Krysta Rodriguez returns as Cinderella in the critically acclaimed and much beloved production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods for the musical’s final weeks of the national tour engagement at Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre thru Sunday, July 30, 2023.
Originally debuting in 1987, Into the Woods intertwines classic storybook characters (Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood) into a profound exploration of childhood, parenting and the power of the tales we tell ourselves. When asked which the many messages presented by Sondheim’s heartfelt score most resonates with her, Rodriguez said, “For me, the message is really conveyed in the lyrics to the song No One Is Alone which are: ‘Witches can be right, Giants can be good, You decide what’s right, You decide what’s good.’ The beauty of the show is how it leans into the complexity of moral situations and fairytales. Not everything is as it seems, and we have to be willing to see the humanity of people, even if they are not on ‘our side’ as is suggested in the song.”
With origins going as far back as Greece in 7 BC, the character of Cinderella now inhabits no less than four contemporary musicals: Cinderella (updated 2013), Into the Woods (1987), Bad Cinderella (2021) and, currently running on Broadway, Once Upon A One More Time. Modern storytellers seem attracted to her very modern dilemma: although a prince is offering her “happily ever after” she wants to be sure this is really the ending she wants. So much so, that in many of the original versions of the tale, she goes to the prince’s ball three times, and runs away each time. Sondheim expresses her contemporary conundrum through the lyric, “But how do you know what you want, till you get what you want and you see if you like it?” Who in our world of too many choices can’t relate to that question?
I asked Ms. Rodriguez what about this fairytale female icon she feels has warranted so much exploration? “That’s a good question!” Krysta replied. “I’m not really sure what makes people so fascinated with the rags to riches story. Probably the desire to rise from whatever station we are in. But what I love about this version of Cinderella, or at least how I play her, is that she is never really a princess. She’s a resourceful, humorous, flawed young woman who begins life with no agency and finds her true voice at the end.”
And Angelinos are privileged to see an outstanding musical star in Krysta’s performance in Into the Woods thru July 30th. See it soon because as Cinderella warns us, “Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor!”
Produced in association with Latin Heat