally entrusted to Bernadette Peters - that of the witch - while Ninette Micallef, Wesley Ellul and Charlotte Grech will be playing the stepmother, the mysterious man and Jack's mother.

Canadian-born Katherine Brown will be the baker's wife and J.P. Busuttil her husband. They will be joined by youngsters Rachel Fabri, Francesca Aquilina and Jean Marc Agius as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack respectively. All three have been training vocally with Gillian Zammit for several years.

Since this production bears an adult theme, the Drama Troupe will also be staging a junior version. While in the junior version characters keep their fairy-tale images, in the full version the human element behind each one is discovered.

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