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REVIEW: No nose? No problem for cast of "Into the Woods"

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

Zach Watkins/Belmont Vision

Minutes before opening to a sold-out audience, the cast and company of "Into the Woods" scramble to find the missing witches' noses.

Audience members flooded the Troutt Theatre atrium an hour early on Friday with hopes of snagging the best seats available. Unknown to the patrons, the Freshman Technical Crew was scrambling to find the iconic nose that had mysteriously gone missing.

"All we could think was that the witches' noses got thrown away," said costume assistant Destiny McIntosh.

As the time grew closer to the start of the performance, the house opened, and hundreds of theatregoers poured in, eagerly chatting in anticipation.

"Before I even knew what was happening, people were going on a Party City run," said McIntosh.

The clock struck 7:30 p.m., and it was clear that the show would not be starting soon.

"When they were going to Party City, I and a couple of others were seeing what we could do, and we ended up creating a makeshift one that actually looked better than the one we had before," said McIntosh.

With the nose sorted out and a ten-minute delay, the opening night resumed as planned and blew the audience away with outstanding performances and technicality fit for the big stage.

Known for hard music and complex melodies while following four distinct characters, "Into the Woods" is no easy show to put on.

But Belmont’s College of Music and Performing Arts shows that it's possible to take challenging source material and transform it into something magical onstage.

With not a single weak link in the cast of twenty-two, the show radiated professionalism to the highest degree. Chock-full of actors and actresses filled with nuance and depth, "Into the Woods" excels in all performance areas.

Although the entire cast exhibited extreme talent, sophomore Grayson Stranko, who played Milky White, stole the show.

Wielding a large cow puppet, Stranko, who had no lines, was both the puppeteer and the emotion behind Jack's favorite pet.

When walking into Troutt, the initial set, though intriguing, seemed confusing initially. How could each piece possibly transform to adapt with the flow of the story?

But as the show continued and walls flew in and out, the audience was left in awe as the set’s overall simplicity never failed to enhance the overall show. The set was a big success in its ability to follow the many characters to many different locations.

The beautifully designed lighting felt like it couldn't catch up to the action on stage, whether because of a stressed lighting board operator or some slow reaction time on the spotlights overall; the lighting execution could have been tightened up more for a smoother show.

The best part of the show was the live orchestra. Clear and concise in their playing of intricate pieces of music, the live orchestra created a fantastic atmosphere for the show that could not have been reached had audio tracks just been used for the instrumental.

"Into The Woods" was a smash hit and deserved its sold-out status. With outstanding performances and unmatched technical beauty, Belmont's CMPA greatly honors the late Stephen Sondheim with their production. This article was written by Zach Watkins

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