Theatrical Arts, an Incredible Sondheim Summer, Paris Texas style

August in Texas is not for the faint of heart. Usually by August, I have had enough of being outside and enjoy sitting around reading, eating garden tomatoes, and then more reading, after a busy day at the office. But this August, in fact, this summer, has been quite a different experience for me.

I have had the joy of experiencing a Sondheim summer with my friends at Paris Community Theater, working on the upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods."

One word for me. Incredible.

Stephen Sondheim has a musical theater groupie following that he richly deserves, but right now that is another story. Because this post is dedicated to the incredible group of people who have worked so hard to bring Paris a stellar production which kicks off the PCT season.

"Into The Woods" opens August 9, 2012. Buy tickets now, opening weekend is going to be exciting. Come wait for no show tickets if you have to. Better yet, buy season tickets and secure yourself a good seat for each show. Live theater is incredible brain fodder, helps you see that you are not alone in your experience, and is just plain fun. Take advantage of what Paris has to offer.

But what is this show about? Such a complicated question, but basically it is a fable involving four well known fairy tales, and one created quest fairy tale. What really happens when you get what you wish for?

We have Little Red Riding Hood. (Photograph courtesy of Lindsey Espinoza).

Jack and the Beanstock. (Photograph courtesy of Lindsey Espinoza).

Cinderella. (Photograph courtesy of Lindsey Espinoza).

Rapunzel. (Photograph courtesy of Lindsey Espinoza).

Ah! A Prince or two. (Photograph courtesy of Lindsey Espinoza).

And the poor childless Baker and his wife, sent on a witch quest. (Photograph courtesy of Lindsey Espinoza).

Told by an innocent Narrator, and - heavens - let's not forget the birds. The birds!
Incredible costumes, designed and made by our very own Alan Jones. Incredibly talented, hard working, and a blessedly nice cast and crew.

Incredible Director and friend, Tim Wood, who is always larger than life to me.
All for one incredible, deep fable. Fairy tales are nice, but I prefer fables in the end. I want to know what happens next. What can I learn from this story, from this experience? How am I tempting fate?

If you asked for the moral from anyone who knows this story, you'd get a different answer every time.

No One is Alone.

Children Listen.

There are Giants in the Sky, and They Should Be Honored.

Witches Can Be Right.

Be Careful of Tempting the Wolf.

Be Careful What You Wish for, Especially if You Aren't Sure that You are Sure.

I'd love to hear your thoughts (and thanks, Paris and beyond for over one thousand views to my new blog!).

But in the end, for me, one definite answer is that we all repeatedly go into the woods, over and over in our lives. We grope, we cope, and yet, we find hope. And we wouldn't have it any other way.

Have I over used the word "incredible?"

Come see the show and decide for yourself.

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